May 30, 2007

Rastafarians Back CCJ

Source: radiojamaica
The Rastafarian movement in Dominica has thrown its support behind the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

The movement says it is urging Caribbean leaders to exercise guts and make the institution their final court of appeal.
Spokesman for the Group, Ras Bernard Shaw, described the failure to participate fully in the CCJ as a form of mental slavery.He said this is hindering the development of Caribbean people. Mr. Shaw added that the Caribbean was sending the wrong message to the international community by not accepting the court. According to him, the non-acceptance of the court by some Caribbean countries was also a shame to African ancestors.
Caribbean countries established the CCJ nearly two years ago as a replacement for the London-based Privy Council. But while most states are members of the court as it relates to its original jurisdiction, only Barbados and Guyana utilize its appellate services.

May 29, 2007

Jamaica needs to be fully independent

published: Monday May 28, 2007
Source: Jamaica Gleaner
The Editor, Sir:

Having read an article in your daily paper of May 4 on page A7, penned by the Rev. Devon Dick, titled 'Britain still rules Jamaica', I feel compelled to add my little something. The Rev. Devon Dick is a man of great eminence and he speaks from his own mind and heart. I share every sentiment expounded in this article by him. Further, I deem this an excellent one and very timely to us in Jamaica.

What can we tell our children about Independence? After 45 years, we are still crying out in our courts; "OYEZ, OYEZ God save the Queen". While the sentiments of having Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth of England safe is nice, it should not proceed or pre-empt any opening of any court, tribunal or meeting in independent Jamaica. If anything, these public outcries for her safety should be said on only special days and functions, such as remembrance of her birthday and such events.

I think it has been a great indictment on the part of our leaders, both past and present, also on us as a people, that we have not enunciated with sufficient vehemencethat it is inappropriate that the British Monarchy is still Head of State for our independent Jamaica. Independence was granted from Great Britain in August 1962; people who were alive back then, if still alive, have passed through their youth, and have entered into at least middle age and beyond. So at 45 years (in a matter of months), we are no longer newly independent, but we should be seasoned in our independence.

We should be proud to be Jamaicans and lift up our heads in our independence, taking responsibility for ourselves and country. Come on, let us modify our civil service to fully address our needs. Let's remove our tails from between our legs and hold up our heads and proceed to the Caribbean Court of Justice as our own final court. Let us look at our laws and amend some to reflect the times, throw out some and put in others to reflect the needs of Jamaica. While not suggesting a total change just for change sake, I am proposing that we make adjustments where needed. Some laws that England had when we were a colony, they have since changed for England, but we still hang on to them.

The people of Jamaica need to be fully independent, where we can chart our own destiny. We are looking at another general election and the people need to impress upon our politicians that this is an issue to be addressed. We want to see it in their various manifestos, we want to hear it from the platforms and in any other forum that our politicians adopt. Indeed, we must demand that it be followed through on. I am aware that it is only us that can seek and through mitigation attain real change in our beloved Jamaica. As we are in the majority and as such have the real power, the power to elect and install a government. That government is supposed to work to the benefit of our Jamaica and her people. The time to act is now.

I am, etc.,
Mandeville, Jamaica


Bring to finality the creation of the single market, says Dominica minister
Source: Caribbean Net News

ROSEAU, Dominica:

Dominica's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Labour and new Chairman of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), Charles Savarin, has urged his colleague ministers of the imperative "to bring to finality the creation of the Single Market so that we may reap the benefits."

Full story...

May 28, 2007


CARICOM Passport
Source: CARICOM website :
Heads of Government agreed to the issuance of a CARICOM passport by Member States as a defining symbol of regionalism. The introduction of the CARICOM passport is also part of the measures to promote hassle-free travel for CARICOM nationals. A CARICOM passport is a National passport which is being issued in accordance with an agreed format for intra-regional and extra-regional travel.
On the cover it will have the logo of CARICOM and the words "Caribbean Community". The Coat of Arms and the name of the Member State are also featured on the cover. The CARICOM passport also creates awareness that CARICOM Nationals are Nationals of the Community, as well as a specific country. In 2005, Suriname was the first Member State to have issued the CARICOM Passport, followed by St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis and Dominica. Antigua and Barbuda, issued the new Passport in 2006.

On 16 January 2007, Saint Lucia became the sixth Member State to have introduced the Passport, followed by the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada.

All other Member States are expected to introduce the CARICOM Passport by 31 December 2007.
Those States, which have not yet done so, are attempting to deplete their existing stock, before issuing the new CARICOM Passport.

May 22, 2007

Britian Still Rules Jamaica

Source: Jamaica Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica
Published May 22, 2007
Devon Dick
Last week, a former Cabinet minister mentioned that the Governor-General of Jamaica, who is the representative of the Queen of the United Kingdom, has to get a visa in order to visit England. This is happening as Jamaica marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British colonies. At least when we were under slavery, the governor, the representative of the British Crown in Jamaica, could travel to England without a visa.

In addition, the British visa is more expensive that a United States visa. Is it because Jamaica to London is further than Jamaica to California? Four years ago, as part of a delegation, courtesy of the U.K. Evangelical Association, I met with the persons responsible for implementing the visa regime at the Home Office. At this cordial meeting, I told them that the system as implemented was a moneymaking exercise. It is a great source of revenue.

The day Jamaicans were required to obtain a visa to travel to the U.K. should have been the day we abolished the monarchy. The day when a Jamaican appellant is initially denied a visa to appear before the Privy Council should be the day we resolve to remove the Privy Council.

That in the bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade we are still having the British Queen as Head of State means that, symbolically, Britain still rules Jamaica politically. How does one explain to a child, in a so-called independent Jamaica, that the British Queen is Jamaica's Head of State? How does one tell a child that he or she can never aspire to be the head of state of his or her own country because that position is reserved only for the British?

That the Privy Council is Jamaica's highest court means that judicially Britain still rules Jamaica. In addition, the Privy Council's ruling telling Jamaica the only way it can implement a Caribbean Court of Appeal means that Britain rules us legislatively.

It is therefore sad that in this 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British colonies, there is no movement to rid the country of the vestiges of slavery. This will not come from Britain because the British politicians still have a colonial mentality. Britain still has colonies, such as Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Saint Helena, Falkland Islands (Argentina wants it), Gibraltar (Spain wants it) and Turks and Caicos Islands, etc.

British monarchy

It is sad that in the recent Budget debate, I did not hear one speaker mention the abolition of the British monarchy or the Privy Council. The Most Honourable P.J. Patterson made two timid steps towards self-determination by reintroducing the celebration of Emancipation Day and making our political servants swear to the people of Jamaica instead of to the British Queen.
But compared to what other politicians have requested or done since 1962, he was a bold man and most conscious of all politicians.

It is sad that no church synod or assembly in this significant year, to the best of my knowledge, has called for the replacing of the British monarch.

And only the Anglican Church, three years ago, called upon the nation to establish a Caribbean Court of Appeal.

Tomorrow, we celebrate the 175th anniversary of the execution of Sam Sharpe and it would be a fitting tribute to our National Hero if belatedly we abolish the British Crown as our Head of State and get rid of the Privy Council as our highest court, releasing the tentacles of British rule.

Rev. Devon Dick is pastor of Boulevard Baptist Church and author of 'Rebellion to Riot: the Church in Nation Building'.

Links Between Business & CCJ

CCJ has major role in developing indigenous jurisprudence, economic integration
General News - Monday, May 21st 2007
Source: Stabroek News

The Caribbean Court of Justice has an important role to play in the development of an indigenous jurisprudence in the Commonwealth Carib-bean as well as in the success of the regional movement towards economic integration, says President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Justice Michael de la Bastide.

He also quipped that as businessmen and women they might also wish to ponder on the folly of paying for something (as the Court has been paid for by the establishment of the Trust Fund) and then not using it.

The title of the address was "Links between business and the Caribbean Court of Justice".
Explaining linkages between business and the CCJ, he pointed out that it had been recognised within recent years that for a Court to be successful it was essential that techniques and systems be employed in its management which are essentially the same as those in the running of a successful business. Another link of quite a different kind, he noted, is that created by the access which individuals and companies engaged in cross-border business in CARICOM have to the CCJ for obtaining redress when impacted by breaches of the provisions of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

Role of CCJ

General News - Monday, February 26th 2007

Declaring that it would "be a tragedy of mammoth proportions if the CCJ was not allowed for whatever reasons to realise its full potential", the President of the court says the regional private sector needs to be more aware of the role of the CCJ.

Delivering the main address at the Rotary Club of Georgetown World Under-standing Dinner at Le Meridien Pegasus Hotel on Saturday evening, President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Justice Michael de la Bastide told his audience that if the CCJ was not allowed to realise its full potential the Caribbean would have "lost an opportunity which may not come again for several generations." To date only Guyana and Barbados have used the court since it was inaugurated on April 16, 2005.

He opined that it was still too early to be concerned over the fact that the CCJ has not yet been called upon to exercise its original jurisdiction (as it relates to the Caricom Single Market) since the experience of most newly established courts is that during the first few years of their existence, business tends to be very slow.

He was concerned that persons with a right of access to the court might not recognise the circumstances in which that right could be used to their advantage. While, he said it was not his purpose to stir up litigation he sensed that a greater awareness was needed by the private sectors of what the CCJ has to offer if it is to play its part in deepening regional integration and contributing to the success of the CSME.

Speaking on the role of the CCJ in the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), Justice de la Bastide said that when one considers the several rights and freedoms which the Caricom Revised Treaty seeks to establish in the creation of a single economic space; the general prohibition in Article 7 of the treaty against discrimination on the ground of nationality alone; and the provisions of the treaty designed to eradicate anti-competitive business conduct within the region, one might well conclude that the breach by a member state of virtually any provisions of the treaty is capable of qualifying as the subject of complaint in proceedings brought by an individual or company. He said he had a "nagging doubt" whether these options were fully appreciated by lawyers within Caricom, not to mention the clients whom they advise.
He said there were two other sources from which matters could go to the CCJ - by way of the referral of a question of interpretation or application of the Treaty by a national court, and by way of a request for an advisory opinion.

Referral to the CCJ of any question or issue arising in proceedings before the national courts which involve the interpretation or application of the treaty to the CCJ was an important part of the exclusivity of the regional court's jurisdiction. If the resolution of such an issue is necessary for the national court to deliver judgment, then that court "shall… refer the question to the Court, for determination before delivering judgment."
The underlying purpose of this provision, he said, was to ensure that there is uniform interpretation of the treaty throughout Caricom and to eliminate the risk of national courts giving different interpretations of the same provisions of the treaty.

"It is obviously crucial to investor confidence that there should be legal certainty with regard to the rules governing the CSME and this can only be achieved if there is a single, authoritative voice interpreting and applying the Treaty," he said.


Another feature of the court's jurisdiction is that it was final and there is no appeal of the court's decisions. However, power was given to the CCJ to revise its own judgments if some crucial fact was discovered after judgment was given.

While judgments of the CCJ are binding and enforceable, Justice de la Bastide said that unfortunately, all the necessary steps, including the enactment of legislation to give the CCJ teeth and to ensure that the CCJ judgments are enforced as if they were judgments of a local superior court, have not achieved their objectives.

He said Member States have simply reproduced "Article XXVI in the local act and so incorporate in the domestic law the obligation to pass the necessary legislation, without actually passing it. Hopefully, the parliamentary counsel concerned would recognize and take steps to correct this mistake."

In terms of limitations, he said that an important one was that the dispute must concern the interpretation or application of the treaty. He gave the example of fishing disputes between Member States which have nothing to do with the treaty but depend on the application of the International Law of the Sea. There have been several of these including one between Barbados and Trinidad which was taken to an international tribunal.

On the other hand there are provisions which give companies and individuals, access to the CCJ. He said that normally treaties only confer rights and impose obligations on states which adhere to them and not on companies or individuals. The core jurisdiction of the CCJ, however, is over disputes between Member States or between a Member State and Caricom.

In terms of a request for an advisory opinion from the CCJ, Justice de la Bastide said that "advisory opinions may be requested only by a Member State or by the Community." For Member States in dispute, he said that proceeding by way of a request for an advisory opinion may be an attractive option since it is less expensive and less adversarial than litigation.

Generally speaking, he said, "many people in the region harbour the unspoken fear that the CSME might like the ill-fated West Indies Federation, become another over-ambitious project that skidded off a paved road with good intentions." The CCJ itself could play a pivotal role in preventing this from happening by its judgments to transform the aspirations of the treaty into reality without sending shock waves that might threaten the fragile structure of the CSME.

He gave the example of dealing with inconsistencies between the domestic law and the treaty which would most likely arise.
Though time did not permit him to explore this subject in any depth, he noted that the European Court of Justice has held that the EEC (European Economic Com-mission) Treaty created its own legal order which was directly applicable both to member states and to their nationals, but this the court held, was the result of a partial transfer of sovereignty from the Member States to the Community."

He felt that for Guyana, the problem may have been made less intractable by the Caricom Act, 2006, which gives the Treaty the force of law and contains in Section 8(1) the provision which states that, "In the event of any inconsistency between the provisions of this Act and the operation of any other law other than the Constitution, the provisions of this Act shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency."

Unfortunately, he said that a similar provision was not to be found in corresponding acts passed in some of the other member states such as Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and Belize.
Conscious of the heavy responsibility which the court has to discharge, Justice de la Bastide said that he was by no means daunted by it and suggested that the people of Caricom share in the confidence and optimism he feels in facing the challenges ahead.

Giving a background to the establishment of the court including the appointment of a commission to appoint the judges and technical staff, its financing, and operationalising, he credited the Heads of Government for the provisions that provide the court with protection against political or any other form of interference.

He said that his confidence and optimism was also based on the past 18 months of working with the six judges who come from a variety of backgrounds bringing expertise and experience in different branches of the law.

On a lighter note, Justice de la Bastide said that personal contact was an important precursor to regional integration and it struck him that the matter of the free movement of people within Caricom, is a matter of seeking to recover lost ground after gaining independence.
Citing a number of examples, he said that he was old enough to remember a time in the pre-independence era when free movement of people in the region was a reality and not a goal.

He gave examples of contributions in the freedom of movement of people such as the composer of T&T national anthem, Pat Castagne, who was born in British Guiana to Guianese parents and taken to T&T as a small child; communication specialist, Kit Nascimento, his senior at St Mary's College in T&T making his mark in swimming there; then young tennis player Ian Mc Donald of T&T, who made his mark blossoming in Guyana as a novelist and poet; and Barbadian-born cricketer Sir Clyde Walcott, who played and coached cricket for Guyana while remaining an icon back in his native country.

May 20, 2007

Pratt Freed

Saturday, May 19, 2007
Source: Jamaica Observer

Earl Pratt and Mary Lynch were yesterday released from prison, just over an hour apart, in dramatic scenes that again turned national spotlight on both convicted murderers who served a combined 44 years at two of the island's maximum security prisons.....

Pratt was just 18 when he and his friend Ivan Morgan were arrested for the murder of businessman Junior Anthony Missick in 1977. Both men were sentenced to death in 1979.However, in 1994 their sentences were commuted to life by the Privy Council in a landmark ruling that made it illegal for persons on death row for more than five years to be executed.

Morgan eventually died of natural causes in prison.

Complete Story ...

Privy Council 1993 Decision :

View as HTML
Earl Pratt and Ivan Morgan Appellants v. The Attorney General of Jamaica & The Superintendent of Prisions

Death Sentence - Delay - Jamaican Constititution -

Caribbean Must Deepen Integration

Caribbean must deepen integration,
says OAS Assistant Secretary General
Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin of the Organization of American States conveyed to a Saint Lucia seminar that, as small and vulnerable economies, Caribbean states have no choice but to deepen their regional integration; it is simply a choice of how quickly and how deeply.
That was the message Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin of the Organization of American States (OAS) conveyed to a Saint Lucia seminar that brought together parliamentarians, including trade ministers, from the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), made up of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states and the Dominican Republic.

May 18, 2007



  1. The Caribbean Community Skilled National Act No. 3 of 1997
  2. The Caribbean Community Act No . 9 of 2004
  3. The Caribbean Court of Justice Act. No. 10 of 2004


  1. The Caribbean Court of Justice CAP. 117
  2. The Caribbean Court of Justice (Amendment ) Act No 8. of 2005
  3. The Caribbean Community (Movement of Skilled Nationals) CAP. 186 A
  4. The Caribbean Community (Amendment) Act No. 10 of 2005
  5. The Caribbean Community Act No. 8 of 2003


  1. The Caribbean Community (Movement of Factors ) Act No. 15 of 2004
  2. The Caribbean Community ( Movement of Factors) ( Amendment) Act No. 22 of 2004
  3. Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities ( Caribbean Court of Justice and Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission) Order No. 209 of 2004
  4. The Caribbean Court of Justice Trust Fund Act No. 21 of 2004
  5. The Caribbean Court of Justice ( Original Jurisdiction) Act No. 16 of 2004
  6. The Caribbean Community Act No. 17 of 2004


  1. The Caribbean Court of Justice (Original Jurisdiction) Act No. 23 of 2005


  1. The Caribbean Community (Free Entry of Skilled National) Cap 93:02
  2. The Caribbean Court of Justice Act 16 of 2004
  3. Protocol to the Agreement establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice Act No. 17 of 2004
  4. The Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Regional Judicial Legal Services Commission Bill 2004 Act No. 18 of 2004
  5. The Caribbean Court of Justice Fund Agreement act No. 19 of 2004
  6. The Caribbean Community Act No. 8 of 2006


  1. The Caribbean Community ( Free Movement of Skilled Person) Act 18 of 1997
  2. The Caribbean Court of Justice (Original Jurisdiction) Act No. 17 of 2005
  3. The Caribbean Community Act 15 of 2004
  4. The Caribbean Community Act Including the Caribbean Single Market Economy Act No. 37 of 2004


  1. Act containing the approval of the Agreement with regard to the establishing of the Caribbean Court of Justice Act No. 22 of 2003
  2. Act containing the approval of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas establishing the Caribbean Community including the CARICOM Single Market Economy Act No. 24 of 2003


  1. The Caribbean Community (Removal of Restrictions ) Act No. 2 of 2005
  2. The Caribbean Community Act No. 3 of 2005
  3. The Caribbean Court of Justice Act No. 3 of 2005
  4. The Caribbean Court of Justice Act No. 8 of 2005
  5. Immigration (Caribbean Community Skilled Nationals) (Amendment) Act No. 18 of 2003
  6. Immigration (Caribbean Community Skilled Nationals) (Amendment ) Act No. 6 of 2001
  7. Immigration (Caribbean Community Skilled Nationals) Act No. 26 of 1996
  8. The Caribbean Court of Justice (Amendment to the First Schedule) Order, 2006 Legal Notice 156
  9. Act to Provide for the Implementation of the Revised Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice Trust Fund and for related Matters Act No. 19 of 2006


  1. The Caribbean Court of Justice (Original Jurisdiction) Act No. 7 of 2004


  1. The Caribbean Court of Justice (Agreement ) Act No. 34 of 2003
  2. The Caribbean Court of Justice (Agreement) (Amendment) Act No 5 of 2005
  3. The Caribbean Community (Movement of Factors) Act N. 21 of 2006
  4. The Caribbean Community Act No 12 of 2004
  5. The Caribbean Community Skilled National Act No. 18 of 1996


  1. The Caribbean Court of Justice Act No. 32 of 2004
  2. The Caribbean Community Movement of Factors Act No. 23 of 2004
  3. The Protocol on the Status, Privileges and Immunities of the Caribbean Court of Justice Act No. 48 of 2004
  4. Protocol to the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice Act 51 of 2004
  5. The Caribbean Court of Justice Trust Fund Act No. 49 of 2004
  6. The Caribbean Community Act No. 5 of 2005

May 08, 2007

It's an Access to Justice Issue!!!!!!!!!

Former teacher gets help to appeal case in UK
Source: Jamaica Gleaner
published: Thursday October 19, 2006

ATTORNEY GENERAL and Minister of Justice, A.J. Nicholson, has intervened in the case involving Easton Grant, a Jamaican man, who is attempting to represent himself before the London-based Privy Council, but has been refused a visa to enter England.

Mr. Nicholson yesterday wrote to the British High Commissioner Jeremy Creswell, seeking a reversal of the decision.

Mr. Grant, a former teacher at the Montego Bay Community College in St. James, is seeking to have his termination of employment deemed illegal. He has so far been unsuccessful, having exhausted the local courts and has been granted leave by the Court of Appeal to take his case to the London lawlords.

Turned down

His case hearing is set for October 30 and 31, but the English High Commission turned down his visa application saying he had not demonstrated that he will return to Jamaica.

In his letter to Mr. Creswell yesterday, Mr. Nicholson noted that the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council remains Jamaica's final court of appeal.

"This, I believe, clearly implies that litigants will have access to their final court without impediment, and should not be denied the right to pursue their appeals to the highest level.

To date, Mr. Grant has opted to argue his case without legal representation, as is his right: he should be permitted to continue to do so especially before our highest court," Mr. Nicholson said.

May 07, 2007

Dwarka Nauth v. Attorney General of Guyana et al

CCJ Application No. AL. 7 of 2006
Date of Hearing : Monday the 7th day of May 2007 at 10 am
Judges: The Rt. Hon. Mr Justice M. de la Bastide, President
The Hon. Mr. Justice R. Nelson JCCJ
The Hon. Mme. Justice D. Bernard JCCJ
Dwarka Nauth
The Attorney General of Guyana
The Public Service Commission
The Regional Executive Officer
The Minister of Finance

Hearing of Application for Special leave to appeal and Special leave to appeal as a poor person.
Attorneys for Applicant : Mr Benjamine E. Gibson, Ms. Mandisa A Breedy, Mr Ruidyard W. Ceres
Attorney at Law for the Respondent : Mr Vashist Maharaj, Ms. Young

Ensnaring the CCJ

Source : Trinidad Express Sun, 06 May 2007
FOR the life of the current Manning administration now approaching its constitutional close, Trinidad and Tobago has been embarrassed by a turnaround from one administration to the other, on this perplexing question of the country's accession to the Caribbean Court of Justice.
That the court is established in Port of Spain was as a direct result of the commitment to it, and the campaigning for its siting, conducted by the predecessor administration in government, the United National Congress (UNC).

As Prime Minister Manning reminded the country once again during his fourth consultation on crime in Tobago on Saturday, the UNC changed its mind after it lost office and withdrew its support for the court.

Withholding its support for legislation necessary give effect to the court in its appellate jurisdiction, the UNC has frustrated the intention of this country to access the court as its final appellate body, replacing the Privy Council.

Whereas this is also the case with Caricom partner Jamaica, the difference is that the Opposition has never been as favourable to this move as the UNC had been while in office.

But by tying the desire for the country to move towards a totally indigenous and independent judicial system to the issue of the death penalty, the Prime Minister may have once again complicated matters, giving the erroneous impression that a CCJ will automatically be more sympathetic to the wishes of this or any other Caribbean nation's governments.

Indeed, this is the very ruse by which the UNC has sought to build its about-face on the CCJ, citing its fears about interference and political manipulation. A fanciful, self-interested and hypocritical argument, to say the least.

To be correct, the Privy Council has, by its famous ruling in the Jamaican case of Pratt and Morgan, imposed a five-year limit within which the death penalty must be carried out on anyone so convicted.

Restating a long-held, unwavering element of public opinion, the Prime Minister told his audience in Tobago that capital punishment was an essential element in crime-fighting. For good measure also, he added that he was "a strong supporter" of capital punishment.

By suggesting, however, that a CCJ would, ipso facto, be more favourable to any administration's wishes on enforcement of the death penalty, or on any other issue for that matter, the Prime Minister and the administration for which he speaks, is doing untold damage to the cherished independence of the court.

There is, and never will be, any such guarantee, and any intimations to this effect are just wishful thinking at best, but dangerous, counter-productive and distracting as well.

Constituted as it is at present, the CCJ, led by former Trinidad and Tobago chief justice Michael de la Bastide, comprises some of the best, most robustly independent and thorough-going members of the regional system of jurisprudence.

Unequivocally, every effort must continue to be made to convince those across the region who remain sceptical and untrusting about the need for a full embrace of the CCJ. But those who read into it any misguided notions about advancing their own political or other narrow, immediate agendas must also be warned off such misguided paths.