Senator Urges Colleagues to Put Country Over Partisan Interest

Story Highlights

  • Government Senator, Lambert Brown, is urging his colleagues to put country over partisan interest, when the vote is taken on the Bills seeking to make the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) the final court of appeal for Jamaica.
  • He was making his contribution to the debate on the CCJ Bills in the Senate Thursday, November 12.
  • The three Bills being debated are the Constitution (Amendment) (Caribbean Court of Justice) Act 2015; the Judicature (Appellate Jurisdiction) Act, 2015, and the Caribbean Court of Justice Act, 2015.

Government Senator, Lambert Brown, is urging his colleagues to put country over partisan interest, when the vote is taken on the Bills seeking to make the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) the final court of appeal for Jamaica.

“It is my view that the Senate must rise above politics of opposing for opposing sake. Jamaica has suffered for too long from the mentality that being the minority in Parliament requires us to oppose, simply for opposition sake,” Senator Brown said.

He was making his contribution to the debate on the CCJ Bills in the Senate Thursday, November 12.

Mr. Brown said that Senators should end the tradition of opposing simply “for opposing sake.”

“Let us take this enlightened approach to these three historic Bills,” he urged, adding that adopting the CCJ as Jamaica’s final court is a way for the country to emancipate itself from years of slavery.
“I will not accept that the Privy Council is our house. I have no house in colonialism and I make no claim for it, because that is what Sam Sharpe and the other leaders fought against. Why should we claim a house elsewhere when we cannot even get a visa to go,” he said.

The three Bills being debated are the Constitution (Amendment) (Caribbean Court of Justice) Act 2015; the Judicature (Appellate Jurisdiction) Act, 2015, and the Caribbean Court of Justice Act, 2015.

They are seeking to delink Jamaica from the Judicial Committee of the United Kingdom (UK) Privy Council, and to become part of the CCJ in its Appellate Jurisdiction.

The CCJ Bills were debated and passed on May 12 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.

The CCJ was established on February 12, 2001 through an agreement signed by the Heads of Government of CARICOM at their 22nd meeting in Nassau. It has two jurisdictions – appellate and original.

 

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