President of CCJ confident of court’s impartiality
The President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has expressed complete confidence in his impartiality, as well as that of his colleagues, in making rulings as Justices of the court.
The pressure on the Justices of the CCJ to remain impartial, given the political and social structure of the Caribbean, is one of the main arguments used by those opponents of the court being named the final appellate court.
Currently four countries in the Caribbean, Belize, Barbados, Guyana and Dominica, have replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which is based in England, with the CCJ.
In an interview at SEARCHLIGHT this Wednesday, newly appointed President of the CCJ, Justice Adrian Saunders, revealed how he would respond to such concerns.
“I would say that my colleagues and I were appointed because of a proven record of integrity, and of being able to assess the cases before them in a dispassionate and objective manner,” he stated, continuing, “I would say that there are, four countries, two of them have been sending their appeals to us for the last 13 years, and that we have a 13-year track record.”
Saunders expressed that it is “not enough to say we are concerned about this,” and that persons may determine the validity of their concerns by checking the 13-year history of the court.
“We can find out from the lawyers, and the Attorneys General of the general public of the countries of Barbados and Guyana in particular, because they’ve been with us for the last 13 years, what has been their experience,” he stated.
The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley was set to give an address about the CCJ in Grenada, and the President disclosed that he was greatly anticipating it.
“I am just waiting with bated breath to hear what she would say, because I have no doubt that she would say nice things about the court, because I think we’ve been serving the people of Barbados with distinction over the last 13 years,” Saunders ended.
Speaking at the launch of the CCJ Promotional Activities in Grenada, which is leading up to an expected referendum in Grenada later this year, Prime Minister Mottley spoke about why the CCJ should be the region’s final appellate court.
During the course of her speech, Mottley, who spoke of the times before the inception of the court, stated, “In 2018, the reality has turned out to be quite different from the fears and apprehensions expressed by so many. The positive reputation that the Caribbean Court of Justice has gained in recent months and years has enhanced its favourable rating in the eyes of ordinary lawyers and in the eyes of ordinary Caribbean citizens.”