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Jamaica Public Service Co Ltd v Meadows & Ors
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1 User Commentary

Melanie Davidson (In-house lawyer) 28 September 2015

Case Digest: Jamaica Public Service Company Limited v Meadows and Others [2015] 1 JJC 1604

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The Appeal Court of Jamaica handed down its judgment in Jamaica Public Service Company Limited v Meadows and Others [2015] 1 JJC 1604.

Both the appellants and respondents challenged the judge’s decision on the interpretation of the relevant legislation, the appellants JPS, supported by the Attorney General of Jamaica, contended that the statute did not prevent the minister from issuing of an exclusive license. The respondents however argued that there was no basis for exclusivity, and the statute did not make provision for an all island license. The third issue raised by the respondents’ counter appeal raised a question of fact, whether the utilities regulator, the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) had recommended the Minister’s grant of the exclusive license.

In the judgment given by Brooks J he “concluded that the appeals by JPS and the Attorney-General (except for the latter’s appeal against the order for costs), should be allowed while the respondents’ appeal should be dismissed”.

On the issue raised by appeal and counter appeal, it was concluded that on a fair interpretation of the Electric Lighting Act in its context, it did not prevent the Minister from granting an exclusive all-island license and the granting of such exclusive license did not prevent the Minister from considering other applications for licenses. On the latter issue, the learned judge (Sykes J) could not find any evidence to suggest that the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) had recommended the Minister’s grant of the exclusive license.

Therefore the appeals by the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited and the Attorney General, respectively, were allowed. The counter appeal by the respondents is dismissed.

Costs of the appeals and counter appeals, as well as costs in the court below, to the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited, the Attorney General and the Office of Utilities Regulation, to be paid by the respondents, such costs to be taxed if not agreed.


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