April 10, 2008

Race and the CCJ

Mark: No Indian judges in CCJ
Source: Trinidad Express
Anna Ramdass : aramdass@trinidadexpress.com
Thursday, April 10th 2008

Opposition Senator Wade Mark has questioned the balance in the ethnic composition of judges appointed to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

He made the comment as he told the Senate there are no Indian judges in the CCJ. "There are 1.4 million Indo-Trinidadians in Suriname, in Guyana and in Trinidad and Tobago... they have appointed between six and nine judges to the CCJ, not one single Indian, not one Indian in that balance,'' Mark said in his contribution to the Caribbean Court of Justice (Headquarters) Bill 2008 at Tuesday's Senate sitting at the Red House, Port of Spain.

"And don't tell me that we don't have judges who are prominent and well established in the judicial landscape... even when you look at the composition of the CCJ, it leaves a lot to be desired."

He said he knows people of Indian origin who have applied for the position, and they have received letters indicating that "their applications are under active consideration".

"Tell me where is the justice,'' Mark said, as he argued that Parliament was being used as a tool by the Trinidad and Tobago Government and other regional governments.

He added that United National Congress Alliance (UNC-A) will never support the CCJ, and pointed out that under the legislation, the head of the CCJ, Michael De La Bastide, can be removed from that position with a three-quarter vote of Caricom Heads of Government.

"We have no faith whatsoever in the CCJ. It is a play thing of Caricom Heads of Government and it will never be able to deliver justice," Mark said.

He argued that other Caricom heads also do not have faith in the CCJ and the fact that only two countries-Barbados and Guyana -have lent their support is evidence of this.

Mark added that the people of Trinidad and Tobago were never consulted with respect to the establishment of the CCJ.

"The CCJ is a waste of time, a waste of taxpayers' money," he said.


Posted: 2008-04-09 10:02:00 PM
Why is Wade given so much press time when he has proven time and again by his senseless arguments how shallow his thinking is? I guess if making a fool of himself keeps him paid, then he will be a fool for life. Tell us another folklore Wade.
Good going Mark
Posted: 2008-04-09 10:03:00 PM
good going Mark and God bless you, thank God this is observation is made by someone of another race. Tell God will not show you His favor for looking at things as you see it, Trini In LA
Posted: 2008-04-10 02:24:00 AM
The problem in Trinidad is all about race, and unless it is addressed there will never be harmony. When I came to Trinidad in 2006 the problem was the Trinity cross, where is the complain about the red cross, we live in grey areas. The citizens of the WORLD need to start confronting the issue. Senator Obama said it well in his speech to the American people. I am tired of hearing about black and white, Negroes and Indians and religion, we're are very pitiful people, we're forever looking to blame somebody else. I am from Negro, India and Spanish background, who should I follow. I remember as a child, I had friends from every race and I never thought about it, so people please look in your heart and face your own racist mentality, then you will see why Trinidad is going to hell.

Equal Opportunity - Out to Lunch
Posted: 2008-04-10 02:52:00 AM
I commend you, Mr. Mark, a person of apparent non-indian heritage for bringing this error in judgement to light. The Caribbean is populated with persons of every ethnic background, education and qualifications. Yet, on the CCJ, there are no persons of 'South Asian/East Indian' heritage. Mr. Rowley only recently reported that T.T. has a smart and educated population. What happened to the persons of 'South Asian' identity who are very qualified to sit on such a Court? Is it as written by George Orwell that all men are equal but some are more equal? T.T. should never be involved in such a body. We are worth more than we seems to be given credit for. Please ensure that any decisions made by this government does not discriminate against any person regardless of religion, sex, age, political affiliation, or otherwise. We do not need to be a part of such backward institutions. Keep working on it, Mr. Mark. We expect and deserve nothing but the best for our citizens.

Senator Mark is Correct
Posted: 2008-04-10 05:04:00 AM
Senator Mark is correct, we should have ethnic balance in the CCJ. Please don't tell us that there are no very qualified persons of Indian origin and even persons also of Chinese origin and other races . In all successful developing countries persons of other races who are competent are included. Such a move promotes harmony and a sense that all persons no matter of race or background can be fairly represented.
Posted: 2008-04-10 07:29:00 AM
When will this man just go away? Can't the UNC A think of a more inteligent way of voiceing thier opinion that resorting to racial talk. How about finding a person more qualified than the ones nominated and questioning why this person was not called to duty? Justice, Wade Mark, should be in the hands of those most qualified to dispense it, and NOT as you would have it, something acted on by a racially biased judge, acting on behalf of his fellow indians. Just shows how much you know about dispensation of justice. Steven Il.
cry me a river
Posted: 2008-04-10 08:02:00 AM
There is no such thing as affirmitive action in the Caribbean and there should never be. When we look at the highly ranked judges across the caribbean how many Indians (not IndoTrinidadians as they cannot be if they live in Guyana and Suriname) do we see. Just as they can claim that their students are the most qualified to be accepted into Medicine at UWI. oh please. If they have not done enough to make themselves standout in their careers that what do you want them to do, appoint less qualified persons for the sake of ethinical balance. Not even in the US do they do that. If a firm hires a black person they seek the best of the best of the best of the best. So this nonsense is just another excuse to not support something that can only make the caribben region stronger. This is not a handout so dont make it into that type of appointment.
Posted: 2008-04-10 08:08:00 AM
It is time that you all stop this nonsense. Are we not Trinidadians and Tobagonians? After the last world cup Sat Maharaj brought in a gentleman(of indian decentwho played in the world cup) from a foreign country to speak to the indian children about football, why not Yorke, Hislop,or Latapy who aare from TNT? Not a word from the blacks in TNT. If this was the other way around it would have been upheaval. This has to stop. A NATION DIVIDED CANNOT STAND. TRU TRINI
Posted: 2008-04-10 08:31:00 AM
I just want to ask those who wish to bring our petty ethnic politics into the Caribbean region; are there any Syrian, Chinese, Dougla, Caucacian, Amerindians etc? You all are so petty, good God!

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