An application made by lawyers for the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) to have High Court Judge, Bernie Stephenson, recuse herself from a matter on electoral reform now before the court, has been denied by the judge.
On Friday, November 29, 2019, both sides put forward arguments but lawyers for the government opposed the application.
According to the lead lawyer, Lennox Lawrence, they opposed the application to have the judge recuse herself and he is now happy that she has ruled in his favour.
“We vehemently opposed the application based on the law; the application could not succeed because you had to show bias on the part of the Judge (clear law on that) the affidavits in support of the application was totally deficient making some sensational political comments which were irrelevant to the matter and so the Judge ruled that she will not recuse herself and has given us directions to file submissions for trial,” Lawrence told reporters outside the courthouse on Saturday.
However, he explained that on Monday, December 2, 2019, when the matter goes to trial, they will be contesting the application for judicial review.”
Lawrence called that application “an abuse of the court’s process.”
“We are saying it is an abuse of the process of the court and we are saying that the court does not have jurisdiction to hear that matter and is asking that it be struck off,” he argued. “This should not be for court but for the political platform; it has no merit at all. We are asking that this matter be thrown out of the court since it’s a total abuse of the court’s process.”
Cara Shillingford, the lead counsel for the applicants has refused to speak on the matter until after the court makes a ruling.
The president of the electoral reform pressure group, Concerned Citizens Movement, Loftus Durand, and six other persons, have filed an application seeking the deferment of the December 6 General Election in order to have electoral reform implemented before elections can be held.