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Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Delano Franklyn has called for support of the implementation of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), particularly from persons who might be wary that the Court can succeed.
Senator Franklyn argued that while admittedly, there were financial challenges and securing unanimous support from all Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states to sign off on the introduction of the CCJ, “the question we must ask is, if we do not do it now, then when”.
“This self-doubt [as] to whether or not we have the ability to do things, we will only know whether or not we are able to do things when we actually implement things. So after all the discussions, all the deliberations and the proposals, there comes a time when you must implement,” he added.
The State Minister was speaking at the launching of a book, ‘We Want Justice: Jamaica and the Caribbean Court of Justice’, held yesterday (November 29) at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies.
Senator Franklyn, who edited the book, noted that the inspiration came from the various debates that occurred in the House of Representatives and the Senate throughout the course of last year.
“I reflected on the debate that took place in the Houses of Parliament, and I said it would be a real waste if we did not pull together the rich material that came out of that debate,” he said.
The State Minister told the gathering that the idea was to offer a balanced perspective to the debates, giving opponents and supporters their equal share of views.
“It is also aimed at providing the younger generation with information concerning what I regard to be as one of the most decisive and historic steps to be taken by the people of the Caribbean. It is really for them to have information at their fingertips, be able to access information over time, and be able to compare 20 or 25 years down the road [as to] what were the essential points raised during the course of the debate,” he said.
Meanwhile, former Attorney General, Dr. Ossie Harding, congratulated Mr. Franklyn and the book’s publishers, “for bringing us another book which records the living history of our country”.
Offering his opinion of the book, he said: “Insufficient information was given on the financing of the CCJ. We now understand that a Trust Fund will be established and that the Caribbean Development Bank will source US$100 million of which Jamaica will be responsible for US$27 million, repayable in quarterly instalments (10 years), at the rate of 5.5 per cent per annum.”
He noted that he supported “the establishment of a regional Court, to some extent, inspired by the former Federal Court”. He said that in Dominica in 1998, he along with his friend, the late Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, Selwyn Richards, “vigorously supported a regional court”.
The book is the third, which Mr. Franklyn has edited. He has previously edited, ‘A Voice in Caribbean and World Politics’ and ‘Challenges of Change – P.J. Patterson Budget Presentations 1992-2002’. He has also authored the 2001-released book, ‘The Right Move: Corporate Leadership and Governance in Jamaica’.