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Justice Adrian Saunders

President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Justice Adrian Saunders. (CCJ photo)

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — President of the Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Justice Adrian Saunders, says the court will continue ongoing initiatives with justice sector bodies despite the outcome of referenda held in Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda on Tuesday.

“While the news is not what we hoped for, we respect the people of both nations and their decision. The court will naturally continue ongoing initiatives with justice sector bodies in each of these countries, and the wider Caribbean, through the JURIST project and otherwise.”

In both Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda, the turnout of voters was low.

In Grenada, of 21,979 votes cast, 9,846 people voted to adopt the CCJ as the final Court of Appeal, while in Antigua and Barbuda; the margin was a little closer. There were 9,234 votes against and 8,509 votes in favour of the adoption of the CCJ.

“These results will not, of course, deter us from serving with distinction those nations that currently send their final appeals to us. As well, the Court will also continue to process and hear applications from all CARICOM States, and from CARICOM itself, in our Original Jurisdiction, and our justice reform work in the region will also continue,” the CCJ president said.

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He noted that in addition, there is an original jurisdiction case currently before the court originating from Grenada.

The JURIST Project, which is a multiyear justice reform project being implemented by the CCJ on behalf of the Conference of Heads of Judiciary of CARICOM states, is working on a Sexual Offences Model Court to be housed at the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda in 2019.

The CCJ Academy of Law is also scheduled to host a legal conference in Jamaica in December at which jurists from both countries, as well as the wider Caribbean, are participating.

Justice Saunders stated: “One of the positives that came out of this exercise is that there was sustained public education in both nations and the conversation about the CCJ intensified. We can see the fact that there was more interest in our website, ccj.org, and on our social media platforms, on LinkedIn and Twitter. As we begin to implement our strategic plan for the 2019-2023, which includes a renewed focus on public education, we will certainly be taking advantage of the increased audience, and the interest that has been piqued, to provide more information about the work of the court.”

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9 replies on “CCJ remains committed to region despite referenda outcome — president”

  1. Obviously any justice-minded government in our region with the opportunity to do so, will stay with the Privy Council. Most countries in the world do not have such a tremendous opportunity to have a more un-biased body to act as a court of final appeal. Countries like Saint Vincent does and we should never change. It has been demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that courts “closer” to powerful entities are more likely to be biased in thier decisions. I have absolutely no doubt that was the intention when the Prime Minister of SVG tried to make the switch that that was his intention.
    I wonder that if he is successful in forcing the CCJ onto the people against thier wishes, if it is ever possible to switch back in the future when a less power-thirsty government is in office?

    1. Agreed but I doubt that short of violent revolution there is any way to overthrow the appellate jurisdiction of the Privy Council.

  2. Adrian, remember me? I used to stay at your brother Chestley, the Architect and city planner, who lived on Rutland, whenever I visited NY on my school breaks. Aah, you know now! You talked a lot then and you still do.
    Adrian, It is not that the people don’t want autonomy it is that they don’t trust the political establishment who are pushing for this CCJ court. If you people from time to time speak up on the political corruption that is rampant in the West Indies then people might come around. Peenz, David and Colin’s cousin.

  3. Here we go again where Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Justice Adrian Saunders, continue demonstrating his high standards and displaying his understanding for his Caribbean people. I am surely not surprised of his endeavoured commitment in saying that “the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will continue ongoing initiatives with justice sector bodies despite the outcome of referenda held in Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda on Tuesday”.

    Caribbean nationals are basically warm hearted people of much resilient, who does not like to be undervalue by any means, therefore with that understanding and a modest goal to that awareness, the (CCJ) “strategic plan for the 2019-2023, which includes a renewed focus on public education” could be a promising beginning in the rejuvenation of more positive consciousness and trust within our Caribbean nation.

  4. It is hard to take seriously Justice Saunders’ assertion that, “we respect the people of both nations and their decision” when, according to Dr. Jacqui C. Quinn, an opposition Senator in the Antigua/Barbuda parliament, all the pre-referendum propaganda called people who opposed a switch to the CCJ as “in mental slavery;” “having no pride in who and what they are;” “foolish”; “colonialists”; “silly”; “backward”; “dunce”; “selfish” “unpatriotic” “having self-hatred”; “ignorant”; “house n*gger”; “loser” and a host of other belittling, insulting, and dismissive terms.

  5. I’m hoping for a referendum in Barbados so the people can decide on this kangaroo court and get out quick. The people have spoken and the days of the ccj are numbered.

    1. Yes, if Barbados leaves, the CCJ is doomed, especially since Guyana was forced to join through the fraudulent machinations of Forbes Burnham. That would only leave two genuine members: Dominca and Belize, making the court a laughing stock not only of the Caribbean but of the world.

      The problem is that Barbados would have to either find an alternative court or courts (such as the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, or the Supreme Court of Canada or some other Commonwealth country) or revise its constitution to make the Eastern Caribbean appeals court its final court.

      1. The Biggest problem right now is the ccj everything that’s writing on paper can be rewriting there is always a solution but it’s not the ccj .

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