JIS News

Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding is scheduled to meet with members of a bipartisan parliamentary committee which is to re-examine the country’s position on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as a final appellate court, on Thursday (October 15).
“We are doing so with no pre-conditions, and I am going to meet with the committee myself on Thursday,” Mr. Golding said about the decision to appoint the committee following discussions with the Opposition, during Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Representatives at Gordon House.
Mr. Golding reiterated that when the issue of the CCJ was first presented, there were significant weaknesses in its constitution and as well as in its financing. He said that those issues have since been addressed.
“There are a number of other issues that we would want to examine, and I have asked the committee to have a serious look and to come back to us with an evaluation as to the CCJ. I am not unmindful that we must have a final court that is secure, that we know will be available to us, next week and next year and ten years time,” he added.
Mr. Golding noted that the British Government has, in the past, said that the Privy Council is available to Jamaica, as long as it is needed.
“Indeed, the Privy Council has indicated to us that in dealing with applications from Jamaica, they would like to come to Jamaica and have those sittings here, but we must not presume that this is a facility that will be available forever, because Governments change and Governments may even change positions that they have taken and, therefore, it is something that we are prepared to review,” he stated.
The Opposition has called on the Government to table the required legislation in Parliament to revive the process of de-linking from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and to have the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as Jamaica’s final court of appeal.
The Prime Minister told a Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday (October 6) at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Mona Campus in Kingston, that his Government may consider re-evaluating its position on the CCJ, in light of recent developments.
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) was created in 2005 as the supreme judicial organ in the Caribbean Community. In its original jurisdiction it ensures uniform interpretation and application of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, thereby underpinning and advancing the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. As the final court of appeal for member states of the Caribbean Community it fosters the development of an indigenous Caribbean jurisprudence but, although all 15 Member States of the Community have accepted the court in its original jurisdiction, only Barbados and Guyana have adopted it as their final Court of Appeal.

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