Fri | Oct 19, 2018

CCJ mistrust reflects badly on regional politicians - T&T lawyer

Published:Thursday | January 22, 2015 | 8:58 AM

Debbie-Ann Wright, News Editor - Radio

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Trinidadian Lawyer, Reginald Amour, has declared that any lack of confidence in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is indicative of a mistrust of regional politicians.

Amour, who has acted as a high court judge in his country, was speaking at a forum on the CCJ put on by the faculty of law at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine.

The forum yesterday was held under the theme ‘Advancing the case for Regionalism and Indigenous Jurisprudence’.

Responding to a question regarding a perceived fear of adopting the CCJ’s appellate jurisdiction, Amour said any lack of confidence in the independence of the judges only serve to highlight the fact that citizens of the region do not trust their politicians not to interfere.

Amour says the careful recruitment process and the fact that the CCJ trust fund prevents countries from withholding funding as a means of exerting pressure should allay any fears about the independence of the court.

Meanwhile, Dean of the Law faculty at UWI, St Augustine, Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, says it is sad that 10 years after the establishment of the CCJ, there is still a debate on whether to make it the final court for countries in the region.

Jamaica’s House of Representatives on Tuesday wrapped up a debate on three bills which could see Jamaica adopting the appellate jurisdiction of the CCJ and moving away from the Privy Council.

However, the parliamentary opposition is not in favour of the bills.

The Government can easily use its majority in the parliament to get the votes required to pass the bills in the Lower House, but will need at least one Opposition senator to side with it to get them approved in the Upper House.

The House of Representatives will vote on the bills on April 28.


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