CARIBBEAN COURT OF JUSTICE HANDS DOWN DECISION OVER PROF. EDDY VENTOSE Vs EBC & MAY 24th POLL

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), based in Port Of Spain, handed down an unprecedented Sunday decision over an appeal from Barbados which now paves the way for a resident of that nation to receive his right to vote.

Professor Eddy Ventose, a St. Lucian national who has lived in Barbados for several years, has been ordered by the CCJ to be included on the Barbados electoral register.

He alleges under the prevailing laws he is qualified and entitled to be registered to vote by virtue of being a Commonwealth citizen. The Chief Justice of Barbados, sitting as a trial judge, after hearing arguments on the matter, had issued the order compelling the Chief Electoral Officer to allow Professor Ventose to be registered to vote.

The Court of Appeal in Barbados on Monday, May 7th ruled that Professor Ventose was entitled to be registered to vote but stopped short of compelling Mrs Angela Taylor – the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to enroll him on the register of voters, instead the Court ordered the CEO to determine Professor Ventose’s claim within 24 hours; however Professor Ventose asked the CCJ to declare as a person who satisfies the necessary requirements, he’s entitled to be registered to vote and to order the CEO to enter his name on the final voters’ list ahead of its publication this week.

The CCJ’s decision affects other Commonwealth citizens, resident in Barbados for the relevant qualifying period, who are also claiming a right to be registered as voters under the Barbados laws. Justice Dennis Byron in delivering the final arbitration on the application from Professor Ventose’s appeal and so ordered the CEO, Mrs Taylor, to process and register Professor Ventose by 12 Noon of Monday, 14th May 2018 or face Contempt Charges which is a fine, imprisonment or both.

The CCJ embraced technology which enables them to have a virtual courtroom. For the deliberation, attorneys appeared from their Chambers in Barbados while the Judges of the CCJ chose to hear the matter in their courtroom, By using this technology, there is greater flexibility in how matter can be heard, both for the CCJ and for court users.

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