TT President says region should dump Privy Council

Trinidad and Tobago President, Anthony Carmona, has expressed frustration that his country and other CARICOM states have not replaced the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as their final authority in legal matters.

Though 12 of the 15 CARICOM territories have signed the agreement establishing the CCJ, which was launched in 2005 as the final arbiter in legal disputes among and within regional members, only Barbados, Guyana, Dominica and Belize have accepted this court as the end decision-maker.

Carmona, who served as a High Court Judge before being appointed as President in 2013, expressed his frustration during a presentation on Thursday to University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, undergraduate organisation, ‘Students Today Alumni Tomorrow’.

“Why have we yet, not all, subscribed to the jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice?” he asked in the Henry Fraser Lecture Theatre while delivering a presentation on, ‘Redefining Caribbean Pride for the 21st Century Youth’.

President Carmona said he sees acceptance by all territories of CCJ to be the court of last resort as another step towards fortifying the Caribbean identity.

“Perhaps the day will finally come when we can all take pride in, and responsibility for, defining, shaping, writing and ultimately, rewriting our own jurisprudence and laws in the context of our own peculiarities and the relationships among our own member states.

“The arguments for a common jurisprudence have been exhausted, but are not exhaustible.”

CCJ Judges are predominantly of Caribbean origin, and according to a CARICOM document, “Judges appointed to the CCJ are evaluated on the basis of wide-ranging criteria that include experience, high moral character, intellectual and analytical ability, sound judgment, integrity and an understanding of people and society”.

Carmona believes that with the majority of CARICOM nations yet to make that constitutional move towards replacement of the Privy Council with the CCJ for their citizens, creates a ‘deficit’ “that mitigates against the spirit of the Caribbean integration movement”.

“There have been many failed attempts at an integrated Caribbean in the past, with just a few making successful strides in this regard. Today, Caribbean societies are confronting even greater difficulties in treating with such issues as crime and security, health issues, and, of increasing importance, the danger posed by climate change.  The need to pool resources has therefore never been more urgent.”

“There needs to be an embracing approach by all leaders. We must not be concerned about what we can get from each other but rather how we can help each other,” he said while urging the UWI students to take up Caribbean leadership positions for change.

“Today, we are witnessing developments at the global level, which have the potential to marginalize or make irrelevant our very presence as sovereign states, if we do not culture the kind of leadership that is required to help us meet and overcome these challenges,” Carmona said. (GA)

15 Responses to TT President says region should dump Privy Council

  1. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn April 23, 2017 at 6:58 am

    I don’t trust that court. Their was a case with a promoter from DOMINICA suing the government. Because the government stop the reggae show and caused the promoter to lose money. That case was dismissed because it is the government.

  2. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner April 23, 2017 at 8:11 am

    CCJ gine be too damm political like everything else in the Caribbean,maybe that’s why the other islands not in a rush to get with it as the final stop.

  3. jrsmith April 23, 2017 at 8:16 am

    @, Angus B, hail, hail, good shot on the button not trusting the court, I am also of the opinion rushing to get rid of the (Privy Council), means the politicians / governments of each country could do as they please , not having an external responsible body as the (Privy Council ) to answer to , the games they play with our people lives…………………………………..

  4. BimJim April 23, 2017 at 8:56 am

    I agree with a Caribbean Privy Council, but NOT in Trinidad. In my experience, every regional body that is based there quickly falls apart from neglect, and their web sites deteriorate to “useless” status – with out of date information, telephone numbers, emails and even location address.

    Trinidad itself is famous for signing and then not complying with major and minor regional Agreements and Treaties, so should NOT be the place where any regional entities exist.

    IMHO a Caribbean Privy Council should also be more central – how is someone in St. Kitts supposed to get the same consideration as someone from Grenada (or Trinidad) who can be on the spot with very little personal cost?

  5. Alex Alleyne April 23, 2017 at 10:47 am

    It is sad that in this time most of the Caribbean Countries are still holding on to the PRIVY COUNCIL coat tail. Guys saying they do not “trust” the CCJ. If there are problems at the court let us put pressure there in order to address them including the COST. But do you really trust the English base Court ?. If you do , then we will always be the “faces at the bottom of the well” and will always be label as “Third World”.

    • BimJim April 23, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      The problem with that is TRUST. If we cannot TRUST our politicians to do what is right and stop teifing (and they are and we cannot), how can we trust them to ensure that we get real justice?

      Reality is that CARICOM is basically a joke, just an excuse for a Good Old Boys Club to meet several times a year – at taxpayer expense – talk a stream of nonsense as if they are serious, and then come home fully relaxed.

      Because they are all still Kings protecting their Kingdoms from everyone else, they never follow through or implement what they may have agreed and signed to at a CARICOM Summit.

      CARICOM will NEVER be anything like the EU – and with that organisation falling apart maybe they have a point. I would not like faceless, unelected and untouchable officials deep in the bowels of some organisation making decisions about how much taxes I will pay, what they will be used for, and what my future life will be like either.

  6. KEITH FORDE April 23, 2017 at 10:56 am


    • Jennifer April 23, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      @Keith Forde – 1000% correct. The problem is that we have the enemy within, thanks to our leaders who pushed for integration thereby disallowing this people to get onto the wealth ladder. The termites have overtaken the wood. There needs to be a full SEPARATION of that twin mindset that our people is current in with their oppressors and regroup as the powerful nation we once were. Then start to work from there. Every facet of massa’s systems we are entangled in like a ram caught in a thicket. From dress code to hair looks.

  7. Bill April 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    This court would only be trusted if the number of judges is large enough to have individuals not hear cases involving their country and or its nationals. Thus far there have been too many instances where verdicts have been questionable with concerns about the nationality of the complainants at the center of these concerns.

  8. Alex Alleyne April 23, 2017 at 5:47 pm


  9. jus me April 23, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Your usual racially induced claptrap.

    The Privy Council dispenses law based on hundreds of years of legal experience, .
    Not as it is dispensed in all the Caribbean, just on who can benefit financially, or who passes the most change, be it in cash or social status.

    The only LAW we have in the Caribbean is the WORD Law, Law in actuality is NONEXISTANT.
    Barbados being a prime example.

    Next will be the International Court in the Haigh.
    I expect totally you would support that as well.
    After all its NOT BLACK and its part of the OLD COLONIAL HERITAGE.

    Any more medical advice of yours I need to follow. lol.

    While you are at it , dispensing Psuedo advice, how about ,giving ACTUAL facts , not racially induced rants, showing what a powerful nation WE once were.

    WE for a start. Then WHAT Nation ?

    Selective reading results in stunted education.
    Your is about as stunted as stunted can get.
    You submission is no more than racial meandering of a delusional
    Just for ONCE explain something with facts , lets say your statement how, LEADERS WHO PUSHED FOR INTIGRATION etc etc.

    You and your submissions are an insult to all races and total bilge.

    • Jennifer April 23, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      @jus me – can you please wait until your troth is filled, then eat. Why did you not respond to keith forde.

  10. jus me April 24, 2017 at 1:57 am

    why DID you respond to Keith??

    Just maybe, your penchant for Selective Reading.

    Baggage girl Baggage.

    If you related more to the overall picture not just you own or support of your own , I would find your assertions more objective.

    Let me just enlighten you.
    One does not achieve an objective by trying to convert the converted.

    I have to admit the treatment of the negro peoples is and has been disgusting in every aspect, but also that the treatment of all peoples by ANY race who considered themselves superior.

    If I look fairly at what is, recorded as fact, historically, I would also have to conclude that your attitudes are extremely biased.
    Having lived in Africa, I can tell you from experience that Black brother hood is a fallacy.
    I have eyes and they see and a brain that works.

    May I just point to Ruanda, where the bodes filled the river, bank to bank and the crocs would not eat any more bodies.
    Jenifer they were black bodies ,killed by black people.
    A Genocide was carried out. By Blacks ON Blacks.
    Yet I have not heard or seen from you one comment and this event was relevantly recent.
    But I have little doubt you will have a good few excuses and opt outs, that you will have selectively read.

    You choose to go On and ON and ON about events of hundreds of years back, that were JOINTLY made by Blacks on Blacks and Whites on blacks.
    The whites were not the innovators of enslavement ,they were the Clients of the Blacks, who had already enslaved brothers of colour, and improved on the process, as bodies of any colour were valuable commodities.i.
    You choose to lay blame only at the feet of Non black races.
    The World was a different violent place for everyone.

    I do also realise that History is written by the Winners, the only Bad Guys are the losers.

    I never see you rail against Religion, the most destructive force every applied to mankind, turns race against race, creed against creed.
    Blacks were and are ,saturated in this poison, I would say, aren’t we all.

    If you wish to dissect what I say, do it from the point, that I say all men are created in the same way and we arrive as blank computers, beautiful in our innocence, until our minds raped by religion and then programmed to suit our JOINT masters.
    Be we Black or white or any race.
    The World needs only to understand LOVE, from this springs all things good.
    What dismays me ,is that I see this this as hopeless and unachievable, because GREED runs this World.

    This is the status Quo and will remain until we self destruct.

    • Jennifer April 24, 2017 at 6:06 am


  11. Everick Holder April 24, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    @ Angus Benn.
    So when the same CCJ ruled against The Barbados Government in the Myrie case, were they being political ?


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