While Trinidad and Tobago has not yet made the Caribbean Court of Justice its final court of appeal, Jamaica is about to put it to a vote.
Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator AJ Nicholson, is urging full support for the adoption of the CCJ as Jamaica’s final court of appeal.
On October 16th, the Jamaican senate will commence a debate on three bills which will seek to install the CCJ and sever the country from the judicial committee of the United Kingdom Privy Council. These three bills were debated and passed on May 12th in the House of Representatives where it was voted against by the opposition.
Speaking at a public forum on the CCJ held at the faculty of law at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Nicholson urged the opposition to come on board in supporting the bills stating that there was no good reason whatsoever that can be conjured up at this stage to register a negative vote before the senate. He noted that no country within the Westminster system of government has wished that matters relating to its judiciary, be subject to political hustings.
Norman Manley law professor Stephen Vasciannie gave his support for the CCJ, noting that it was cheaper to appeal to the CCJ in the Caribbean than with the Privy Council in the United Kingdom. He said that if Jamaica were to become party to the appellate jurisdiction, appeals would be heard in Jamaica by the CCJ, increasing the access to justice for ordinary persons.