Categorized | Regional

CCJ to provide Caribbean legal training

CMC – Trinidad – The Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Court of Justice recently announced that it had established a new facility aimed at the “advancing of knowledge, education, learning, research, and practical application of Law and the Administration of Justice in the Caribbean context”.

It said that the Caribbean Academy for Law and Court Administration, funded by the European Development Fund, will provide training for Caribbean professionals in International Law and Court Administration.

CALCA before this launched its first week-long annual seminar entitled ‘International Law and its relevance for CSME (Caribbean Community Single Market and Economy) integration’.

The seminar is was attended by 29 lawyers and economists from public and private sectors of Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

The CCJ was established in 2001, but to date only Barbados, Guyana and Belize have made it their final court, while some regional countries are signatories to the original jurisdiction of the court that also serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the 15-member regional integration movement.

Last weekend, prominent Jamaican jurist joined in the open criticism of Caribbean countries that fail to recognise the CCJ as their final court of appeal.

Judge Patrick Robinson, who is also the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, said that failure to replace the Privy Council has only served to nourish the seed of unfitness, incapacity and inferiority “planted in our heads by 300 years of colonisation”.

Judge blames colonisation’s effects for failure to accept CCJ
DISTINGUISHED Jamaican judge Patrick Robinson says the country’s failure to replace the United Kingdom Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has only served to nourish the seed of unfitness, incapacity and inferiority planted in our heads by 300 years of colonisation.

In a forceful address to the Cornwall Bar Association Annual Banquet and Awards in Montego Bay on Saturday, Robinson, the president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, gave a number of reasons for Jamaica to leave the Privy Council, chief among them being the impact of colonialism and slavery on the Jamaican psyche.

“The argument is not that they explain all the ills of this country,” said Robinson. “But that they have a continuing impact on our thinking and behavioural patterns is beyond question.”

Lamenting that after 48 years of Independence Jamaica remained in what he described as the “embrace of the UK Privy Council”, Robinson reminded his audience that the English court was established in 1833 to hear appeals from the ‘plantations and colonies’. However, he argued that judicial independence, a natural companion of political independence, could and should have been ours in 1962.

“We are still reeling from the ill-effects of this vicious, dehumanising aspect of colonisation that has left ingrained in the psyche of our people the feeling that they are not good enough, that what they look like is not good enough and that what is foreign, especially if it is white, English, European or American is better. For heaven’s sake, there are Jamaicans who bleach their black skins to attain a lighter, whiter shade!” said Robinson.

Arguing that the symbols at the apex of our political and judicial systems are all wrong, Robinson said: “The Monarchy and the Privy Council, comprised of foreigners, are ignorant of our culture, living thousands of miles away, many of whom have never set foot in our country, and who have precious little in common with the Jamaican people, are rather like obsolescent growths on our nationhood, impatient for excision.”

He advocated a national conversation on colonialism and slavery and their impact on the Jamaican psyche, saying that 200 years after Emancipation we remain trapped in the vice-like grip of the historical psychopathology of the colonial slave society.
And that colonial experience, he said, explained our lack of self-esteem, our self doubt, mistrust and lack of confidence in each other.

“If you want an explanation for the opposition to the abolition of the Privy Council and its replacement by a Caribbean Court, this is it: the feeling that we are not good enough and cannot be depended on to be just and fair and deliver justice in the way that an English court can,” said Robinson.

He sought to debunk the belief that we are “a nation of incompetents and dullards” by pointing to “the stellar achievements of Jamaicans like Marcus Garvey, Norman Manley, TP Lecky and Bob Marley” and our athletes.

“Today, the achievements of our athletes at the global level give the lie to the claim that we can’t think, plan and manage to the highest international standards,” said Robinson. “For, if you are unsure of many things, of this one thing you can be sure: what we have achieved in global athletics is not an accident: it is, rather, the result of a system that has been patiently developed, tried and tested over the past century: a system of athletic instruction, management and administration that is now well established. Yes, we have the natural talent, but so do others. Without the system to harness and develop that talent, we would not be the success story we are.”

Making his case for Jamaica to accept the CCJ’s appellate jurisdiction, Robinson said that Garvey, Jamaica’s first National Hero, was correct in stating “It is far better to be free to govern or misgovern yourself than to be governed by anyone else”.

Robinson also pointed to the activity of the CCJ since its inception five years ago, saying that it has been “performing at the highest international standard” and has done a fair volume of work — 19 appeals from Guyana, 18 civil and one criminal, and 12 from Barbados, comprised of seven civil and five criminal.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

CMC – Trinidad – The Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Court of Justice recently announced that it had established a new facility aimed at the “advancing of knowledge, education, learning, research, and practical application of Law and the Administration of Justice in the Caribbean context”.

It said that the Caribbean Academy for Law and Court Administration, funded by the European Development Fund, will provide training for Caribbean professionals in International Law and Court Administration.

CALCA before this launched its first week-long annual seminar entitled ‘International Law and its relevance for CSME (Caribbean Community Single Market and Economy) integration’.

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The seminar is was attended by 29 lawyers and economists from public and private sectors of Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

The CCJ was established in 2001, but to date only Barbados, Guyana and Belize have made it their final court, while some regional countries are signatories to the original jurisdiction of the court that also serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the 15-member regional integration movement.

Last weekend, prominent Jamaican jurist joined in the open criticism of Caribbean countries that fail to recognise the CCJ as their final court of appeal.

Judge Patrick Robinson, who is also the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, said that failure to replace the Privy Council has only served to nourish the seed of unfitness, incapacity and inferiority “planted in our heads by 300 years of colonisation”.

Judge blames colonisation’s effects for failure to accept CCJ
DISTINGUISHED Jamaican judge Patrick Robinson says the country’s failure to replace the United Kingdom Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has only served to nourish the seed of unfitness, incapacity and inferiority planted in our heads by 300 years of colonisation.

In a forceful address to the Cornwall Bar Association Annual Banquet and Awards in Montego Bay on Saturday, Robinson, the president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, gave a number of reasons for Jamaica to leave the Privy Council, chief among them being the impact of colonialism and slavery on the Jamaican psyche.

“The argument is not that they explain all the ills of this country,” said Robinson. “But that they have a continuing impact on our thinking and behavioural patterns is beyond question.”

Lamenting that after 48 years of Independence Jamaica remained in what he described as the “embrace of the UK Privy Council”, Robinson reminded his audience that the English court was established in 1833 to hear appeals from the ‘plantations and colonies’. However, he argued that judicial independence, a natural companion of political independence, could and should have been ours in 1962.

“We are still reeling from the ill-effects of this vicious, dehumanising aspect of colonisation that has left ingrained in the psyche of our people the feeling that they are not good enough, that what they look like is not good enough and that what is foreign, especially if it is white, English, European or American is better. For heaven’s sake, there are Jamaicans who bleach their black skins to attain a lighter, whiter shade!” said Robinson.

Arguing that the symbols at the apex of our political and judicial systems are all wrong, Robinson said: “The Monarchy and the Privy Council, comprised of foreigners, are ignorant of our culture, living thousands of miles away, many of whom have never set foot in our country, and who have precious little in common with the Jamaican people, are rather like obsolescent growths on our nationhood, impatient for excision.”

He advocated a national conversation on colonialism and slavery and their impact on the Jamaican psyche, saying that 200 years after Emancipation we remain trapped in the vice-like grip of the historical psychopathology of the colonial slave society.
And that colonial experience, he said, explained our lack of self-esteem, our self doubt, mistrust and lack of confidence in each other.

“If you want an explanation for the opposition to the abolition of the Privy Council and its replacement by a Caribbean Court, this is it: the feeling that we are not good enough and cannot be depended on to be just and fair and deliver justice in the way that an English court can,” said Robinson.

He sought to debunk the belief that we are “a nation of incompetents and dullards” by pointing to “the stellar achievements of Jamaicans like Marcus Garvey, Norman Manley, TP Lecky and Bob Marley” and our athletes.

“Today, the achievements of our athletes at the global level give the lie to the claim that we can’t think, plan and manage to the highest international standards,” said Robinson. “For, if you are unsure of many things, of this one thing you can be sure: what we have achieved in global athletics is not an accident: it is, rather, the result of a system that has been patiently developed, tried and tested over the past century: a system of athletic instruction, management and administration that is now well established. Yes, we have the natural talent, but so do others. Without the system to harness and develop that talent, we would not be the success story we are.”

Making his case for Jamaica to accept the CCJ’s appellate jurisdiction, Robinson said that Garvey, Jamaica’s first National Hero, was correct in stating “It is far better to be free to govern or misgovern yourself than to be governed by anyone else”.

Robinson also pointed to the activity of the CCJ since its inception five years ago, saying that it has been “performing at the highest international standard” and has done a fair volume of work — 19 appeals from Guyana, 18 civil and one criminal, and 12 from Barbados, comprised of seven civil and five criminal.