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Judicial Council Decisions of 2021

JUDICIAL COUNCIL DECISION NO 1 OF 2021

Judicial Council Decision 1

DIGEST (BOD ¶713.1)

In a written decision handed down on 22 March 2021:

  1. The Judicial Council (by a 8-1 majority) affirmed the decision of the Presiding Officer of the 45th Session of The Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference (“ETAC”) to (i) dispense with the casting of ballots; and (ii) declare the sole eligible candidate for the office of President as the 12th Quadrennium ETAC President.
  2. In arriving at its decision, the Judicial Council ruled that ¶582 of The Book of Discipline calling for the election of the President of an Annual Conference by secret ballot is ambiguous as to whether ballots would still have to be cast and a formal vote taken where there is only one eligible candidate for the office of President in a particular election.
  3. The Judicial Council ruled that in the face of such ambiguity and on the facts, the decision made by the Presiding Officer was neither unreasonable, arbitrary nor improper. The Judicial Council further noted that the Annual Conference, which had the ability to challenge the Presiding Officer’s decision, had not mounted any challenge.

 

Judicial Council Decision 2

DIGEST (BOD ¶713.1)

In a written decision handed down on 22 March 2021:

  1. The Judicial Council unanimously decided not to vary or reverse the decision of the Presiding Officer of the 45th Session of The Trinity Annual Conference (“TRAC”) to include “Abstain” e-ballots in the 4th e-Ballot vote count as part of the total of “members present and voting” on the election of the 12th Quadrennium TRAC President.
  2. The Judicial Council noted that the Presiding Officer’s decision had been guided by the following considerations:
      • This was the first time that balloting was carried out using the e-Ballot voting system.
    • The e-Ballot voting system had listed “Abstain” as one of the options available for selection without differentiation in appearance from the other options.
    • No explanation had been given or ruling made as to what the requirement “members present and voting” would mean in the context of the e-Ballot voting system, prior to the e-ballot being taken.
    • He did not wish for the election of the new President to be decided under any cloud of dispute and hence ruled that “Abstain” e-ballots (there were three such e-ballots) would count as votes cast.
  3. The Judicial Council observed that in the present case, there is nothing to suggest that the inclusion of the three “Abstain” choices changed the ultimate outcome of 4th e-Ballot.
  4. The Judicial Council also agreed with the Presiding Officer that in the interest of clarity, should an “Abstain” choice be included in future e-ballot forms, it would be prudent to explain, prior to the casting of votes, that an “Abstain” choice is a choice not to cast a vote.
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