THE EDITOR, Sir:
Most Jamaicans and, by extension, Caribbean nationals by now know of the Shanique Myrie-Barbados case and the ruling handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the court which has exclusive rights to rule on matters arising from the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
Given the ruling, it was not surprising that Jamaicans would jump on the bandwagon, and in particular the Government of Jamaica, welcoming the ruling. But, really, what is it that is being welcomed: the judgment in favour of Miss Myrie or the fact that the CCJ has demonstrated not just to Jamaica, but to the wider Caribbean that it is a capable and efficient court?
For the men and women who sat in front of their television monitors, watched the nightly news, and read the newspapers and who are now calling for the Government to make the final step in making the CCJ the final appellate court, how much do you know about the CCJ and what it stands for?
It is not good enough to just want the Government to arbitrarily make the CCJ the final appellate court. One ruling is no basis for that conclusion.
What would be the reaction of the Jamaican people had the Barbados government come out on top? Furthermore, would the Jamaican Government have welcomed the ruling of the CCJ with the same spirit?
Although very important, this case should not impair the vision of Jamaicans to see the wider picture. As a reminder, not because one ruling goes in the favour of one of our national means all will.
Are the people of Jamaica willing to accept all the rulings of the CCJ?
It was very worrying to have read in The Gleaner where the minister of foreign affairs, A.J Nicholson, expressing that the ruling by the CCJ on the Shanique Myrie case is a boost for the Government, as the People's National Party Government seeks to amend the Constitution to make the court the country's final appellate body.
Minister Nicholson's statement is very unfortunate; instead, the minister should have made comment on the litigation and the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the court.
One ruling certainly does not translate to mean that the court, in and of itself, is a competent, principled and conscientious one.
The Government of Jamaica should use the opportunity to analyse the case from its commencement to its end and bring forth to the Jamaican people a sound argument as to why Jamaica should move forward with the CCJ.