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Aug 30, 2010

Influential CARICOM personalities concerned about CCJ

dean barrow

Regional media reports of influential CARICOM personalities expressing shared concerns about the Caribbean Court of Justice is causing a stir amongst countries that have signed on to the judicial institution as their final court of appeal.  Last Friday a letter signed recipients of the Order of the Caribbean Community, including former Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson and Sir Shridath Ramphall who have both been bestowed with the Order of Belize, former PAHO executive Sir George Alleyne, former CARICOM secretary general Sir Alister McIntyre and Dominica’s Head of State Nicholas Liverpool, was sent to all CARICOM Heads of Government.  The memo served as a warning that any conditions causing the dislocation of the CCJ which is headquartered in Trinidad could prove critical to its presence with the region.  The message states “any attempt to create a climate of hostility to the CCJ by distortions in the country of the court’s location is serious in itself”.  Among the countries that have signed on to and fully adopted the CCJ are Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana and Belize.  Belize, in June of this year, shifted from the Privy Council in London to the CCJ and today Prime Minister Barrow weighed in on the position of the letter’s signatories.

Voice of: Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“We agree that it would be extremely disruptive if it were to move from Trinidad and Tobago.  I have discussed this matter with the president of the CCJ, Sir Michael de la Bastide and the worry arises because of press reports in Trinidad and Tobago.  I think that the new government there could be contemplating the possibility of asking the community to take the court elsewhere. Now, I want to stress, as far as I understand, this is just a matter of a media report. I don’t know that any official position has been taken by the new government of Trinidad and Tobago but the press report was worrying enough for President De la Bastide to discuss the matter with me since I am the CARICOM head with the most direct responsibility for the court.  He did say to me that he would be talking to Sir Shridath Ramphal and P.J. Patterson among others, persons who could seek to urge the government of Trinidad and Tobago not in fact to proceed with any move to in fact terminate the existence of the court in Port-of-Spain assuming that there might have been indeed such a contemplation on the part of the government of Trinidad and Tobago.  So I would say, Isani, that we clearly have to recognize that perhaps some credence is due to the press report but we cannot elevate it to the status of official Trinidad and Tobago government policy.  It’s just as well that Caribbean personalities of influence are weighing in on the matter so that perhaps it’s a preemptive strike.  I don’t think we ought to get carried away because there is nothing, I repeat, that’s official from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago suggesting that it is even contemplating such a move.”

Of the countries who are a part of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Belize, along with other members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States are responsible to pay two point two million U.S. dollars each to a Regional Trust Fund to defray the operational cost of the court.  Trinidad and Tobago pays the most, a total of thirty-one point six million U.S. dollars, as it is the head office of the CCJ.

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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4 Responses for “Influential CARICOM personalities concerned about CCJ”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    This is just a glitch, it will be worked out , the sooner, the better.

  2. CEO says:

    Rod I hope your memory is your shortest attribute! If you can’t even remember events that happened with the last government that got us in the mess where we are there is no need discussing this with you: here is some help. $200,000 from City Council, Hundreds of millions wasted on private investors to guarantee them a profit, DFC, Housing scheme, Social Security. Has the light bulb gone on yet?

  3. rod says:

    true ceo but it took yearsssssssssssssss to do this gov has done in 2yrs what the other gov took 10yrs to do and and i repeat and belize now has highest crime rate in the history of belize economy worse ever,tourism worse ever,education worse ever,corrouption gone arie ,all aspects of civility in the tank all in just 2yrs imagine in another 3yrs wow wow wow enough said CEO.

  4. mammy's Diva says:

    …. YOU PM YOU NEED HELP you dont’ even know how to govern your country and now you want to go elsewhere and govern another man’s palce how there you deal with your nation first then with others. YOU TO HELL PM GO TO HELL YOU REALLY NEED HELP.

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