…Says appeal to CCJ can be heard within two weeks

By Abena Rockcliffe-Campbell

Big heads in Guyana’s legal arena are butting on the soundness of the appeal court’s ruling today that the December 21, 2018 no-confidence motion was improperly passed. 

Two of the three judges ruled that the motion was invalid and based on the court’s decision, the APNU+AFC Government should remain in place.

Legal luminaries such as Nigel Hughes and government’s own lawyer in the appeal case, Roysdale Forde, are of the opinion that the ruling was sound and is grounded in lawful reasoning.

But, prominent attorney, Sanjeev Datadin totally disagrees.

When Datadin spoke to Guyana Standard he said that the ruling left him flabbergasted.

The attorney, who was present in the court when the rulings were handed, proffered, “I find it difficult to support on legal grounds.”

He opined that the judges, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Justice Dawn Gregory and Chancellor erred tremendously.

He said, “They inserted the word absolute into article 106 and they made it seem that a no-confidence motion is some special motion. It is like any other motion.”

Further, Datadin said, “If for example they were voting on the budget, you need a majority to pass the budget, how can it be that we pass the budget 33 to 32, does that mean that the current government and ministers are expending public resources without the blessing of parliament?”

He continued, “The court also took the motion and say that it is special because it brought down the government but similarly, in a budget, if you cannot pass the budget, the government falls, there is no money for the government to do its business.”

Noting the well-known fact that the People’s Progressive Party will further appeal the appellate court’s decision at the level of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Datadin said that this matter should be heard within two weeks give or take.

He said, “This should not take much longer than two weeks. The court, in the Barbados election case, had papers filed before them and in a very short space of time, they conducted the hearing on a Sunday and made the ruling. In the Guyana Cricket board matter, which I did, we filed our application for leave to appeal and a few weeks later we had a decision. “

The attorney continued, “I think that in important issues where people’s rights and a nation is at risk, they will take steps and hear the matters quickly. It is now upon the lawyers who are involved to file their appeal as fast as possible to get their record filed with the court and to get the court to hear the matter. This should not take very long.”


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