Mon | Sep 25, 2017

JLP's CCJ aversion makes no sense

Published:Thursday | May 7, 2015 | 5:06 PMOwen Crosbie

THE EDITOR, Sir:

All those educated members of society, particularly the leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness, who have been advocating for the final court of appeal to be in Jamaica to replace the Privy Council, must have missed in high school the lesson of Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), an English author and statesman born in London, who is best remembered for his authorship of Utopia in political romance, describing an ideal society on an imaginary island in the Atlantic and his execution under the reign of King Henry VIII.

I recall in high-school history authors Keating and Perry describing the imaginary island in the Atlantic as LAND OF NOWHERE.

In the context of the foregoing, it is utopian thinking that our final court of appeal should be in Jamaica and raises by necessary implication the suitability of Andrew Holness to be our prime minister-in-waiting, since Jamaica cannot even afford a satisfactory justice system.

Those outside of Kingston are generally denied access to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal by reason that they are not conveniently near, and in spite of Civil Procedure Rules 2002 (CPR) - caption - court's discretion as to where, when and how it deals with cases - Rule 2.7 (1), we cannot afford to employ the rule in the dispensation of justice to our people in rural parishes.

Rule 2.7(1)

The court may deal with a case at any place and time that

it considers appropriate.

Once or twice, the Court of Appeal sat outside of Kingston under and, by virtue of the rule, but it is far from satisfactory. Again, if for example, a resident magistrate refused bail in a rural parish or a person needs an urgent injunction in a matter beyond the jurisdiction of the Resident Magistrate's Court, that person has to go to Justice Square in Kingston where, because of the amount of matters there, no matter how urgent the injunction may be, it cannot be heard in a timely manner.

What is even worse is that resident magistrates are no longer required to reside in the parish so that they can be available at short notice to deal with urgent matters such as injunctions and dying declarations.

Let those in the JLP, particularly those in the Senate, take note, as they factor not only the unaffordable cost for us to have a final Court of Appeal in Jamaica, but that there is a real possibility that there might be too few cases for final appeal to justify it even if we could afford the court.

OWEN S. CROSBIE

oss@cwjamaica.com

Mandeville, Manchester