BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) — The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) states of St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia and Grenada are among Caribbean states being criticized by a regional head of state for not having replaced the London-based Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice as their final appellate court.
Four countries: Guyana, Barbados, Belize and Dominica are the only ones to have so far acceded to the CCJ’s appellate jurisdiction.
The rest of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is being accused by Trinidad and Tobago president Anthony Carmona of dragging their feet on a matter he considers at the heart of Caribbean pride.
The former judge has expressed disappointment with that state of affairs, and is questioning the delay by most CARICOM nations in moving away from the British Privy Council.
Carmona is quoted as saying, “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 Trinidad and Tobago’s head of state articulated his concern about an apparent lack of confidence in the CCJ’s appellate jurisdiction by several Caribbean states during a lecture at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus last week.
Public support in Grenada for the Caribbean court failed to materialize in a recent referendum in the Spice Isle.
Antigua and Barbuda is expected to hold a public vote on the CCJ in the near future.