JIS News

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  • Justice Minister, Senator the Honourable Mark Golding, made an impassioned plea for “political consensus between the government and the Opposition” when the Senate debates the proposed adoption of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as Jamaica’s final court.
  • The debate is scheduled to commence in the Upper House in mid October.
  • The three companion Bills, among other things, seek to entrench the CCJ as Jamaica’s final court.

Justice Minister, Senator the Honourable Mark Golding, made an impassioned plea for “political consensus between the government and the Opposition” when the Senate debates the proposed adoption of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as Jamaica’s final court. The debate is scheduled to commence in the Upper House in mid October.

The three companion Bills, among other things, seek to entrench the CCJ as Jamaica’s final court. The Bills were debated and passed earlier this year in the House of Representatives where the Government enjoys the two-thirds majority needed to have them passed.  The Opposition voted against all three Bills.

“There are many compelling reasons, more than 50 years after our independence, these three Bills should be passed by our Parliament with the required majorities…we have no reason to be bashful  in making a strident call for the adoption of the CCJ as our highest Court.  To the contrary, we do so with a sense of pride and urgency,” the Minister insisted.

Mr. Golding was speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the 4th Biennial Conference of the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO), which is being held at the Hilton Rose Hall, Montego Bay, from September 24 to September 26. President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Sir Dennis Byron and Justice Adrian Saunders, Judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice and Chairman of CAJO, are among those in attendance.

Representatives from 25 countries in the region, as well as the United States and Mexico, are participating in the Conference.  The meeting of the region’s Judicial Officers provides them the opportunity to discuss the effective and efficient delivery of justice within the region

Senator Golding opined that the CCJ has built an excellent jurisprudential record over the first decade of its existence. He added that while the country admires and respects the eminent judges of the UK’s Privy Council, Jamaica’s current final appellate body, the judges of the CCJ are at least as capable and are better suited to the needs of Jamaicans.

“I say today to Jamaica’s eight Opposition Senators, that they should not etch their names forever on the wrong side of history.  The Court of Appeal has, in the case arising out of the Opposition Leader’s use of pre-signed resignation letters, reiterated the constitutional requirement for Senators to exercise independent judgement on matters that come before them.”

“The ‘super-eight’ Opposition Senators must dig deep and do the right thing, and thereby ensure that, on this fundamental matter, the Bills pass with bipartisan support,” he concluded.