2015-04-29-The Privy Council - CCJ Debate - A different analysis.pdf - 29th April 2015 FINAL VERSION LETTER TO THE PRESS RE THE PRIVY COUNCIL AND CCJ

2015-04-29-The Privy Council - CCJ Debate - A different analysis.pdf

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29 th April, 2015 FINAL VERSION - LETTER TO THE PRESS RE: THE PRIVY COUNCIL AND CCJ DEBATE A DIFFERENT ANALYSIS 1. Over the past 4 months there has been a fairly intense debate, both here and in the wider Caribbean, on whether the Caribbean Court of Justice (“CCJ”) should replace the Privy Council (“PC”) as the apex Court of Appeal for Trinidad and Tobago and countries of the Caribbean. 2. Entry into the debate has not occurred before because of the desire not to be labelled as being pro or against any particular view. In these small islands which we inhabit individuals are too often labelled as having some ulterior motive for expressing an opinion. We often lose sight of careful analysis of the cold hard facts. 3. Accordingly, one is entering the debate not for the purpose of expressing personal views for or against the CCJ as the final Appellate Court for the Caribbean, but instead to articulate the arguments for and against which of the 2 Courts should be the final Appellate Court for the Commonwealth Caribbean. 4. The matters to be set out hereunder are informed not merely from the recent views and statements made in the public domain, but also from conversations over the past decade with attorneys-at-law and members of the public who have an interest in and expressed views on the subject. In addition, one has been afforded the opportunity to appear both before the PC and the CCJ, and in the case of the latter to have lead the legal team which initiated and brought into operation the original jurisdiction of the Court in litigation in 2008 (appearing on at least 20 occasions before that Court). 5. Having regard to the foregoing, it is not unreasonable to expect that some value could be added to the debate by what is set out hereunder. 6. The arguments for and against the 2 Courts are set out hereunder. Arguments for the CCJ Completing the Cycle of Independence 7. The argument which is made here is that the abolition of appeals to the PC and the replacement of that body by the CCJ will complete the cycle of independence of the countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean. The point is made with great force that having attained independence between 30 to 52 years in the case of most Commonwealth Caribbean countries, the time has now long past when we should have shed ourselves of our colonial past and the reliance upon Judges based in London to decide matters coming before our Courts.
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