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Nov 28, 2017

Elrington cites hostile treatment and laziness in writing decisions

Wilfred Elrington

According to Elrington, the C.C.J. leaves a lot to be desired, particularly since there is a total of five jurists presently sitting on its bench. He says that only one of its judges is responsible for the writing of judgments, notwithstanding the number of judges presiding on any one matter.

 

Wilfred Elrington

“One of the reasons why Caribbean countries decided that they would not stay with the Privy Council was because more and more the jurists in the region were of the view that they were not getting sound judgments out of the Privy Council because the Privy Council is not God.  As the priest among you will tell you, it is only the good Lord that gave the ten commandments and that is holy writ, but nobody else’s word is holy writ and it is always fallible.  Men are fallible and the institutions of man are fallible.  So that we left, we advocated to leave the Privy Council and to go to the CCJ because we thought the CCJ would have been much more responsive and appreciative of our own realities and that they in fact would take more time with our cases.  You have five judges sitting at the CCJ, but only one writes a decision and they hardly have any work to do, as far as I concerned.  To my mind, the least that they could do is to have each one of them write a decision so that we can get a clearer understanding as to how they are thinking, how they see it.  But I don’t think that it is fair for a young jurisdiction to have five judges sit down and only one writes a decision.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Can it be argued however, that it perhaps is sour grapes, seeing as though it’s the second straight case that the government has lost before the CCJ as its final appellate jurisdiction?”

 

Wilfred Elrington

“I’m not talking about case at all, I am only talking about my experience with them.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“But isn’t it what has the government in the same situation?”

 

Wilfred Elrington

“No.  No.  I don’t know about that and I am not adverting to that at this particular time.  But I am saying to you that in all my life, and I am now sixty-nine-years-old, I have not had any contact with the law in terms of having to go before them,  I went before them in this case, I won at the first instance, I won at the Court of Appeal and when I went to the CCJ I was really treated very, very poorly.  I thought they were very hostile to me.”

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