Categorized | Local, News, Regional

Indian jurist urges Trinidad to fully adopt CCJ as final appellate court

 
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,Feb. 9, CMC – A former Supreme Court Judge from India, B.N. Srikrishna has urged the twin island republic to fully adopt the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final court of appeal rather than the Privy Council in London.
B.N. Srikrishna
B.N. Srikrishna

“What are you waiting for,” asked Srikrishna who made the appeal at a recent symposium hosted by the Law Association Trinidad and Tobago.

The aim of the recent symposium was to encourage the government to suitably amend the Constitution to elevate the CCJ as the final court of appeal.

According to Srikrisha, India   replaced the UK based Privy Council as its final court of appeal by the Federal Court of India — now the Supreme Court of India — just two years after gaining independence from Britain in 1947 “Why should a sovereign state allow its former master to be the final arbitrator?”

For several years , there have been strong calls for the government of Trinidad and Tobago to disqualify itself from the Privy Council. This, however, requires consensus in parliament, which is not forthcoming.

Also speaking at the event was Jamaica-born Judge Patrick Robinson, now a member of the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

“Our colonial legacy has brainwashed us to believe we are not good. But the CCJ is as good as or better, and can fulfill all the needs of the region. The Privy Council must be weary of people from the Commonwealth.”

Caribbean people that should not doubt “the greatness of our region”.

“Why would anyone doubt that a region has produced Hugh Wooding, Norman Manley, Telford Georges, three Nobel laureates — Arthur Lewis for economics, Derek Walcott and Vidia Naipaul for literature; Elsa Goveia, CLR James, Bob Marley, Usain Bolt and Trinidad Carnival — why would anyone doubt that a region with such a tradition of culture and greatness could produce a final appellate body that meets at the highest international standards of competence, independence and impartiality,” he asked.

Robinson noted that the CCJ is accessible to Caribbean citizens, the majority of whom cannot afford the 5,000 mile trip to the Privy Council, which is, “utilised by those who are relatively well off and those accused of murder who receive pro bono representation from English lawyers”.

“If the Privy Council has served Trinidad and Tobago well, the CCJ will serve it better,” he said.

In 2001, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries established the Trinidad-based CCJ to replace the London-based Privy Council as the region’s final court.

But so far only Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Guyana have signed on to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the CCJ, even though most of the 15-member grouping are signatories to the Original Jurisdiction of the CCJ that also serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the integration movement.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by STAFF WRITER
 
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,Feb. 9, CMC – A former Supreme Court Judge from India, B.N. Srikrishna has urged the twin island republic to fully adopt the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final court of appeal rather than the Privy Council in London.
B.N. Srikrishna
B.N. Srikrishna

“What are you waiting for,” asked Srikrishna who made the appeal at a recent symposium hosted by the Law Association Trinidad and Tobago.

The aim of the recent symposium was to encourage the government to suitably amend the Constitution to elevate the CCJ as the final court of appeal.

According to Srikrisha, India   replaced the UK based Privy Council as its final court of appeal by the Federal Court of India — now the Supreme Court of India — just two years after gaining independence from Britain in 1947 “Why should a sovereign state allow its former master to be the final arbitrator?”

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For several years , there have been strong calls for the government of Trinidad and Tobago to disqualify itself from the Privy Council. This, however, requires consensus in parliament, which is not forthcoming.

Also speaking at the event was Jamaica-born Judge Patrick Robinson, now a member of the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

“Our colonial legacy has brainwashed us to believe we are not good. But the CCJ is as good as or better, and can fulfill all the needs of the region. The Privy Council must be weary of people from the Commonwealth.”

Caribbean people that should not doubt “the greatness of our region”.

“Why would anyone doubt that a region has produced Hugh Wooding, Norman Manley, Telford Georges, three Nobel laureates — Arthur Lewis for economics, Derek Walcott and Vidia Naipaul for literature; Elsa Goveia, CLR James, Bob Marley, Usain Bolt and Trinidad Carnival — why would anyone doubt that a region with such a tradition of culture and greatness could produce a final appellate body that meets at the highest international standards of competence, independence and impartiality,” he asked.

Robinson noted that the CCJ is accessible to Caribbean citizens, the majority of whom cannot afford the 5,000 mile trip to the Privy Council, which is, “utilised by those who are relatively well off and those accused of murder who receive pro bono representation from English lawyers”.

“If the Privy Council has served Trinidad and Tobago well, the CCJ will serve it better,” he said.

In 2001, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries established the Trinidad-based CCJ to replace the London-based Privy Council as the region’s final court.

But so far only Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Guyana have signed on to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the CCJ, even though most of the 15-member grouping are signatories to the Original Jurisdiction of the CCJ that also serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the integration movement.