Prime Minister Bruce Golding told the House of Representatives yesterday that the issue of the final appellate court for Jamaica, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has to be addressed as part of the constitutional reform. He was making a contribution to the Charter of Rights Bill which was read for a third time and passed.
“I have said so publicly and I will acknowledge in this House that as a result of the strong position that was taken by a number of entities, organizations and the then Opposition, significant changes were made to what was originally presented and as a result of that, some of the concerns that we had initially, have been allayed."
The Prime Minister said a team chaired by the deputy Prime Minister was set up to review the issue of the CCJ and the Privy Council and present its perspective as to the position to be taken.
“Our position was not cast in concrete. Our initial opposition to the CCJ, I was prepared to subject that to review. In that review they suggested that an option that should be looked at was having our own final court."
Mr. Golding noted that the leader of the Opposition has agreed to meet and address this issue with a view to arriving at a position by the end of June so that a programme of constitutional reform can be substantially achieved.
He said the Charter of Rights Bill will secure more fundamental rights that Jamaican citizens should be entitled to and what is already in the Constitution. He added that the Bill is part of a wider framework of constitutional reform.
Issued by: The Office of the Prime Minister