Aug 05, 2020 News Comments Off on CCJ demands millions $$ in costs from AG, Harmon and others in election case
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has ordered that costs be awarded to newly elected President, Irfaan Ali, and Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, for the recently concluded election case.
According to recently appointed Attorney General (AG), Anil Nandall, the CCJ in its orders issued on July 31 last, awarded costs in the matter of Mohammed Irfaan Ali and Bharrat Jagdeo vs. Eslyn David and others.
David, an A Partnership for National Unity +Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) supporter was joined by Party Agent, Joseph Harmon, and the former Attorney General Basil Williams S.C in seeking to block the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from declaring the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) the winner of the March 2020 election.
The case was eventually discarded by the CCJ – Guyana’s Apex Court – which ordered that cost be paid by members of the losing team.
Among the orders, Nandall noted that the CCJ outlined that costs be paid jointly and severally by the AG, David and Harmon to Ali and Jagdeo.
The CCJ also ordered that the previous costs order made by the Court of Appeal be set aside and that only the costs awarded in that court to Ali and Jagdeo be paid by David.The CCJ in the order outlined that the award of costs is certified fit for two counsel to be taxed in default of agreement.
Setting aside the technical terms, the current AG explained that the order simply means that in respect of the Court of Appeal’s proceedings, David is to pay to Ali and Jagdeo, costs for two counsel which is to be taxed unless there is an agreement.
As regards the appeal to the CCJ, he said the Court orders the AG, David and Harmon to pay costs for two counsel unless there is an agreement.
Nandlall noted, however, that, that agreement is unlikely.
He explained that the costs to be taxed fit for two counsel will require an elaborate bill of costs to be submitted to the Court which would include all of the expenses associated with the two appeals, including stationery, photocopies, filing fees, preparation of pleadings, preparation of written submissions, preparation for oral arguments and appearances in the court.
According to Nandlall, the photocopying cost alone for one of the two appeals approximated to G$500,000.
“The charge out rate for one counsel approximates to several hundred US dollars per hour. Whatever is the sum for each appeal it will double (for two counsel). In short, several millions of dollars will have to be paid in costs by those against whom the orders are directed,” he said, adding that the cost is for a frivolous, vexatious and abusive litigation.
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