Boundaries Review Hearing Adjourned

(ZIZ)– The court was expected to reconvene on Friday morning to continue its review of proposed constituency boundaries changes. At a case management meeting in late February, instructions were given for filing submissions and a date for the judicial review was set for April 4th.

The court was expected to review among other claims, a challenge of the process used in preparing the boundaries change recommendations. However, the matter has again been adjourned. This is according to Anthony Astaphan QC who is leading the legal team on behalf of the Boundaries Commission.

He said, “We are here because the Boundaries Commission case; the challenge to the Boundaries Commission report; was scheduled to have been heard today (Friday April 4th). Yesterday (Thursday April 3rd) at around 8:20 we received an email requesting an adjournment and the party – well the local lawyers, the solicitors went to court to meet with the judge for a case management meeting and directions were requested and agreed and finalized this morning (Friday April 3rd) that will allow the prosecution of the case and its defence on the 16th of May, 2014.”

Mr. Astaphan continued that his team did not feel it necessary to oppose the injunction at this time so long as the matter is heard in reasonable time. He continued that the date set is completely acceptable and will allow his team to further review the case, refocus written submissions and prepare a more comprehensive case.

When asked if the adjournments suggest what the complainants’ attorneys may be strategizing and possible outcome of the matter, the renowned Dominican Queen’s Counsel had this to say:

“We figured that perhaps more time was necessary to respond to what we may have filed and now with the additional time, we now have more time to file. There were things that we clearly wanted in that were not in before in our submissions and I think this adjournment is going to strengthen our hand and to the extent that Mr. Forde and I have informed our respective clients that we are very comfortable with the state of play right now and that we were not going to fight over three weeks or a month. It’s right to have it done properly. The motion of no confidence matter is presently before the court in April in any event and the chances of that being heard either by Court of Appeal or the trial before the boundaries case is slim, if not nonexistent. So the judgement day will come…the case will be heard in May.”

The respondents in the matter are the Governor General, the Prime Minister, the Attorney General and the Constituency Boundaries Commission.

It is expected that whatever the outcome of the case on May 14th, there will very likely be an appeal.

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