CCJ to rule on Ali/Jagdeo matter July 8

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will rule next Wednesday, July 8 on whether it has jurisdiction to grant the leave of appeal filed by the People’s Progressive Party which is challenging the decision of Guyana’s Court of Appeal.

The Court of President Hon Justice Adrian Saunders, Hon Justice Jacob Wit, Hon Madam Justice Maureen Rajnauth-Lee, Hon Justice Denys Barrow and Hon Justice Peter Jamadar heard the virtual submissions of all parties in the matter today.

Guyana’s Attorney General Basil Williams appeared on his own his behalf, reiterating that the CCJ is without jurisdiction and ought not to entertain the leave of appeal.

Similar arguments were put forward by Lawyer for APNU+AFC’s Joseph Harmon Senior Counsel Reginald Armour, and Senior Counsel John Jeremie for private citizen Eslyn David, who had challenged the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM) move to compile a report for declaration based on votes found to be fraudulent.

Parties in their submissions today were asked to address four issues; whether Guyana’s Court of Appeal had the jurisdiction to entertain the Eslyn David vs GECOM Application. And if the Court lacked jurisdiction, what is the consequence concerning the proposed appeal to the CCJ.

They were called to answer if the Court of Appeal had rightly decided jurisdiction, what is the consequence of that in relation to the proposed appeal to the CCJ.

They were also asked whether the Court of Appeal rightly assumed jurisdiction and exceeded that jurisdiction, and what is the consequence of that in relation to the proposed appeal to the CCJ.

Because assuming jurisdiction of the matter would be a clear contravention to Article 177 (4) of the Constitution and the Part II of the Caribbean Court of Justice Act Cap 3:07, the Attorney General, Senior Counsels Armour and Jeremie told the court that they could not go outside of their ambit to take on the matter.

CCJ President Justice Saunders said the court will deliberate on the matter and give its ruling next Wednesday at 15:00 hrs.

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