• Today
    November 19

  • 01:59 AM

CCJ president disappointed with Trinidad and Tobago’s reluctance join court

CMC,

Added 14 July 2018

ccjcourtintrinidad

PORT OF SPAIN – Newly appointed president of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Adrian Saunders has expressed disappointment with the reluctance of the government of Trinidad and Tobago to have institution as its final court of appeal.

Saunders told reporters following a special sitting of the court on Friday that there is need for more public information, adding that he hopes more countries would take the step.

“That is a political process though but there are things we can do in order to assist that process.”

“One of those things is providing more information on the court, on what it does and about the processes we undertake and some of the cases we do. People can get a greater sense of confidence about the court and about our ability to be a protector of the rights of people and to serve the Caribbean public in promoting the rule of law and defending democratic values,” Saunders said, while admitting that in the past education programmes only targeted bar associations and professional organisations.

“I think we need to spend more time engaging with people on a broader or grassroots level.”

The CCJ President suggested that the court was considering using social media and mass communication methods to get its message across.

Saunders admitted that there was misinformation in the public domain about the court independence and ability.

“The Court actually has produced far more judgements for the four countries that are on board in the appellate jurisdiction than the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has produced for the several other states that are still sending their final appeals to them.” 

When asked if the court could handle an even larger case-load when more countries agree to sign on, he said yes noting that the CCJ has provisions for 10 judges, although it currently has seven. 

Saunders took the oath of office recently, in Jamaica, ahead of the opening ceremony of the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, before host Governor General Sir Patrick Allen.

Meanwhile Chief Justice Ivor Archie said the reluctance of the twin island republic to make the CCJ its final court of appeal is an embarrassment. 

“I consider it a continuing embarrassment that as the seat of the court we do not yet access its appellate jurisdiction.”

Archie’s comments were supported by almost all the speakers who preceded him including the Chief Justices of Barbados and Guyana and several senior regional attorneys. 

Of the 12 Caricom nations which signed the treaty, only Barbados, Guyana, Belize and Dominica have made the move to have their criminal and civil appeals heard by the CCJ.

The CCJ still has exclusive jurisdiction to hear all cases involving the interpretation of treaties dealing with Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) for all 12 signatory states. (CMC)

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Dos and Donts


Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus

POLL

Do you believe students should be barred from buying food from vendors during school hours?

YES
NO

FRONT COVER OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER

CARTOON

INSTAGRAM