BREAKING NEWS: The CCJ upholds presidential term limitations

DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, June 26, 2018

President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Sir Dennis Byron, says two term restriction is not unlawful. The historic ruling was handed down today from the Trinidad based Courtroom.

The CCJ rules 6 to one that the presidential term limit in Guyana’s Constitution is fit and proper.

Attorney General Basil Williams SC moved to the CCJ after the High Court and the Court of Appeal in Guyana upheld that presidential term limits were unconstitutional.

The challenge to Act No 17 of 2001 amended Chapter 90 of the Constitution to set presidential term limits and qualification for presidential candidates was made by a mysterious private citizen, Cedric Richardson.

The initial ruling was handed down by former acting Chief Justice Ian Chang in July of 2015 just before he demitted office.

It was appealed by AG Williams and then Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman in the Court of Appeal.

A split decision handed down in February 2017 to uphold the Chang ruling. Former acting Chancellor Carl Singh and Justice BS Roy ruled to uphold while then Chief Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards dissented. The ruling was made the day before Singh demitted office as Chancellor and it was widely condemned as being done in haste.

AG Williams then moved to the CCJ contending neither the High Court nor the Court of Appeal should have entered into an inquiry as to whether the term limit was “proprietous etc., they would according to case law have been overstepping.”

Guyana is among several CARICOM countries that recognises the CCJ as the highest court of appeal in the region.

Detailed report to follow later.

By: Tiffny Rhodius