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Judge throws out preliminary argument challenging make-up of the Senate

Judge throws out preliminary argument challenging make-up of the Senate

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Justice Cicely Chase has just given the go-ahead for the Senate to meet with 18 members as she threw out preliminary arguments in the constitutional motion brought by Queen’s Counsel Garth Patterson.

The decision came as Prime Minister Mia Mottey began her Budget Speech in the House of Assembly.

The judge has also ruled President the Most Honourable, Dame Sandra Mason, had properly convened Parliament when she appointed only 18 senators.

In a more than three-hour decision, the judge has further said there was no evidence to suggest that the President acted unlawfully.

In addition, the judge denied Patterson’s request to cross-examine current Attorney General Dale Marshall.

Attorneys for both sides will be back before the judge to argue the issue of cost and the substantive issue on April 12.

The motion was brought by former attorney general Adriel Brathwaite, and alleged that with only 18 members, instead of 21, the Senate was not properly constituted and, therefore, by extension, neither was Parliament.

Yesterday ahead of the judgement, president of the Senate Reginald Farley, told the Daily Nation the Upper House would convene on Wednesday.

The Senate has not met since February 4 during a joint sitting with the House of Assembly at the official opening of Parliament at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. (HLE)