August 12, 2006


As I embark on my research on the CCJ, I am interested in your views and general comments on the topic.

As time goes by, I will be conducting surveys to incorporate this into my research.

For now, here's your opportunity to: HAVE YOUR SAY.

Click on the COMMENTS and post your views.

You are free to put your name and email address, if you wish to be contacted about updates to the site and to participate in upcoming surveys. However, if you do not wish to be named here, but would still like to post and receive information, you may use the ANNOYMOUS option and send a personal email to me.

Thank you.


john anthony said...

When one looks at some of the
blatant miscarriages of justice carried on by the Jamaican justice system (like extraditing Jamaicans
overseas without having examining any evidence from those requesting it, carrying on a trial when a
witness who was subpoenaed was alive and on the island
but absent from trial, and making such gross basic trial errors like procedural mistakes and not looking
at evidence (video tapes), which the Privy Council
then demanded and subsequently used to free an innocent man,
one must ask the question what kind justice do we have? We just saw a Doctor Myrie of KPH freed from rape under murky circumstances; there was scant
reference to the DNA evidence on the victim in one of the papers but no mention if it matched anyonea and no coverage of the results of the DNA test results!

I am here to shockingly say that when I read of the cases overturned by the Privy Council and read of the basic errors the Jamaican judges made, there is no way that these Jamaican judges care about justice for their fellow Jamaicans. Do we want these blatant practitioneers of injustice to have the last say on
whether Jamaicans are guilty or not? You all must not have followed how many cases they have had overturned?
You must not have heard of the case of the Jamaican Hugh Wildman who was nominated for the Attorney
General of Grenada and the methods the Bar Association there used to oppose him? Our courts in Jamaica do not give justice now and you want them to be the courts of last appeal?
We need to think rationally and forget the knee jerk response about separation from
Britain. I would rather a fair hearing from a Britrish
C ourt than a prejudiced hearing from a Jamaican court and based on our history our courts are biased and inept!

The CCJ will run like a train over the rights of
citizens; and that is why the governments want to set
it up even though we cannot afford it- having to
borrow to set it up!

Anonymous said...

Listen man, we are a poor country. We have free access to the Privy Council of well respected Judges who don't mix up in politics. Why we do we want to take on the expense and hassle of the CCJ? Our local court system slow and our hospitals need improvement. Money should be spent on these essential services.

Andrea said...

Why all the negatvite comments. Isn't it time we "self-govern"? If we are truly INDEPENDENT why would we want our fundamental rights and liberties to be dictated by England?

We just celebrate our independence. Let us truly be free and run our own Courts!

Let's show our support for SELF GOVERNANCE!

wrongjungle said...

Your comments show that you don't understand the Privy Council's make up at all.

But let's take your argument as it is.
On what basis has the Justice System in the Caribbean showed itself to be capable of actually meting out justice?
In Jamaica, Justice is as scarce as hen's teeth. It doesn't even appear to be done.

Andrea said...


Do enlighten me about "the make up of the Privy Council". After all I'm interested in learning and I'm sure others are too.

Please ensure that you do have credible information to support your views.

Phenomenal Woman said...

Thanks to everyone that have commented so far. Please feel free to share the site with others.

To those who have requested additional information on the CCJ, click on the link below to see a list.


Anonymous said...

Interesting comments. How do we take this discussion to a wider level to get more people involved and most importantly get the Government of Jamaica to hear our voices?

Phenomenal Woman said...

Let us start by spreading the word about this blog. You are free to forward the link to your family and friends so that their voice can be heard. The more people we have sharing their views the more seriously these views will be taken.

On a different note, I'm full swing into the research and so this blog will be updated atleast once per month. So please stay tuned and become a part of the discussion.

Phenomenal Woman said...

I can't believe my friends and family!

I tell them vote for ASAFA and they all rush to the site to vote!

I ask their views about the CCJ and I only get a few responses!

This is great cause for concern! We are talking about an institution which could affect our LIFE and LIBERTY and yet, people are so disinterested!

I see this also when I bring up the issue of voting! Very few people care!

Why the indifference???

Anonymous said...

Do our opinions really count in Jamaica?

Articles have been written...opinions have been given...opposition has been expressed in several different forums. Has it made a difference? Will our government care what we have to say? Tsk tsk. I think not. We are merely the common folk. Let us eat cake!

Jamaica stumbles from one scandal to another...and on and on. This country is a classic text book case on how NOT to be a successful independent civilised country.

On the other hand, there are very few countries who have succeeded at corruption as well as we have!

CCJ? Do the people even understand the implications of the CCJ's implementation? Are Jamaicans even capable of understanding it all?

How can they, when they have been deliberately dumbed down.

The govt. will do what it will with or without our approval.

At the first sign of opposition, they'll simply send some politician, dressed in the appropriate colour scheme, to stand on a platform among his or her similarly dressed cronies to throw out some ignorance like, "It's time for this black country to start governing itself and come out from under white man rule!"

And the mentally handicapped folks, especially those from the Intellectual Ghetto, will clap their hands and shout with one voice, "Hooray!! Black man time now!!"


senator said...

Away with the Privy Council ! This is the last vestige of the most wicked and iniquitous system of slavery and massa known to humankind and they refuse to apologise much less repair.

Anonymous said...

The CCJ is a stratigical move for the Caribbean its an indication that as a group we are embracing the idea of trust and willingness to work together which is criteria for survival in the global world. I strongly believe that every one should be involoved in creating a workable frame as it relates to this matter. We need to give this idea a try and allow it to find it's place in our society before we start 'assaulting it' and maybe it will pave the way for futher integration.

wyvolyn said...

The administration of justice in the Caribbean leave much to be desired in its current state. It is highly desirable that our final court should be presided over by persons who share a common culture etc., but we siimply do not have all the necessary elements in place

Lisa said...

The problem is that the politicians themselves don't understand what the CCJ is about. If they don't understand, how can they guide us????

My dear you better put on a conference and come enlighten us.

Anonymous said...


Is Jamaica ready for a final Appeal Court?
Clayton Morgan
Observer:Saturday, July 30, 2005

The current parliamentary impasse over our future relationships with the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Privy Council is giving rise to conjecture among an increasing number of people concerning the feasibility of Jamaica establishing its own final Court of Appeal.

The following submissions are often advanced by the protagonists in support of a final Appeal Court:

1. Most people agree that we cannot be a truly independent country unless we have our own final Appeal Court. The Caribbean Court will not be a Jamaican court.

It is in fact quite probable that there will be no Jamaican among the judges who comprise the court, thus leading to a lack of confidence in the court.

2. The Privy Council, which is located in London, is too far from Jamaica. It is very expensive for litigants and their attorneys to appear there.

3. The English Law Lords do not understand the psyche or culture of the Jamaican people. They therefore fail to deliver judgements (especially in murder cases, for example, Pratt v Morgan) in keeping with the realities here.

4. The cost of establishing and maintaining our final Appeal Court will be less than our projected contributions to the CCJ. Under the Revised Agreement establishing the Trust Fund for the operation of the court, Jamaica is obliged to contribute approximately 28 per cent to the resources of the Fund. The money borrowed by the Caribbean Development Bank on behalf of the member states is approximately US$100 million.

5. There is a degree of uncertainty over the longevity of the CCJ. It is a matter of record that the two major opposition parties in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago have declared that if ever they again ascend to government, they will review any participation by their respective countries in the court. Also, it cannot be forgotten that at least two of the participating states have a record of political instability, and in one case with judicial and racial undertones. One or two have a record of financial instability in so far as their contributions to the law school is concerned. One has even failed to make any contribution to the school for nearly 10 years.

6. Virtually all of our Central and South American neighbours have their own final appeal courts.

7. If our present Court of Appeal is substantially retained and declared to be our final court there would be no necessity for a constitutional amendment as the court is already entrenched in the Constitution.

Privy Council

Those in support of Jamaica's continued relationship with the Privy Council submit the following:

1. Although England is far from Jamaica, so are Trinidad and the other Caribbean states. Although the CCJ is itinerant, most of the sittings will be held at the headquarters in Port of Spain.

It will be expensive for Jamaican attorneys and their clients to travel to Trinidad. They also remind us that it costs Jamaica little or nothing to maintain links with the Privy Council, when compared with the projected expenses for the establishment of our own final court, or our contribution to the expenses of the CCJ.

2. Jamaica is too small in terms of geography and population to have her own final Court of Appeal. The court would not command a high level of national or international respect.

3. The records of the Judicial Committee reveal that the number of appeals emanating from Jamaica to the Committee since 1996 is only 98, an average of fewer than 10 each year. This paucity of appeals can hardly justify the expenditure to establish our own final court or a Caribbean Court.

4. It is unnecessary for the English judge to understand the Jamaican culture or psyche in the writing of judgements. The records disclose that the Privy Council has upheld several judgements (including dissenting judgements) from our Court of Appeal. Moreover, at various intervals, some of our retired Court of Appeal judges have been invited to sit on the Council. This system makes it almost impossible for any government to influence the judgements of the court.

5. If we are to maintain membership of the British Commonwealth, trade links with the United Kingdom, the honorary titles of Queen's Counsel and Privy Counsellor, then it appears that we should also maintain links with the Privy Council.


Advocates for the CCJ make the following important submissions:

1. The Caribbean Court is the nucleus of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, which promulgated the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). Because Jamaica is a signatory to the treaty, it would be illogical for her not to be a member of the court.

2. Having already signed the agreement establishing the court, it would be a financial, legal and procedural nightmare for Jamaica to withdraw its membership. Under the agreement, a contracting party may only withdraw by giving three years' notice in writing. Moreover, the withdrawal shall take effect five years after the date on which the notice has been received by the secretariat. Also, a contracting party that withdraws from the agreement must honour "any or other financial or other obligations assumed by that party". This means that Jamaica will have to contribute nearly 30 per cent of the court's operating expenses for at least five years after giving notice of withdrawal. A decision by Jamaica to withdraw unilaterally from the agreement would cause incalculable damage to our international credibility. It would also mean the end of our membership of the CSME and its inevitable disintegration, thus giving further credence to the famous metaphor of the late Dr Eric Williams (prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago) upon Jamaica's withdrawal from the West Indies Federation that "one from 10 leaves zero".

3. A Caribbean Court is likely to command greater respect than a local final Appeal Court.


One of the main impediments to the establishment of a final court is the process by which the judges are to be appointed and removed from office. Awesome

The power reposed by the Constitution in the prime minister to recommend the appointment and removal of judges is indeed awesome. Although this power has not been abused by the current prime minister or his predecessors, there are no guarantees that his successors will follow this trend. With the greatest respect to any future prime minister, it is unlikely that the Bar or the wider community would accept this overwhelming exercise of power of the Executive over the Judiciary in the appointment and removal of judges to our final Appellate Court.

Under the agreement establishing the CCJ, "the President is appointed or removed by the qualified majority vote of three quarters of the contracting parties on the recommendation of the Regional and Legal Services Commission", and the other judges of the court "shall be appointed or removed by a majority vote of all of the members of the Commission". Uncertainty

Jamaica now faces an uncertain judicial future. Parliament has an obligation to do what is in the best interests of Jamaica. This means the invocation of the relevant section of the Constitution whereby the electors would be asked to exercise their constitutional rights in a referendum by choosing one of the three institutions as our final Appeal Court. Failing this action, it appears that we will be condemned to the maintenance of this bigamous relationship with the Judicial Committee and the CCJ in the foreseeable future.

Clayton Morgan, attorney-at-law, is vice president of the Jamaican Bar Association and a member of the General Legal Council.

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Phenomenal Woman said...

Thank you for sharing. I'm sure others will also benefit from this.