January 28, 2011

Jamaica’s position on CCJ scorned

Jamaica’s position on CCJ scorned
Published: Friday, January 28, 2011

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC) – Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has scoffed at a suggestion by the Government of Jamaica to opt for its own final Court of Appeal instead of going the route of the Caribbean Court Of Justice (CCJ).

Thomas, who is the current chairman of Caricom, said Jamaica’s argument that there would be political interference in the CCJ did not make sense.

“What I find a bit strange about Jamaica’s position is that the argument against the CCJ is that there would be political interference. Domestically, it makes it easier for political interference,” he said.

Late last year a debate in Jamaica’s Parliament, over whether to sever ties with the British Privy Council as its final Court of Appeal, revealed that the government while agreeing to move away from the Privy Council, was proffering a Jamaica Court of Appeal over the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

This idea was sharply shot down by the opposition which called for a referendum on the issue.

Thomas said there is a need for more collective confidence in the ability of regional judges to hand down unbiased judgments.

“We in the region have competent and capable judges to man our courts,” he said.

“As a matter of fact, one of the best Courts of Appeal we have experienced in the region is the Court of Appeal in Grenada during the revolution and the revolution had its problems; but that Court of Appeal which was in Grenada was one of the most distinguished and outstanding courts in the region.”

One of the judges who served in that court is Sir Nicholas Liverpool, Dominica’s President. He served as Justice of Appeal in the Grenada Court of Appeal from 1979 to 1991.

Grenada is a signatory to the CCJ and Thomas said he believes it’s just a matter of time before the country takes steps to adopt it as its final appellate court

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Jamaica-s-position-on-CCJ-scorned#ixzz1CLUt2nnt