Wed | Aug 23, 2017

There are ‘world class legal minds’ right here

Published:Thursday | October 22, 2015 | 10:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

In a letter to the Editor published on October 19, Glen George Wilson gives as a reason for keeping the Privy Council as our final Court of Appeal that the lawyers of the Caribbean will continue to benefit from participating in deliberations with other world-class legal minds. The objective of having Caribbean lawyers exposed to world-class legal minds will be more readily achieved by the acceptance of the CCJ's appellate jurisdiction because at present only a very limited number of lawyers have the opportunity to appear in the Privy Council so as to have deliberations with other 'world-class legal minds'. Since there are world-class legal minds within the Caribbean, the CCJ as an itinerant and more accessible court would offer more and better opportunities for that participation.

power to legislate

The second reason Wilson gives is that the CCJ will use its power to legislate from the bench and so the voters could be ignored. He has given no basis for this surmise and there is no evidence in the CCJ's 10 years of adjudication to support it. But why does Williams feel that the CCJ would be more prone to legislate from the bench than the Privy Council? Certainly, the CCJ will be in a better position to sense the will of 'the voters' than the Privy Council, as Lord Hoffman, an eminent Law Lord and Privy Councillor advised us.

Lloyd G. Barnett

Attorney-at-law