High Court judge calls for CCJ
President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Seymour Panton, has called for the abolition of appeals to the United Kingdom Privy Council. He says it is baffling that Jamaica continues to have its final appellate court outside of its jurisdiction.
He made the comment yesterday while responding to glowing tributes paid to him at a dinner held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel to celebrate his 40th year at the Bar.
He was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn, London, England, in 1968.
Justice Panton who is in favour of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) pointed out that Jamaica was paying 18 per cent of the budget for that court.
He says no one can question the competence of the judges of the CCJ. He also says that Lord Hoffman who sits on some of Jamaica’s appeals in the UK Privy Council has said recently that he could not understand why the island’s final appeal court was in England when it has competent jurists.
According to Justice Panton, Jamaica should not be looking to Europe as its final appellate court, but to the Caribbean. He also spoke out against the high crime rate in Jamaica saying he did not think many of the crimes are committed because of poverty. He points to the ability of some criminals to access expensive weapons with which to carry out their crimes.