Govt and Cabinet legal – AG Williams
– Chief Justice throws out case by opposition mandating Cabinet to resign
– Rule of law restored says AG Williams
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Basil Williams SC said both the Government and Cabinet remains legal following the decision by the High Court to deny an order by the Opposition mandating that the Coalition Government resign.
“This government is a legal. Government; the Cabinet is a legal entity in the government and that is the ruling of the CCJ (Caribbean Court of Justice),” the Attorney General stated moments after by Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire handed down her decision.
This verdict, the AG declared, has restored the rule of law.
“The decision of the learned Chief Justice has restored the position with the Rule of Law in Guyana. It is a very important principle for a hierarchical system of courts that you follow precedence and the principle of stare decisis is that you follow the precedent set by the higher courts. Since the CCJ had already determined this issue, whether the Cabinet and the Government should resign, it was not fit nor proper and it was of no legal effect to come to the lowest court to seek to have that decision of the CCJ, the apex court, overturned.”
While the opposition’s lawyer, Anil Nandlall had contended that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) had overlooked giving a compulsory order compelling the President and Cabinet to resign, the Chief Justice relied on the decision of the CCJ in its consequential orders, ruling that she was bound by the orders of CCJ
She noted that the consequential order gave the government a caretaker status, as such, there could not have been any requirement for a mandatory order compelling the President and Cabinet to resign.
The Attorney General contended the case brought by the opposition was a misuse of the court system since Guyana’s highest court of appeal – the CCJ, did not agree to the request mandating the Cabinet and President to resign. He said that the issue was one already dealt with by the CCJ and agreed with the Chief Justice when she described the action by the Opposition as vexatious.
“Mr. Nandlall has to be careful he does not become a vexatious litigant because he was part and parcel of the representation of the leader of the opposition at all levels; at the CCJ, Court of Appeal, the High Court and it is not fit for him and right as an officer of the court to try to seek to come to the first instance judge and try to raise the same issue again. So, we are happy with the decision and we feel that the court should not be abused,” the Attorney General underscored.