More territories might join the CCJ this year

Dear Editor,

We are in a new year and am certain before the end of December at least three more countries will abolish appeals to the Privy Council and accept the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as the final court of appeal. Others will soon follow.

The CCJ was established on February 12, 2001, and inaugurated on April 16, 2005, and so far only four countries ‒ Guyana, Barbados, Belize and Dominica ‒ have severed ties with the London based Privy Council, and despite several promises and commitments by other governments there is an inordinate delay in the others coming on board. However, recent developments lead me to believe that Jamaica, St Lucia, and Grenada will soon become full-fledged members of the regional court.

Jamaica with a population of more than 2.5 million has recently passed three pieces of legislation, paving the way for such a move, and its Foreign Affairs Minister, AJ Nicholson, said there was no turning back.

He told lawmakers that there is no need for a referendum to decide the issue. He said, “Let us tear down this referendum wall.” He disclosed that none of the 41 countries that left the Privy Council and established their own courts had gone the referendum route.

St Lucia’s Prime Minister, Kenny Anthony, has always been an advocate for the regional court and so has Grenada Prime Minister, Keith Mitchell, and now that a legal opinion has been issued by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court that a referendum is not required for those two countries to rid themselves from the Privy Council, moves have been made in this regard.

Meanwhile the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, and leader of the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on constitutional reform for a bi-partisan approach. The MOU was signed in the presence of the President of the CCJ, Sir Denis Byron, who was Chief Justice of the ECSC.

The new Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Keith Rowley, is also in favour of the regional court since he questioned his predecessor, Kamla Persad Bissessar about why she only wanted to go half way ‒ abolishing appeals to the Privy Council in criminal matters alone.

Fourth term Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines is a strong advocate of the CCJ, but his attempt to join the court failed in a referendum. He might pursue it after he settles into his new term, and the St Kitts/ Nevis Prime Minister will also be encouraged to join.

Yours faithfully,
Oscar Ramjeet

Comments  

The government will be supplying potential sugar estate owners with billions in subsidies

Dear Editor, The GAWU, through reports that appeared in several sections of the press, was, to say the least, surprised to learn that the state-owned NICIL Special Purpose Unit (SPU), according to Finance Minister Winston Jordan, was seeking financing in the region of $10billion to $15billion in order to resume operations at East Demerara and Skeldon Estates.

Consumers have a part to play in safeguarding themselves from being attacked after visiting banks

Dear Editor, Like many Guyanese, I have been following the increasing number of reports regarding persons being attacked/robbed after conducting financial transactions at various places, including banks.

Judging rules were not observed in Senior Panorama Competition

Dear Editor,  What were the judges looking for when deciding the winner for the Senior Panorama Competition 2018?

GPOC needs to address the weaknesses in the pension payment system

Dear Editor, During last week, the Stabroek News reported that the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) and the Ministry of Public Telecommunica-tions are currently researching the introduction of a “debit card-like system” for pensioners to receive their monthly payments.

Burke’s statements included falsehoods

Dear Editor, As a proud member of the Guyana Bar Association, I took grave offence when I read a letter written to the editor by Rickford Burke and published in the press on the 21st Feb, 2018, seeking to denigrate an association of some of the most distinguished professionals in Guyana.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×