At his press conference earlier today, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo lauded the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as Guyana’s judicial saving grace following its ruling that the December 21, 2018 No-Confidence Motion against the government was validly passed.

He told the media, “Faith has been restored in the judicial system. When the decision was made to join the CCJ we argued that we needed an external review to ensure insulation from political influence. Had we not had this external review then the no-confidence motion would have failed based on the decision of the Court of Appeal.”

However, the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) thinks otherwise of the CCJ.

CGID President Rickford Burke said, via a Facebook post, that in the ruling concerning the appointment of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chairman, Justice (Retired) James Patterson, the CCJ “ascribed a meaning to the Guyana constitution that is unsupported by its provisions, intentions of its framers, and irreparably interferes with the powers and responsibilities of the presidency.”

Regarding the ruling that the No-Confidence Motion was validly passed, Burke, who is a lawyer, said, “As a political matter, I’m not sure Guyanese want judges from Caribbean islands determining which political group should govern our country and when elections should be held. That must be determined by the will of the people, [expressed] through their franchise. We as a Republic may want to assess our role in the CCJ and the court’s benefits to our nation in the appellate jurisdiction.”

Prior to the ruling today, CGID never indicated any caution on the judicial jurisdiction of the CCJ as Guyana’s highest court. Guyana acceded to the CCJ’s appellate jurisdiction since 2005.



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