Justice Damone Younge has adjourned the case brought by APNU+AFC Member of Parliament, Vinceroy Jordan over the delays in the appointment of the Chancellor and Chief Justice to January 11, 2023.
The adjournment followed a request from the Attorney General.
In a letter to Justice Damone Younge’s Registrar, Solicitor General Nigel Hawke explained that the Attorney General is in The Hague representing Guyana at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the hearings on the border matter.
“The Honourable Attorney General is currently engaged before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, in the case concerning the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899 (Guyana v. Venezuela), and will now return to the jurisdiction until 24 November 2022,” the Solicitor General explained.
The Solicitor General said given the importance of the case, the Attorney General should be given an opportunity to deliver his oral arguments personally.
Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde who is representing the Opposition Member of Parliament who filed the case objected to the request.
“We agree that the matter is of the utmost public importance. Our application deals with the dereliction of Constitutional duties by His Excellency, President Ali owed to the people of Guyana. It is for this reason that we must insist that the hearing of oral arguments proceed as scheduled unless an adjournment is absolutely necessary. The people of Guyana are entitled to a justice and timely determination of this matter,” the Senior Counsel told the Court’s Registrar.
He contended that an adjournment was not necessary but rather preferred by the respondent. He was also keen on pointing out that the Attorney General was scheduled to deliver oral arguments before the ICJ between 10:00hrs and 10:45hrs on November 22.
Senior Counsel Forde submitted that the Attorney General had a variety of options besides adjourning the hearing.
“The Attorney General could appear remotely by Zoom. The Attorney General could assign a member of his Chambers to provide oral arguments. Mr Nigel Hawke, Solicitor General; Ms Shoshanna V. Lall; and Mr Chevy A. Devonish, among others, have appeared for him in this cse thus far,” Mr Forde submitted.
He said the Attorney General had not explained why oral arguments made remotely or by other Counsel would be insufficient.
When the matter was called today, the Solicitor General made a case for the adjournment.
However, Attorney Selwyn Pieters, who is also representing MP Jordan objected to the request, but the Judge granted the adjournment anyway.
Attorney Pieters told News Source that while Justice Younge granted the adjournment, she indicated that the Court is not prepared to grant any further adjournments.
MP Jordan, in his application, has asked the Court to declare that since assuming Office, President Irfaan Ali has failed to engage the Leader of the Opposition on the appointment of the Chancellor and Chief Justice in according with Article 127 of the Constitution. He is also seeking an order directing the President to initiate the constitutional process forthwith.
Since 2005, the offices of Chancellor and Chief Justice, in Guyana have been without full appointments. The Opposition Leader has indicated that he is fully supportive of the two Judges acting in the positions of Chancellor and Chief Justice to be confirmed to the posts.