Jamaica must have own final appellate court
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The signal coming out of the Eastern Caribbean is instructive, even to the most superficial observers, and indicates that the idea of a Caribbean appellate court has not taken root at the local level in each territory.
Like CARICOM, the idea of a Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is clear in the minds of bureaucrats and technocrats at the secretariat but has never been sold to, or accepted by, the Caribbean masses. According to Basdeo Panday, "The CCJ cannot be the final court of appeal until the people have confidence in the CCJ."
The superimposition of a Caribbean court superstructure upon a historically insular and fervently nationalist Caribbean infrastructure is akin to a wedding cake mixture - essentially ephemeral.
For those with concerns of sovereignty, it makes very little national sense to replace London with Port-of-Spain as the seat of our final court.
Jamaica's final appellate court should be in Jamaica, administered by Jamaicans. Jamaica has had a fine history of jurists and jurisprudence as evidenced in the contribution of Judge Patrick Robinson and other Jamaicans in the field of international law.
I'm in total agreement with the present administration in their insistence on no need for a referendum. However, the question should not be London or Port-of-Spain; We should cut the colonial umbilical cord. At 50 years old, Jamaica is old enough to begin solving her own problems.