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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)
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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has restated his preference for the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ highest court.

He told Parliament on Thursday that there are some people who believe that the only way to get justice is to go to the London-based Privy Council, which is currently SVG’s highest court.

I’m a Caribbean Court of Justice man,” Gonsalves said during the debate on the Attorney General’s Reference (Constitutional Questions) Bill.

He noted that his government held a referendum on that question.

Replacing the Privy Council with the CCJ as SVG’s highest court was one of the proposed changes to the Constitution that the Vincentian electorate rejected in a referendum in 2009.

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“… in time, I’m confident that the people will see it,” Gonsalves said about his desire to see the nation switch from the Privy Council to the CCJ.

“I may not be in politics at that time, I may not even be at this side of eternity,” said Gonsalves, who will turn 72 in August.

“But, Mr. Speaker I’m not going to allow anybody to scare me into not supporting the Caribbean Court of Justice. This is not an occasion for that debate, but there are some people who don’t – including at the Bar in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who feel that way,” he said.

The prime minister also did not indicate whether he would consider a referendum on the CCJ question as a stand-alone issue, rather than bundled with many of the other controversial questions of the 2009 referendum.

10 replies on “‘I’m a CCJ man’ – Gonsalves”

  1. Closer to home…greater potential for unfair influence. Not surprised PM in favour of CCJ but I shout Privy all the way…wait for ULP kiss asses to agree with anything PM says…kmdt

  2. Vincy Lawyer says:

    Pros of the CCJ: Faster dispensation of a legal matter by a body who may be more intuned with the charges etc. Unlike the Privy Council who said Compay’s actions inter alia does not meet the threshold for “worse of the worse” to warrant hanging.

    Major Con: The possibility of POLITICAL INTERFERENCE!

    The con is so concerning that I am not convinced the ends will justify the means.

  3. C. ben-David says:

    As a stand-alone question, the issue of abolishing appeals to the Privy Council would be defeated more resoundly than the entire Constitution referendum.

    Our people don’t trust our local lawyers or our local and regional courts, all for good reason, some of which has to do with the widespread regret especially among older heads for the severing of our ties to Great Britain which, if they were still in place, would have made us today a better governed, more law abiding, and more prosperous dominion.

    If you doubt it, just check out the much better economic conditions and way of life in the remaining Caribbean colonies.

    1. Ben are saying that the white man brain is better than the black man brain…… Sorry I couldn’t ask the question more politically correct

  4. Quoting Carl Jung, the “collective unconscious” of the Caribbean Ruling Class stands a very good chance of always persuading the CCJ in their favour, much to the detriment of us, the ordinary peoples in the region.

    Is it therefore any way surprising, that the likes of our P.M, being the type of man who he is, would thus prefer the C.C.J, over and above appeals to the Privy Council.

    Give me the Privy Council any day! As a rule, whatever this Caribbean Ruling Class hates, should never be too quickly jettisoned without a long and thorough scrutiny, as their contempt of us is, well observed in their approach to political power.

  5. Is that going to put food is all the hungry people belle. All this man thinking is laws laws laws to short change the people. Who in their right mind will get justice in a CCJ setup with all them crooked lawyers and judges in this Caribbean who the crooked politicians will manipulate. please. Man find jobs for the people that’s what they want so that they can cut out all the begging that they do.

    1. Very well said svg lost. Our PM should start keeping his election promises from the very beginning. Freedom of Information (instead he is for the opposite) Where are the thousands of jobs. That was number one on his list for this past election. He also said he would fix more roads than ever in the history of SVG. I am sure there are dozens of other unkept promises. Instead we constantly see him doing anything possible manipulating the laws, creating “sneaky laws” to nullify the old ones, all to get more power for himself. I am glad that many people that comment on this sight are not as dumb as many voters that vote for thier own poverty and bondage. .

  6. Papa better be careful what you wish for don’t bite you and Junior in the ass old cases can be brought up at the CCJ be careful papa.

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