BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Nov 5– A prominent attorney has criticized Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments for paying lip service to moves to make the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Appeal, the region’s final court.
Queen’s Counsel Emile Ferdinand said many Caribbean leaders from time to time “claim to favour replacing the London-based Privy Council with the CCJ as the region’s final court, but fail to take the necessary action to accomplish the feat.
“Is the inertia of most Caribbean Governments in moving to make the CCJ their final appellate court caused by hesitant political leaders now being fearful of the independence and accessibility of the CCJ?
“It would be sad to think that our region’s political leadership, whether in Government or in Opposition, is still, after all this time, stuck in the mindset that British justice is always better justice,” Ferdinand said as he delivered a lecture on the CCJ as part of the activities marking a week of activities by the St. Kitts-Nevis Bar association.
“ Certainly the “Birmingham Six”, the “Guildford Four” and the “Maquire Seven” would not share that colonial perspective. These three groups of persons were wrongly convicted in England in the 1970’s and imprisoned, some for over 16 years, before their convictions were quashed.
“I recall a saying that: “The reason the sun never set on the British Empire was because God did not trust the British in the dark”. (2013)
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