Dear Editor,It seems to me that no other country will join the Appellate Division of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) before the retirement of the second President, Sir Denis Byron in July next year. The first President, Michael de la Bastide and three other Judges have retired since the court was established in 2005, and we were only fortunate to see four countries on board.I am very disappointed at the attitude of the Governments of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and a few of the Eastern Caribbean states who are still to join. Only Belize and Dominica took steps to join Guyana and Barbados by abolishing appeals to the Privy Council, thus making the CCJ the final court.St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada failed to get the mandate from their electorates because the referenda to pave the way failed, but I am of the view that the referenda were not successful because they were loaded with other aspects, like removing the Queen as head and giving more powers to the politicians. The Jamaicans are reluctant, claiming that the CCJ was in favour of the death penalty, Trinidad and Tobago has numerous excuses and is flip-flopping. Antigua and Barbuda is awaiting the outcome of a referendum which has been postponed in order to sensitive the electorates of the move. This seems like a lame excuse.Meanwhile, the CCJ has made tremendous strides since its 12 years existence. It has top class video conference equipment which can be used by attorneys in various jurisdictions. There is no need for lawyers to travel to Port of Spain to argue their cases; they can do so from Georgetown, Belize City, Bridgetown or Roseau. The court has dealt with several controversial cases and made a landmark decision in the Shanique Myrie case when it awarded substantial damages against the Barbados Government for denying a Jamaican woman entry in Bridgetown. The Judges found that the Immigration officers breached the Treaty of Chaguaramas by denying a Caribbean Community (Caricom) citizen entry.I should emphasise that the CCJ is not fearful to rule against governments and has done so in numerous occasions against Belize and also the Cooperative Republic. A very important issue will soon come up for hearing. The “term limit” case in which the court will decide whether former President of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo can again serve as President having completed his two consecutive terms as Head of State. The matter will come up for case management on February 6, 2018.Although only four countries have abolished appeals to the Privy Council, the CCJ hears a large number of cases in its original jurisdiction. In fact, the Myrie’s case originated from Jamaica which is not a member of the appellate jurisdiction. I am baffled why so many jurisdictions have not yet severed ties with the Privy Council. Unfortunately, it seems as if the whole process gets so caught up in political manoeuvrings that most countries are still tied to the apron strings of the London-based Privy Council.Sincerely,Oscar Ramjeet
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Avalanche 5, Maple Leafs 3 : Milan Hejduk scored a pair of power-play goals 34 seconds apart to lift Colorado to its eighth straight win and into a tie for the Northwest Division lead. Rookie Marek Svatos scored his 27th goal of the season, best in the Western Conference, to help Colorado match its longest winning streak since Oct. 10-28, 2000. The Maple Leafs lost their third straight. Islanders 2, Blackhawks 1 (OT ): Oleg Kvasha beat goalie Adam Munro off a rebound at 3:02 of overtime, and Rick DiPietro made 34 saves as New York edged Chicago. Hurricanes 4, Flyers 3 (SO): Erik Cole scored on a breakaway with 3:58 left in regulation, and after a scoreless overtime, Rod Brind’Amour scored in the fourth round of a shootout to lift Carolina to its eighth straight victory. “Every time you pass somebody who made history in hockey, you’ve got to feel pretty good about yourself,” Brodeur said. “I’ve got a lot of accomplishments. If I keep winning and I keep going forward and being focused on what I need to do they’ll be there for me, so that’s nice.” Brodeur has 424 victories to pass Esposito on a career list for the second time this month. The New Jersey star recorded his 77th career shutout Jan. 9 against Philadelphia, good for seventh on that list. Martin Brodeur climbed another rung on the victory list, even if he wasn’t his usual dominant self. After surrendering a three-goal lead, Brodeur finished strong to break a tie with Hall of Famer Tony Esposito for fifth place on the NHL’s career victory list in the New Jersey Devils’ 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. Brodeur made 14 of his 26 saves in the third period. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!