Mon | Jun 21, 2021

Review Constitution in country's interest

Published:Saturday | June 9, 2012 | 12:00 AM


There is an urgent need to review the Jamaican Constitution with the intention of making it more relevant to the needs of the Jamaican people.

I strongly believe that an independent country like Jamaica should assume the responsibility for providing a court of its own choosing for the final determination of legal disputes arising from decisions in the country.

Therefore, I unrepentantly support the ratification by Jamaica going forward to establish the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). I further endorse the argument that we should complete our Independence with the establishment of such a court, thereby asserting our constitutional sovereignty.

In the meantime, we are all aware that the United Kingdom is no longer responsible for the affairs of Jamaica. Therefore, it is immoral for the retention of an external court like the Privy Council to have the final appellate authority for Jamaica.

To be frank with you, the Privy Council is a British monarchical institution which cannot now be reinvented as part of the Caribbean moral, political, or cultural order. For this reason, it is intellectual dishonesty to think that the Privy Council can still enjoy constitutional status as a right in Jamaica today.

The time has come to resolve the constitutional challenges which have kept Jamaica and the other CARICOM countries from adopting the CCJ as the highest appellate court.

At the same time, it seems to me that only a referendum would provide legitimately for the CCJ. Therefore, I wholeheartedly support the ratification of Jamaica to have a referendum on this proposed and long-awaited new Constitution.

Last, but not least, we need to reshape our institutions to reflect our vision of ourselves as well as our vision of our future.


Cornwall Courts, Montego Bay