The balance of convenience is an important consideration in granting injunctions

Stabroek News
August 4, 2001

Dear Editor,

On June 28, 2001, the Honourable Chief Justice Mr Carl Singh in the case of Wanita Teekaram, Bevon Currie et al vs the Guyana Public Service Union granted an ex parte injuction to the said Teekaram, Currie and others which restrained the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) from proceeding with the 14th Biennial Delegates Conference.

I am advised by counsel for the GPSU that in the granting of an injunction a judge must satisfy himself or herself among other things that the balance of convenience lies in favour of the

grant of such an order. In the case I mentioned above I wonder whether the Honourable Chief Justice considered convenience or inconvenience on the GPSU's part in:

_ the cost of assembling our delegates from the ten administrative regions of Guyana

- the cost of logistics involved in planning and preparing for the conference.

- the convenience of prominent persons in society who had already committed their time to the conference.

The case of the Guyana Public Service Union and the Government of Guyana, action number 141-M of 2000 is illustrative of the points I make. In that case the GPSU sought a declaration that the decision of the government through its representatives not to deduct and pay over to the GPSU agency fees and union dues which had already been deducted from public service employees for the month of June 2000 on behalf of the GPSU is a deprivation of property of the union in contravention of Articles 40 and 142 of the Constitution of Guyana.

Senior Counsel for the union argued that the granting of a conservatory order by the judge will not cause hardship to the government in that there is an existing scheme of deductions for union dues and agency fees which has been in effect for the past 46 and 21 years respectively and there is not and has never been any complaint of hardship by the government, and that the balance of convenience/justice favours the maintenance of the status quo ante until the hearing and determination of the proceedings.

Justice Carl Singh who was the Judge in that matter refused to grant the order and instructed that the documents be served on the government.

Yours faithfully,

Patrick M Yarde


Guyana Public Service Union