CCJ hears arguments on criminal conviction appeal at inaugural Guyana sitting

Justice David Hayton striding into the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara yesterday morning for the inaugural sitting of the CCJ here. (Photo by Arian Browne)

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), sitting for the first time in Guyana, yesterday heard arguments on an application for special leave to appeal a criminal conviction and will give its ruling later.

Hearing arguments in the case of Paul Lashley and John Campayne v Detective Corporal Winston Singh were CCJ President Sir Dennis Byron and other members of the court, Justice David Hayton, Justice Jacob Wit, Justice Winston Anderson and Justice Adrian Saunders.

The sitting, which is the first in Guyana, was held at the Guyana International Conference Centre at Liliendaal, where the court will sit again today with two more matters down to be heard.

Justice David Hayton striding into the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara yesterday morning for the inaugural sitting of the CCJ here. (Photo by Arian Browne)
Justice David Hayton striding into the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara yesterday morning for the inaugural sitting of the CCJ here. (Photo by Arian Browne)

Attorneys Sanjeev Datadin and Charles Ramson Jnr represented the applicants Lashley and Campayne, while attorney Sonia Joseph, who is attached to the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions, represented the respondent.

The matter was called promptly at 10 am and arguments lasted for about an hour and a half.

Opening the arguments were Datadin and Ramson. Ramson later explained to reporters that the matter was an application for special leave to appeal in a criminal matter. He said that his clients were charged with break and enter and larceny in the Magistrate’s Court and were subsequently convicted. He said they subsequently appealed the matter in the Court of Appeal but lost. “We are now seeking to take that appeal to the CCJ. Before we get there we need the court’s leave…,” he explained.

He said that at this hearing, the aim was to show that the court has the jurisdiction “to grant us leave, then we have to be able to demonstrate to the court that there are good grounds for them to give us leave to appeal… if they think that we don’t have any merit they would refuse it.”

In his arguments, Datadin examined the relationship between sections seven and eight of the CCJ Act as he sought to demonstrate that there was an arguable appeal. Among the grounds that he cited was the incompetence of counsel at trial. Both men are currently serving four-year prison terms.

Meanwhile, Joseph sought to convince the court that the applicants had no case but encountered some difficulty while making her arguments. She was told that she was “nine years too late with the argument,” and at another point during her submissions, she was told that the position that she was advocating had little chance of success. Joseph told the court that there was no evidence before the court that the men’s legal counsel did not take instructions from his clients.

President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Sir Dennis Byron leads other judges into the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara yesterday morning for the inaugural sitting of the CCJ here. Justice Byron, who is the second president succeeded Justice Michael de la Bastide in 2011. (Photo by Arian Browne)
President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Sir Dennis Byron leads other judges into the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara yesterday morning for the inaugural sitting of the CCJ here. Justice Byron, who is the second president succeeded Justice Michael de la Bastide in 2011. (Photo by Arian Browne)

Ramson, when asked how he felt they did during the hearing, responded, “Time will tell. Time will tell.”

He also told reporters that what is important to note is the significance of the court presiding here in Guyana. “I think that it is an honour and privilege for us, or  Guyana to host the CCJ…,” he said, while issuing an invite to all the other Caribbean countries to get on board with the CCJ. “…This is a national and regional appellate jurisdiction and there is no need at this stage for other countries to decline/refuse to sign on,” he said.

Several members of the local legal fraternity turned up to witness the hearing. Among those present were head of the University of Guyana Law Faculty Sheldon A. McDonald and students.

Today, at 10 am, the case of Feizal Mohamed Amin (trading under the name style and firm of Amin Lumber Enterprise) v Guyana Oil Company Limited will be heard while another matter, Daniel Ramlagan by Ramkumarie Ramlagan v Narine Singh by Saiojine Singh will be heard at 12.15 pm.

The culmination of the CCJ’s itinerant visit will be a special sitting in honour of the retirement of Justice Desiree Bernard tomorrow.

 

 

 

Comments  

Section of Kitty Public Rd to be closed from Wednesday

A section of the Kitty Public Road is to be closed from Wednesday as the Ministry of Public Infrastructure steps up road works in the area.

Nandlall rejects Harmon explanation on Police Service Commission

Anil Nandlall Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall today rejected an explanation by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon over the government’s directive to the Police Service Commission to halt promotions.

Prisoners in Lusignan holding area hand over 33 improvised weapons

The improvised weapons (Prisons photo) Prison Staff this morning with the support of the members of the other services, reported for duty at the new holding area lusignan Prison.

Regional nations plus U.S. condemn Venezuela’s new constituent assembly

Nicolas Maduro CARACAS/LIMA, (Reuters) – A group of 12 regional nations plus the United States rejected Venezuela’s new government-allied legislative superbody, saying they would continue to regard the opposition-controlled congress as the country’s only legitimate law maker.

18 Lusignan prisoners hurt after reported bid to kill ‘informant’

Eighteen prisoners at the Lusignan penitentiary were being treated for injuries last night following a reported attempt to kill a fellow inmate during which warders fired shots.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×