March 17 for High Court ruling on validity of Natural Resource Fund Act


The ruling in the challenge to the Natural Resource Fund Act, brought by the Opposition Chief Whip Christopher Jones, is set for March 17, 2023, with the trial into the matter concluding on Friday.

The matter concluded before Justice Navindra Singh at the Demerara High Court where an application was made by the parties to put submissions in writing before the court.

February 10, 2023, is set for those written submissions to be lodged while the parties will have up to February 20, 2023, to reply.

Following the conclusion of the trial, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, S.C. told reporters that he has “every confidence” that justice will prevail in the matter.

“This case should never have been filed in the first place, the law will never continence a party taking advantage of his own wrongdoing, the law is not structured that way,” Nandlall said.

“That is what this case is about, one side moving to the court to basically ask the court to vindicate their unlawful, unruly, and vulgar conduct in the National Assembly and the rule of law will never continence that type of behaviour,” he added.

Jones and Norris Witter, a trade unionist, together approached the High Court to contest the validity of the Natural Resource Fund Act, which was passed by the National Assembly in December 2021.

On the night of December 29, 2021, Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) protested in the House as the Bill was about to be voted on and when their shouting and blowing of whistles did nothing to prevent the government from moving forward, MP Annette Ferguson seized the Mace from the Chamber.

They are asking the court to grant a declaration that the holding and or continuation of proceedings of the National Assembly on the day in question with the use of a replacement Mace without any approved motion to do so, is ultra vires the Constitution.

The parties are also seeking to have funds that were taken or distributed from the NRF to be replenished.

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