An Appeal Launched on the Legality of Removing Nationals of Montserrat From the Voters List to Participate in Their Country’s Elections

Montserrat Flag and Legality

Jeevan A. Robinson

Release Date

Wednesday, June 5, 2024


A letter has recently been sent to the Supervisor of Elections, challenge the legality of the decision to disqualify nationals of Montserrat living abroad from being able to participate in the electoral process of their country of birth, via exercising their right to vote.

Attorney-at-Law and Montserrat National Owen Roach, had initially filed an application to be included on the preliminary voter’s list, and was rejected by the Supervisor of Elections. Since this letter of rejection was received, Attorney Roach has filed an appeal, challenging the legality of the decision by the Supervisor of Elections to remove nationals of Montserrat from the voter’s list.

A summary of Attorney Roach’s submissions as follows:

The Supervisor of Elections erred in law, and wrongly interpreted the voter registration criteria as set out in section 12 of the Elections Act to disqualify already registered voters. There is no legal basis on which section 12 of the Elections Act could be used to disqualify persons who were born in Montserrat. The Montserrat Constitution Order of 2010 (amended) does not give the right to the Supervisor of Elections to disqualify a born Montserratian from voting in Montserrat because they have not lived in Montserrat 36 months prior to an election. There is no other date of registration as a voter.

The Supervisor of Elections erred in law in using the same test for overseas persons who domicile in Montserrat (born overseas) as opposed to persons who are born in Montserrat. A born Montserratian’s right to vote cannot be derived from whether they reside in Montserrat.

The Supervisor of Elections failed to give effect to section 16 of the Montserrat Constitution Order 2010 which protects its citizens from discrimination.

The Supervisor of Elections failed to exercise her discretion correctly, and or take into consideration the legitimate expectation of Montserratians living overseas regarding their right to take part in the electoral process in Montserrat.

The redress Attorney Roach seeks is as follows: 

a) A declaration stating section 12 (1) (D) of the Election Act is null and void.

b) And or that Election Act be amended to reflect that All Montserratians of a sound mind, who are not disqualified by having a criminal conviction under the Act, and who have attained the age of 18 are entitled to vote in Montserrat.

c) Registration and voting in Montserrat can only take place in person.

d) And that the above provisions takes place immediately.

An online petition will be launched shortly encouraging Nationals of Montserrat passionate about this issue to place their names in support of this challenge to the legality of having their names removed from the voter's list, and the conditions placed on them as Nationals of Montserrat in having their right to participate in their country’s electoral process refused.

Latest Stories