22nd Feb 2024
CCJ Grants Jagdeo’s Appeal in Ferguson Libel Matter In a 29-page ruling handed down this afternoon, the Caribbean Court of Justice granted Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo’s appeal reversing the Court of Appeal’s rejection to hear his application for leave to… Read more
In a 29-page ruling handed down this afternoon, the Caribbean Court of Justice granted Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo’s appeal reversing the Court of Appeal’s rejection to hear his application for leave to appeal the High Court’s refusal to set aside the default judgment rendered in the Annette Ferguson libel matter. Jagdeo was represented by attorney Devindra Kissoon of London House Chambers, and Ferguson, by attorney Lyndon Amsterdam.
High Court Judge Sandra Kurtzious had previously granted default judgment in favour of Ferguson and issued an award of damages and costs against Jagdeo in the amount of G$20M. Jagdeo unsuccessfully applied to set aside that decision, Justice Kurtzious refusing to do so, she only setting aside the award of damages.
He subsequently appealed that refusal to the Full Court. On hearing the appeal, Justice Priya Beharry ruled in favour of Jagdeo, while Chief Justice Roxane George disagreed and ruled that the default judgment should not be set aside, resulting in a divided Full Court.
Upon learning of the divided decision, Kissoon applied to the Full Court for a rehearing before three judges, or alternatively for leave to file a fresh Full Court appeal. Both applications were again denied.
By operation of the provisions of the High Court Act, the result of a divided Full Court was that Justice Kurtzious’ refusal was upheld.
Jagdeo, through his lawyer Kissoon, then applied to the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal the Full Court decision and for a stay of proceedings. The Court of Appeal, in a judgment delivered by Justice Rishi Persaud, along with Chancellor Yonette Cummings and Justice Dawn Gregory, refused to hear the application for leave, saying that the Court had no jurisdiction to do so, and ordered that the High Court proceed with its assessment of damages against Jagdeo. The Court of Appeal also ruled that since there was divided Full Court, the decision was not appealable.
Despite Kissoon’s multiple attempts to stay the assessment hearing both in the Court of Appeal and the High Court, the application for a stay was not granted, Justice Kurtzious proceeding with the assessment hearing despite the pendency of the CCJ Appeal, and indicated that she would rule on a quantum before the end of January 2024.
Having lost five applications in three lower courts, Jagdeo then turned to the CCJ for relief, successfully reversing the Court of Appeal decision.
In so doing, the CCJ, citing Jagdeo’s “impressive submission”, agreed that “it would be contrary to the objective and intent of the statutory regime of appeals to hold that the Court of Appeal has no jurisdiction to give leave simply because of the happenstance that the Full Court was composed of two High Court judges who were divided in their opinions. It must be extremely doubtful that the legislature would have invested the Court of Appeal with jurisdiction to give leave to hear an appeal from a decision reached by a three-member Full Court but to divest the Court of Appeal of that jurisdiction simply because there was a two-member Full Court which had divided opinions.”
Importantly, the CCJ noted that if the Court of Appeal’s decision was followed, “it would forever inoculate the decision of a single High Court Judge from review and thereby, potentially, forever immunize injustices from correction and for no good forensic reason intelligible upon any fair and reasonable reading of the legislation.”
Accordingly, the CCJ granted Jagdeo’s appeal and remitted the matter back to the Court of Appeal to consider the pending application for leave to appeal. It also granted his application to stay the High Court’s assessment of damages, pending the final outcome of proceedings.
14th Dec 2022
2nd Dec 2022
London House Chambers represented the Government of Guyana in a US$750 million sale of some of Guyana’s carbon credits to the Hess Corporation. The major deal between the government and the global energy giant, which was the first of its… Read more
London House Chambers represented the Government of Guyana in a US$750 million sale of some of Guyana’s carbon credits to the Hess Corporation. The major deal between the government and the global energy giant, which was the first of its kind, will see the company purchasing 2.5 million carbon credits annually for the years 2016 to 2030. The multi-year pact was signed between the government and Hess Corporation at the Baridi Benab, State House, Georgetown.
Carbon credits provide financial incentives to preserve forests and biodiversity that are at risk due to the growing economic activities and demand for natural resources. President Ali said while the agreement serves to support Guyana’s efforts to protect its vast forests, resources will also be provided to improve the lives of Guyanese through investment, as part of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030.
For context, the LCDS is a framework intended to map the path of a new growth trajectory in a non-polluting way. It outlines how the country’s abundant natural resources can be used to combat global climate change while building the foundation for a sustainable, low-carbon economy.
President Ali said the importance of the forests and their significance in the fight against climate change has consistently been championed by Guyana, particularly by former president and now Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo. The head of state emphasised that the hallmark agreement clearly shows Guyana providing leadership on a critical issue, which has now gone a step further.
The Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) announced Thursday that it has issued about 33.5 million TREES credits to Guyana, making it the first country worldwide to receive the status.
1st Sep 2021
Source: Newsroom Prominent Attorney Devindra Kissoon was on Wednesday elected, unopposed and uncontested, as the new President of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) Guyana. Also appointed during the Chamber’s Third Annual General Meeting (AGM) were Iman Cummings, Shyam Nokta… Read more
Prominent Attorney Devindra Kissoon was on Wednesday elected, unopposed and uncontested, as the new President of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) Guyana.
Also appointed during the Chamber’s Third Annual General Meeting (AGM) were Iman Cummings, Shyam Nokta and Edwardo Repele as Vice Presidents.
Along with several other persons who will serve on the new Executive and Board is Fitzroy McCloud who will be returning as the Treasurer.
Kissoon received congratulatory greetings from President Irfaan Ali and United States Ambassador to Guyana Sarah Ann Lynch who both joined the Chamber for its AGM at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).
But accompanying the Head-of-State’s congratulatory message was a challenge to Kissoon who, Dr. Ali said, served as his lawyer in the past.
The President said AMCHAM must be at the forefront of ensuring Guyana’s Catfish and Gilbacker get back into the US market and challenged Kissoon to ensure that at least one of Guyana’s agro-processing facilities gets FDA approval within the next year.
Dr. Ali urged Kissoon to be aggressive in his work to get Guyanese businesses into the U.S market.
With Kissoon’s predecessor Zulfikar Ally securing a diplomatic post to Washington D.C (Deputy Chief of Mission), Dr. Ali said there should be no barriers now to representing Guyana’s interest in the United States.
Kissoon is the founding member of London House Chambers, and has been routinely ranked by Chambers and Partners as one of the most accomplished lawyers in Guyana.
He has handled the largest capital markets transaction in Guyana and most recently represented
Morgan Stanley and Bank of America in a US$300,000,000 private bond issuance secured in Guyana. He was responsible for the liberalization of the Telecommunications industry in Guyana and is currently working on some of the Guyana’s most sophisticated commercial transactions
In his first speech since being elected as AMCHAM’s President, Kissoon said since the launching of the Chamber in 2018, it has firmly established itself as a key and leading private sector organization that continues to foster mutually beneficial trade and commercial relationships between the United States and Guyana.
He assured that under his presidency AMCHAM is ready and able to play a pivotal role.
“We will continue to take our fiduciary role seriously, to provide our members with the highest possible service in promoting trade and investment, business development services, continued representation, and efforts to improve the local business climate.
“During my tenure as President, the Chamber will increase focus on attracting foreign investment to Guyana, increase joint ventures between Guyanese and American firms, increase AmCham’s civil society role and work with the relevant authorities in bolstering our legal system to increase efficiency and enforcement of contracts as well as general improvement in the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Rankings,” he said.
Ally also delivered brief remarks, listing among the Chamber’s major achievements since its launch to be:
- Facilitating US Companies entrance into Guyana and promoting joint ventures;
- Supporting democracy; and
- Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility.
- Diversity and Inclusion