Perch, Dennie and Commissiong v The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago: PC 20 Feb 2003

PC (Trinidad and Tobago) The postal system had been transferred to a company. Employees complained that they had been public servants and had lost privileges associated with that employment, and provisions of the Act transferring their contracts were unconstitutional.
Held: Employees of the new corporation were not holders of any public office and were not employed in the service of the Government in a civil capacity within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Constitution. The law recognised retirement as an appropriate means of leaving public service, and that option had been offerred. Abolition was also allowed, and therefore the transfer was not unconstitutional.
Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Hutton, Lord Millett, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe
[2003] UKPC 17
PC, Bailii, PC
Citing:
CitedThomas v Attorney-General of Trinidad and Tobago PC 1982
The court deprecated the ‘spoils’ system which operated within the post office.
Lord Diplock set out the purposeof the constitutional commission: ‘The whole purpose of Chapter VIII of the Constitution which bears the rubric ‘The Public Service’ . .
CitedPorter and Weeks v Magill HL 13-Dec-2001
Councillors Liable for Unlawful Purposes Use
The defendant local councillors were accused of having sold rather than let council houses in order to encourage an electorate which would be more likely to be supportive of their political party. They had been advised that the policy would be . .
CitedTrendtex Trading Corporation v Central Bank of Nigeria CA 1977
The court considered the developing international jurisdiction over commercial activities of state bodies which might enjoy state immunity, and sought to ascertain whether or not the Central Bank of Nigeria was entitled to immunity from suit.
CitedTamlin v Hannaford CA 1950
Discussing the Brtitish Transport Commission, Denning LJ said: ‘It is not the Crown and has none of the immunities or privileges of the Crown. Its servants are not civil servants, and its property is not Crown property. It is as much bound by Acts . .
CitedYoung v Waller 1898
A legislature or (subject to any relevant legislation) a government may abolish a public office in the interests of good administration. . .
CitedReilly v The King HL 1934
The government has power to abolish a public service post, and it is an ‘elementary proposition that if further performance of a contract becomes impossible by legislation having that effect the contract is discharged’. . .

Cited by:
CitedAntigua Public Utilities Authority v Malcolm Alphonso Edwards PC 2-Oct-2003
PC (Antigua and Barbuda) Upon the transfer of utilities into private companies controlled by the government, the respondent’s employment was also to be transferred. The issue concerned his new contract terms. The . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 January 2021; Ref: scu.179800