CCJ sets July 8 to deliver decision on PPP/C’s challenge to Appeal Court ruling

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The virtual hearing for Mohammed Irfaan Ali et al v Eslyn David et al case before the Caribbean Court of Justice.

The Caribbean Court of Justice has set next Wednesday, July 8 to deliver its judgment on the appeal brought by the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) challenging the ruling handed down by Guyana’s Court of Appeal on jurisdiction to interpret the Constitution.

Today’s marathon hearing began with Trinidadian Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes laying out his reasons why the Court of Appeal exceeded its jurisdiction in interpreting the Article 177 (2) of the Constitution to say “more votes are cast” should mean “more ‘valid’ votes are cast”.

Mendes, who is representing PPP/C’s Bharrat Jagdeo and Irfaan Ali, cited Eslyn David’s submissions which the Appeal Court had ruled on, pointing out that they failed to reach the threshold for jurisdiction under Article 177(4) of the Constitution.

His argument is that if the Court of Appeal exceeded its jurisdiction, then the finality clause does not apply to the case.

Next in the lineup was Senior Counsel John Jeremie, who represents David; he sought to rebut Mendes arguments.

In the middle of telling the Court that Mendes cannot tell him what an election is, CCJ Judge Adrian Saunders interjected to ask whether there is any precedent for his arguments.

In fact, Jeremie had cited a case which CCJ Justice Marueen Rajnauth-Lee noted is actually harmful to his position.

It was not until 16:25hrs in the afternoon that Jeremie was able cite his precedent, a Mauritian case from 2011 that the Privy Council decided on.

The CCJ is expected to deliver its ruling at 15:00hrs.