President of the Guyana Bar Association, Attorney Teni Housty on Friday dismissed claims that the Chief Justice (acting) Roxane George-Wiltshire has shown bias in the legal challenge against the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
Stanley Marcus, GECOM’s attorney filed a Notice of Application for the Chief Justice to recuse herself from the case.
The Attorney based his case on a press statement from the Supreme Court of Judicature on July 24, 2019 in which it was noted that “the Chief Justice (ag) stated that the consequential orders of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) indicate that elections should be held by September 18, 2019 or such longer period as the National Assembly determines.”
The Chief Justice is currently dealing with a legal challenge against the House-to-House registration exercise filed by Attorney Christopher Ram. Ram is also asking for GECOM to begin preparations for elections by September 18.
The Bar Association President, who is party to the hearings in the House to House case noted that there must be evidence to support the claim of bias.
“There must be some evidence to support such an assertion,” he told the High Court Friday.
Housty said it is strange that Attorney Marcus spoke of bias but did not seek to advance his case when the court was called on Friday afternoon.
He noted that when the entire context of the statement is taken into consideration, Marcus is unable to convince the court of his claims.
Housty noted that a single claim is “not enough for recusal.”
Attorney Anil Nandlall who is representing Ram in the case noted that allegations of judicial bias are “extremely serious.”
He said such allegations can waste valuable court time in the process and if found to be without merit, can entail serious consequences.
However, Attorney Marcus argued that this can be a case of “unconscious bias” as it is not the court’s place to determine a date for elections.