Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin



News from the Caribbean:


Back To Today's News

OECS opposition parties urged to reject CCJ
Published on July 28, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

CASTRIES, St Lucia -- The recent announcement by the incoming chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, that he intends to make the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) the ultimate legal body of all member states by the end of his tenure has drawn a reaction from the leader of the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM), Therold Prudent.

therold_prudent2.jpg
Leader of the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM), Therold Prudent
In affirming his party’s opposition to joining the CCJ without the express consent of the citizens throughout the OECS territories, Prudent insists that such a move would not only serve to devalue the principles of democracy but could also eventually ensure that both the legal and political systems are controlled by cowards who are distrustful of the independent judgment of their own people.

According to Prudent, in this regard, it would seem unconscionable for any right-thinking person to accept that, after years of hauling political opponents to court and displaying public attitudes which have, at times, seemed disrespectful, intolerant and condescending towards others, Roosevelt Skerrit, Kenny Anthony, Ralph Gonsalves and Denzil Douglas, among others, could be found to be sufficiently credible single-handedly to approve the CCJ as the final appellate body of the OECS.

“To understand the sudden rush to adopt the CCJ as the final appellate court in the next 12 months, one must first understand the school of thought that currently exists among the various labour party governments within the OECS community,” he said.

Prudent explained that, for many years now, it has been the belief of certain Caribbean leaders that the CCJ would be an easier legal entity to control than the Privy Council, which has had a very long history of independence and does not conform to the influences or interferences of any political directorate.

“Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that, by getting rid of the Privy Council (the only legal body which has, for decades, consistently provided effective checks and balances against government overreach and other tyrannical tendencies within the OECS and the wider Caribbean), the current OECS governments would be in a greater position to seal the legal fate of thousands of citizens who, technically, no longer have access to a truly independent court of last resort. The CCJ would, in effect, become the court of such governments, since they -- and not the people -- were responsible for providing the legitimate means for it to operate within the OECS,” he said.

Prudent suggests that such a move would not only provide the basis for gross political interference within the CCJ but may also even lay the basis for the possible future appointment of partisans, such as Dr Kenny Anthony and even his controversial Dominican-born attorney, Anthony Astaphan.

“There are dark clouds which threaten the continued expansion of democracy within the region, including alterations to the original intent and purpose of the CCJ.

“Therefore, in light of these latest developments, it would be irresponsible of any opposition party within the OECS community to ignore calls for a coordinated strategy to push back against these current regimes’ diabolical plans to secure unfettered power. Whether through civil disobedience or mass public protest, resistance must be mounted,” Prudent concluded.
 
Reads: 5410





Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Back...

Comments:

James Bristol:

I agree with the writer. As a long-standing lawyer and former attorney general and president of the Grenada bar, I am deeply concerned by the move to the CCJ as it is being driven by politicians and not by the public's cry for better justice before the Privy Council. Once politicians instigate such a move, it brings into question the bona fides of their motives. I have experienced political interference in the OECS Court at all levels.The mind bogggles at what the consequences will be.

M. J Davis:

Even if I am a Dominican - I have generally respected Therold Prudent's political thought. But as a lawyer whom have admired the advancement to integration within OECS and have hope for Caricom to catch up - and as a grandson of a regional integrationist I have had great hope for the CCJ.

Please sir, provide examples where the Privy Council (the only legal body which has, for decades, consistently provided effective checks and balances against government overreach and other tyrannical tendencies within the OECS and the wider Caribbean) has had to rule to prevent governments in the region from overreach or other tyrannical behavior?

I request this history so as to understand your thinking as to the future you are predicting regarding this citizen choice matter - is it politics or patriotism?

Margaret London:

I am in total agreement with Prudent's position!!! These leaders must understand that they are working with us and for us and not for themselves. From what I have seen in the Sangster and Dixon's case, I am afraid of the CCJ like ghost is afraid of holy water. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/35104_Saved-by-the-tape

Martin Imhoff:

Mr. M. J Davis

I basically share the same sentiments as James Bristol. Here in ANTIGUA we had a ban on radio stations (possibly for 28 years, do not quote me on the time period) . The only thing we heard was the government's radio station and a radio station owned by a member of the ruling family. The case had to reach the Privy Council for us to get JUSTICE here. We now have possible 10 radio stations. WHY WAS THIS NECESSARY?


Back...

Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Comments:
Enter Code



Please note that, if you are using an AT&T domain email address, e.g. att.net, bellsouth.net, sbcglobal.net, the verification email will likely not be delivered. This is outside of our control and the only remedy seems to be for readers to complain to AT&T





Disclaimer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.



Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: