Updated: November 22, 2018
Demonstration outside Court House, Roseau Dominica November 22, 2018; Source DDD

By Jamber Press Contributor
Today, the charges of incitement are being brought against several members of the Parliamentary Opposition, United Workers Party in Dominica. The charges relate to events that occurred in Roseau following a meeting to protest governance on the island in early 2017. Yet, several members of the governing Administration have been allowed to room freely despite clearly uttering language that can be classed as incitement in a public forum. The following analysis focus on incitement as it relates to the legal system in Dominica. 

"We must let Edison James, we must let Ron Green know that their system of politics is equal to terrorism. We must tell them that they are committing acts of political terrorism on the country that we love, the country of Dominica".

We must let them know that just as Obama is going after Al Qaeda, we will go after them".  What other meaning could have been ascribed to these words other than to kill them?  That is the only result and intended purpose by Obama in reference to Al Qaeda. "We must let them know that we had enough and enough is enough; that we are tired, we had enough. And like Obama going after Al Qaeda, brothers and sisters, whether they hide in Marigot, whether they hide in La Plaine, whether they hide in Salisbury, we Laborites are going after them"  (Al Qaeda is known to be hiding out in certain areas and those are the areas that Obama goes after them). Because in the next election, just as Grenada where they won every seat, in Dominica, we are going for every seat in Dominica.............

Brothers and sisters, I want to say to you that we have to stand and fight for the good name of our country. We must bring an end to the terrorism of the United Workers Party; we must bring an end to the terrorism of Q95; we must bring an end to the terrorism of Frank Baron Chronicle Newspaper…"

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I've directed the full resources for our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”  George W. Bush in reference to finding Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.  Sounds Familiar? "

Mr. Lawrence was not charged with incitement at that time.  However, in 2014, then Opposition Senator Danny Lugay was charged with incitement to commit murder by saying “that there are some people who deserve to die for keeping Dominica back.”.  At that time, the authorities found criminal responsibility to charge him for those words but could not find any basis to charge Lawrence for his words.  It was no surprise when the charges against Lugay were then withdrawn. The following paragraph explains why the case had to be withdrawn; it was doomed to fail.


There was a debate between high-Priced Lawyers (HPL) for the Prosecution and the Defense . The HPL tried to make a distinction between the two.  Contrary to Law means "that it is unlawful or is in violation of a legal regulation or a legal statute". Contrary to Common Law means that the offence is not codified (not passed by an act of parliament).  The HPL sought to make that distinction by saying that, in Contrary to Law the Magistrate has summary distinction and, that in Contrary to Common Law he does; the HPL needed to produce authorities that supported their position. For contrary to law, then the Complaint / Information must specify which has been incited to breach.  But, since the offense of incitement is NOT dependent on the substantive law being completed, that is immaterial and only relevant to whether or not it is an offense known to the law.

The law of incitement is not codified under the laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica and so remains an offence at Common Law.  Incitement is what is referred to as an ‘inchoate offence’.  An inchoate offence is the preparatory stage for a substantive offence and stand on their own independent of the substantive crime (Smith & Hogan Criminal Law; 13th Ed).  So, incitement to commit murder, is itself the offence without any murder having to be committed.  Other Inchoate offences include Conspiracy, Attempts and of course Incitement. 

In order for one to attract criminal liability, they must have committed the guilty act (Actus Reus) and at the time, have the guilty mind (mens rea).  The Actus Reus of incitement is committed where a defendant suggests the commission of an offence to another person.  It has to be shown that the suggestion from the inciter has reached the mind of the incitee, but there is no need to provide evidence that the incitee acted on the suggestion (DPP v Armstrong, [2000] Crim LR 379)”.

The Mens Rea for incitement is the intention of the Defendant to bring about the criminal result by the act of another (incitee).  The Defendant MUST, know, believe or suspect that the person incited will have the necessary mens rea to commit the offence. So, one can be charged with the crime of incitement to commit any offence, but any such charge will be charged indictable.   In the UK they have codified Inchoate Offences in the Serious Crimes Act of 2007, where section 59 codifies Incitement.  Prior to that, incitement was an offence that was charged contrary to Common Law.
To prove Incitement under the Common Law, the Prosecution must proves:

a.  S/he incites another to do or cause to be done an act or acts which, if done, will involve the commission of an offence or offences by the other; and

b. S/he intends or believes that the other, if he acts as incited, shall or will do so with the fault required for the offence(s) (R v Claydon [2006] 1 Cr. App. R. 20).

Therefore, any inchoate offence must be charged Contrary to Common Law and not CONTRARY TO LAW, since there is NO Act, statute, codified law in Dominica making incitement an offence such as the Serious Crimes Act of the UK.  It would be interesting to see what the offence that was incited to be committed.


So, referring to the words of Lennox Lawrence as described above, look at the requirements of the offence as stated by the case of Claydon and ask yourself if he can be found guilty in a court of law.  
Also, look at the words of the esteemed Prime Minister, Hon Dr Roosevelt Skerrit and see if he committed the same offence when he asked all Laborites to harass UWP supporters whenever and wherever they met them.  “I view them as traitors and I want you to do the same as well,” he told supporters. When you see them on the streets, in the supermarket, at a funeral, on a plane or even in their cars, shout out to every single one of them – Traitor! What do you call them? Traitor! When you see Lennox Linton, what do you call him? Traitor! When you see Thomson Fontaine, what do you call him? Traitor! When you see Monelle Williams, what do you call her? Traitor!!”

Yet, these gentlemen were not charged with any offence.  One of the basic tenets of any Democratic society is adherence to the rule of law.  The unequal application of the law, when the authorities decide who to charge and who not to charge when faced with similar circumstances, is a fundamental breach to the rule of law and will ultimately lead to a break down in the fabric of society thus disrupting the normalcy that we as a people fought for in 1979 and earlier. It is time to drag Skerrit and his bandits before the courts for all their infractions against the state. Dominica is in the midst of a meltdown  and is at risk of a potentially explosive crisis. Equal application of the law is absolutely essential to save this Democracy.