Ignoring CCJ in name of independence or sovereignty is folly

first_imgDear EditorBy virtue of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana (the Constitution), the Caribbean Court of Justice Act 2004 (CCJ Act) and the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice (the Agreement), the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is Guyana’s highest court of superior record, whose orders must not be disobeyed.I make this statement in light of words which the media, on Friday, June 21, 2019, attributed to two senior Government Ministers. Media reports are Minister of State, Mrs Dawn Hastings-Williams said that “GECOM is the only authoritative body that will inform the Government whether they’re ready or not for elections. CCJ cannot rule; Guyana has its own institution.” She is also said to have told reporters that “Guyana is an independent country with its own independent laws”.Meanwhile, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Karen Cummings, was quoted as saying that “we abide by the rules but at the same time, we have to take care of our sovereignty”.The statements were made against the backdrop of the CCJ’s judgment in the no-confidence cases.These words seem to suggest that Guyana can ignore an order of the CCJ on the basis of independence or sovereignty. It is a curious curiosity that Ministers occupying the highest strata of Government office would hold such opinions on legal questions, and more gravely, share those opinions with members of the public.Surely, the nature of both of these portfolios dictates, at least, a working knowledge of the nature, function, and powers of the CCJ. Moreover, both Ministers have the benefit of competent in-house counsel, and/or the assistance of the Attorney General’s Chambers. I am, therefore, prepared to assume that despite the words used, neither Minister intended to suggest that ignoring an order of the CCJ is an option.However, intentional or not, posts across several social media platforms suggest that this is exactly what was received by many Guyanese. In the premises, and in contemplation of the fact that a monumental number of Guyanese depend exclusively on senior Government officials for statements of political, socio-economic, and legal fact, I take this opportunity to offer some clarity.The CCJ is a creature of the Agreement, a regional treaty by which Guyana is bound. Article III (1) (b) of the Agreement establishes the appellate jurisdiction of the CCJ, and “the decisions of the court are final”: Article III (2). Guyana signed the Agreement on 14 February 2001.In the same year, Article 123 (4), was added to the Constitution to allow Parliament to “…make provision…authorising any court established or to be established, as the final court of appeal for the Caribbean to be the final court of appeal for Guyana.” It is apposite to note that Article 123 (4) of the Constitution, one in a suite of amendments in the Constitution (Amendment) (Number 4) Act 2001, was specifically engineered, and effected to permit Parliament power to accept the then not yet established CCJ as Guyana’s final court.Parliament exercised that power when it passed the CCJ Act, which, by section 3, gave the entire Agreement legal force in Guyana. As such, decisions from the Court of Appeal may be appealed to the CCJ, whose decisions in those matters are authoritative, and final. Indeed, the result eventuated by these laws is that while the CCJ exists outside of Guyana’s terrestrial jurisdiction, it exists, and functions within our judicial hierarchy, and legal framework.On the subject of sovereignty, contemporary international law authorities espouse the generally accepted view that sovereignty is of variable magnitude, shrinking, or expanding in accordance with the contraction, or proliferation of international law. Views that sovereignty is either constant or absolute are outdated.Furthermore, Guyana exercised this sovereignty in agreeing to be bound by the appellate jurisdiction of the CCJ. In doing so, it willingly ceded a portion of its sovereignty in so far as it is bound by law to comply with orders of a regional court. This reality exemplifies the view often iterated by Professor Duke EE Pollard that the essence of sovereignty is the faculty to compromise it.In the premises, any suggestion that an order of the CCJ may be ignored in the name of independence or sovereignty is folly. Further, while GECOM is best placed to determine when elections can practically be held, if the court finds that GECOM’s actions or considerations fall outside of what is required, it may make an order which influences when elections are held.Sincerely,Chevy A Devonishlast_img read more

Everton want Arsenal ace, Wenger to return to football, Neymar back at Barca?

first_img Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer IN DEMAND Lionel Messi could be allowed to leave Barcelona in a free transfer in 2020, if the Argentina superstar does not join another ‘elite’ league. (Mundo Deportivo)Neymar has been sounding out Barcelona over a shock return to Camp Nou. The Brazilian forward joined Barca in 2013 and went on to score 105 goals for the Catalans before he left for PSG in a world-record deal last summer. FULL STORY HEREReal Madrid are ready to make a move for Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling after watching him down Spain in the UEFA Nations League. FULL STORY HEREEverton are entering the race to sign Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey. The Welsh midfielder will be available on a free transfer in the summer and it’s believed Marco Silva is extremely keen on landing him. FULL STORY HEREFormer Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, plans to return to football in January after receiving ‘enquiries from all over the world’. FULL STORY HERE Could forgotten Liverpool man Divock Origi be playing in Everton blue next year? moving on Liverpool star Alberto Moreno could join Sevilla or Napoli next summerFrenkie De Jong: Manchester City preparing £80million bid for highly rated Ajax youngster Nathan Ake: Chelsea could ruin Manchester United and Tottenham’s chances of signing Bournemouth defender Atletico Madrid make Cesc Fabregas their No.1 target in January Arsenal and Tottenham told they can sign Roma sensation for £44million 4 Manchester United will now focus on a new contract for number one goalkeeper David de Gea, after breakthroughs in negotiations with Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial. (Evening Standard)Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso has revealed he is set to sign a contract extension with the Blues “in the coming days”. (AS)Liverpool striker Divock Origi will be the subject of a tug of war between Turkish rivals Galatasaray and Besiktas in Janaury – although Everton are also interested in the 23-year-old Belgian. FULL STORY HEREArsenal have entered the race to sign Cagliari and Italy midfielder Nicolo Barella, with AC Milan and Inter Milan also keen on the 21-yea-old. (Gazzetta dello Sport)Federico Chiesa insists he is ‘happy’ at Fiorentina amid reported interest from Chelsea and Liverpool. FULL STORY HERE LIVING THE DREAM Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland 4 Ferdinand says Eric Dier would be ’embarrassed’ by Sam Allardyce’s comparisons to Sergio Busquets Tottenham are seriously considering a move for 23-year-old Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake. (Sky Sports)Spurs are also tracking 22-year-old Sampdoria centre-back Joachim Andersen. (Sport Mediaset)Bournemouth are planning new contract talks with Scotland winger Ryan Fraser. (The Sun)Newcastle United are close to agreeing a new contract with 20-year-old English midfielder Sean Longstaff. (Chronicle) Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ 4 Transfer news on talkSPORT.comcenter_img 4 The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star LATEST Could Lionel Messi leave Barcelona for nothing in just two years’ time? RANKED targets Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father targets REVEALED Latest talkSPORT.com headlines:Paul Merson blasts ‘typical Arsenal’ over Aaron Ramsey contract fiascoEXCLUSIVE: Sam Allardyce says Tottenham star Eric Dier is as good as Barcelona’s Sergio BusquetsEric Dier would be embarrassed by comparison to Barcelona legend Sergio Busquets, says Rio Ferdinand EXCLUSIVE: Saudi takeover would make Manchester United no better than ‘artificial clubs’ Manchester City and Chelsea, says Simon Jordan EXCLUSIVE: Premier League clubs must give young players more game time if England are to improve, warns John Barnes The transfer window may be closed but the gossip never stops!Here’s a round up of the latest news and rumours from Wednesday’s newspapers and online… Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade last_img read more