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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dr Kenny Anthony baffled at Jamaica’s position on CCJ

Friday, 24 December 2010 13:03 cmc

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Former St Lucia prime minister Dr. Kenny Anthony says he is baffled at the position outlined by Jamaica after Prime Minister Bruce Golding hinted at the possibility of not having the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final court .

Anthony has also disagreed with a suggestion from AJ Nicholson, the opposition People’s National Party’s (PNP) spokesman on Justice, who recommended that Jamaica makes the CCJ its final appellate court with a provision for local judges to sit on cases from Jamaica.

“This is bound to attack the very integrity of the court and its going to smack of a situation where the government is paying for the quality of justice it gets by appointing two judges on the CCJ. It strikes at the very heart of the argument that has been put forward in Jamaica that you want a court free of manipulation. The potential for manipulation in that formula is even greater” the St Lucian opposition leader said.

The Jamaica Constitution requires a minimum of 40 'yes' votes in the 60-seat House and 14 'yes' votes in the Senate for Jamaica to abolish the Privy Council as its court of final appeal.

The CCJ was established in 2001 by regional governments to replace the Privy Council as the region’s final court. Most of the CARICOM countries are signatories to the court’s original jurisdiction but only Barbados, Guyana and Belize have signed on to the appellate jurisdiction.

The CCJ also serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and the regional integration grouping.

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