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Nov 29, 2017

P.M. Says Disappointment with the C.C.J. Does Not Extend to Bias or Corruption

Dean Barrow

Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington has gone on record to chide the CCJ, after losing an appeal in respect of a private land dispute involving Progresso Heights.  He soundly criticized the bench by stating that he was denied a fair chance to present his case before the appellate jurisdiction, perhaps because of a preconceived notion that he is both a lawyer and a politician.  His disapproval, some would argue, came close to contempt of court.  Government, on the other hand, has lost two consecutive cases before the CCJ.  So what is its position on the regional court?

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Government stands where it has always stood since the constitution was amended, to provide for the CCJ to become the final court of appeal for our jurisdiction.  The position remains the same.”

 

Reporter

“Is it unfortunate that members of your government have spoken unkindly of the court, the highest court in the land and also the court which gave the U.D.P. a phrase which I believe it has trademarked, “malignant tumors?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Well that’s the difficulty.  One doesn’t see too much a of a distinction between the facts here and the facts in the malignant tumor case, but in any event, and that is what puzzles us and what has us at a loss to understand this particular decision.  But in any event, it has been said a long time ago man, justice is not a cloistered virtue.  The court, these people are not divinities, the judges are not gods, they are not immune to criticism.  What you must be careful not to do is to accuse them of bias, is to accuse them of corruption, is to accuse them of having taken money to come up with a particular decision.  Nobody would ever make that sort of a suggestion.  So to the extent that our people with feeling, offered criticism of the CCJ, that is part of the hurly burly of a situation such as this.”

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