Shackron’s Disqualification Print E-mail
( 2 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 01 March 2012 00:00

ShackronAt around 9 a.m. on Friday, February 17th, all parties crowded into the courtroom of Justice Oswell Legall.  Attorneys Lisa Shoman and Magali Marin – Young represented the claimant Yolanda Schakron, while Attorneys Rodwell Williams and Michael Young represented Noreen Fairweather, the Returning Officer for Lake Independence, and the Attorney General.

Attorney Lisa Shoman outlined her application for an  injunction on the grounds that there is a threat, via a press release from the Government Press Office, that Schakron’s nomination would be blocked.

Shoman informed the court that she needed an adjournment of the matter to confer with her client because it was still unsure that the Returning Officer would object to Schakron’s nomination.

Justice Legall granted her an adjournment until 10:30 a.m. He also voiced his discontent to do so because Shoman had pressed the court for a 9 o’clock hearing, when he had advised that 10 o’clock would be a better time because he had other matters to attend to at first.
She would not return until 10:40 a.m., and she informed the court that Fairweather had objected to Schakron’s nomination. Fairweather said that she would review Schakron’s case before she made a final decision. And with that, the submissions were made. Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams was up first, and his submission, which lasted for 45 minutes, was based on the principle that the claimant’s reasoning is flawed.

Williams submitted that Schakron’s constitutional rights were not being violated because there is a due course of action that can be taken after the Returning Officer’s decision to uphold an objection to her nomination.

That process happens by way of an election petition. In fact, he reasoned further that if there was an objection, and the Returning Officer refused it, allowing Schakron’s nomination to proceed, it would be a violation of the constitutional rights of the person who made the objection because by election rules, this decision is final.

 Williams further submitted that the application is premature because the court does not have the jurisdiction to review the Returning Officer’s decision until after she has made it. He also said that the proper procedure would follow that Schakron would have to make an election petition to the court.

Whether or not this injunction should be granted to restrain the Returning Officer from refusing Schakron’s nomination became a moot point, because at 11:30, Williams informed the court that Fairweather had made her decision, and she ruled to disallow Schakron’s candidacy. Co-counsel, Magali Marin- Young informed the court that due to the photograph that 7News aired in its story, Fairweather was convinced that Schakron had sworn allegiance to another nation.

After hearing this, Justice Legall informed Shoman that her application is no longer valid because the Returning Officer already had made her decision.  Shoman then asked for another five-minute adjournment so that she could amend her application for the injunction that she was seeking on behalf of her client.

Justice Legall and attorneys Rodwell Williams and Michael Young listened in surprise as Shoman read her amended application off her writing pad. Young told the court that Shoman had not followed the proper procedure and filed the application and the affidavits to support it. Nevertheless, Justice Legall allowed it given the urgency of the matter.

It had to be amended a second time, but her new application asked for Justice Legall to issue an order to suspend the Returning Officer’s decision, and restrain her from upholding any objection to Schakron’s nomination based on her dual citizenship.

She and Co-counsel Marin- Young submitted that Schakron had already renounced her allegiance to the United States, and therefore, it should not be used against her to deny her candidacy based on the completion of a process in the US.

From, there both sides argued back and forth about the jurisdiction of the Returning Officer based on the election rules and on the Constitution. Williams and Young were of the opinion that the officer had the jurisdiction to determine if Schakron is qualified to be elected, which includes a judgment on her dual citizenship status.

Shoman made the opposite submission by saying that the officer had the jurisdiction to refuse Schakron’s candidacy based on the nomination rules. She submitted that the officer has the authority to refuse a candidate’s nomination only on the grounds of the $200 fee, or the 6 other people required to make the nomination.

In the end, Justice Legall refused Shoman’s application to suspend the Returning Officer’s decision which refused Schakron’s nomination.

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