September 22, 2009

PC overworked while CCJ under-utilized

UK’s top judge complains about the Privy Council case load
Source :
Published: Monday, September 21, 2009

The future of the Privy Council for the final court of appeal for most CARICOM member states has been placed into doubt after comments by the UK's top judge. Lord Nicholas Phillips, formally the Chief Justice, will become the first president of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom when it comes into being next month.

He has told the Financial Times newspaper that the law lords have been spending too much time on cases in the former colonies, mostly in the Caribbean

He said in an ideal world these countries would stop using the Privy Council and set up their own courts of final appeal instead.

He did say that he was looking to take some of the pressure off of the Supreme Court by drafting Court of Appeal judges to help out.

The Caribbean does have its final appellate court, the Caribbean Court of Justice, but as of now it only judicates cases from Guyana and Barbados other countries have not signed on for a variety of reasons.

According to the Financial Times there have been efforts to launch a senior type of court to take on cases that reach the Privy Council.

Some countries, perhaps understandably, don't seem to be in a great hurry to end their access to a sort of pro bono judicial expertise in London.

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