Death penalty issue
He added that the appeal court issue was further “complicated” by the issue of the death penalty, which is maintained by a number of countries in the region. Mr Ramphal said that the Privy Council had been “rigorous in upholding Caribbean appeals in death sentence cases”.
He continued: “Someday the Caribbean as a whole must accept abolition of the death penalty. I believe they should have done so already, but in a situation of heightened crime in the region popular sentiment has been reflected in political reticence.”
Sir Shridath’s comments follow those of Lord Phillips, Chairman of the Privy Council’s Judicial Committee and President of the UK’s Supreme Court, who in September attacked the “disproportionate time” he and fellow judges spend on Privy Council cases derived from Commonwealth countries.
‘An ideal world’
Lord Phillips, claiming that up to 40 per cent of the judges’ time was spent on Privy Council cases, said that “in an ideal world” such countries would instead establish their own courts of appeal.
Sir Shridath said that he backed Lord Phillips’ remarks, adding: “Many a Caribbean lawyer, many Caribbean persons, and at least some Caribbean government’s welcomed [Lord Phillip’s] urging.”