Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield did not make an appearance at the case management conference before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) even though he was notified of today’s proceedings.
The CCJ today held the case management conference on the application filed by the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) appealing the Court of Appeal’s ruling handed down on Monday last.
One of the lawyers representing the PPP/C, Douglas Mendes, informed the court that everything was done to ensure the CEO was present at today’s proceedings.
However, there was no attorney appearing on behalf of the Lowenfield at the hearing.
Nevertheless, the CCJ has since set strict deadlines for submissions from the various parties involved in the case.
CCJ President Justice Adrian Saunders, noted that the case management conference was not meant to delve into any substantive issue, but rather to determine what processes it would adopt in order to have the matters before it heard.
Justice Saunders outlined four core issues which he said are before the Court.
Firstly, whether the Court of Appeal had jurisdiction to entertain the application that was made to it.
Secondly, if the Court of Appeal lacked such jurisdiction, what is the consequence of this in relation to the proposed appeal to the CCJ.
Thirdly, if the Court of Appeal had rightly assumed jurisdiction, what is the consequence of that in relation to the proposed appeal to the CCJ.
And fourthly, if the Court of Appeal rightly assumed jurisdiction, and it exceeded its jurisdiction, what is the consequence of that in relation to the proposed appeal to the CCJ.
Justice Saunders said that in the interest of time, all the issues will be consolidated into one hearing on Wednesday, July 1 at 09:00hrs.
The relevant parties were given strict times as to when they are required to submit their written submissions, i.e. by 09:00hrs on Tuesday, June 30.
The CCJ on June 23 issued an order requiring the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and its officers and agents to take no step to prejudice the fair hearing of an Application made to the Court by PPP/C Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali and General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo.
The steps prohibit, including but not limited to, declaring the results of the Guyana elections held on March 2 2020 until the CCJ issued final orders following the hearing and determination of the questions raised before it in the said application.The CCJ today reaffirmed that the order remains.
Today’s case management conference was heard via video conference in light of the global Coronavirus pandemic.