‘Historic milestone’: Court of Appeal hosts virtual application hearing

‘Historic milestone’: Court of Appeal hosts virtual application hearing

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Court of Appeal’s recent hearing of an application via Zoom marked a “historic milestone” and demonstrated that “although we may be bowed, we are not defeated”, a judge has noted.

February Point Resort Estates Ltd had applied for an extension of time to dispatch the record of appeal to the Privy Council.

The matter was granted by the appellate court, with the applicant having been given until May 18 to dispatch the record to England.

The case ultimately centered around a nearly $1 million real estate transaction between February Point Resort Estates Exuma and Malik Momin and the interpretation of section 62 of the Planning And Subdivision Act, 2010.

The latter was represented by attorney Christina Galanos with attorney Candice Hepburn representing February Point Resort Estates.

In May 2019, the Court of Appeal had ruled in favour of Momin, reversing a Supreme Court judge’s decision in favour of February Point in the dispute. The Court of Appeal subsequently granted February Point Resort Estates conditional leave to appeal its decision last November.

In a summation of the Court of Appeal’s reasoning for acceding to the April 21st application for an extension of time, Appeal Court Justice Jon Isaacs said: “The hearing of this application marked a significant and historic milestone in the life of this Court inasmuch as it was conducted via the Application known as ‘Zoom’.

This enabled the Court to convene in the sight and hearing of Counsel for the parties; and for Ms. Galanos’ client to listen to the proceedings. Further, the Court’s clerks and stenographer provided the necessary support for the hearing to occur and to be memorialised.”

The judge added: “ The Court’s recourse to the Zoom technology was made necessary due to the exigencies created by the COVID-19 pandemic which has caused the nation, and indeed countries around the world, to be placed under a state of emergency that has impinged on the everyday life and business of the country.

“The Court has not been immune to the effects of the disease; but this hearing demonstrated that although we may be bowed, we are not defeated.”