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Nov 18, 2009

…And reasons to go the CCJ way

Still on CARICOM, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced on June nineteenth of this year that the Privy Council will be replaced with the Caribbean Court of Justice as the final court of appeal for Belize. That’s a decision Barbados made several years ago and one that Arthur says he does not regret. He explained why.

Owen Arthurs, Former Prime Minister of Barbados
“The Caribbean Court of Justice was an institution that Caribbean heads sought to create by using the most scrupulous and most carefully thought out processes. The court was given judicial and financial independence. Some of the Caribbean countries have to depend upon the state of the exchequer and state of the public finances in their respective countries. The Caribbean Court of Justice was given financial independence; we borrowed money, put it in a trust and they’re living off that. The heads also were careful not to create any process by which there can be political intrusion on the manner in which the court functions or judges are selected and the court is made of persons of the most incredible capabilities. Barbados, therefore, never had any fear about participating in the court and what we did not want to do was, as our former prime minister says, be found loitering on colonial property after closing time. We are now reaching a stage in the Caribbean where the British are saying we don’t want you to be in our court anymore because you are too expensive and you are a nuisance to us and you face the possible embarrassment, if nothing else is done, of being ejected by the British from participating in their Privy Council.”

When it comes to the CCJ Arthur says his philosophy is that “The basis of a society, no matter how simple, is the capacity of members of that society to provide justice for their own”.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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