Caribbean Court of Justice a loud sounding nothing
THE EDITOR, Sir:
"I need equal rights and justice. Got to get equal rights and justice."
- Peter Tosh
It is quite interesting that proponents of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) have failed to take into consideration the value of justice.
Justice does not concern itself with a political legacy (Jamaica embraced the CCJ under my leadership). Nor does it concern itself with cementing a West Indian jurisprudence, nor the House of Lords' so called lack of understanding of Caribbean dynamics. Nor does it concern itself with the maintenance of Caribbean vestiges or the emancipation of ourselves from mental slavery.
Upholding the right
Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but finding out the right and upholding it.
It has long been established that there is a hush-hush rivalry between Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. We have seen this played out in the treatment of Jamaicans in The Bahamas, Trinidad and Barbados, just to name a few.
And yes, we are all blessed with the element of imperfection, and it is not a perfect world, but this does not calm my fears that Jamaicans will not be discriminated against in the CCJ.
We may think that because it is a Caribbean Court, the judges will identify with our Caribbean uniqueness, but this may be far from the truth, since everyone is motivated by factors that are not clearly seen.
Why is there a rush to establish the court right now? Give the court another 30 years when it is 'broken in', so that some poor Jamaican will not receive injustice because of the inexperienced mechanism of the CCJ.
My fear, and the fear of many Jamaicans, is that we may say goodbye to the Privy Council and say hello to misery.
I am not contending that I would never want the CCJ to be the final court, but not right now. The CCJ is still at its baby stage, and I don't believe one should play Russian roulette with matters that concern justice.