Caribbean News

T&T President sees CCJ aiding Caribbean unity

Barbados, May 4, 2017 – Cave Hill – “We must not be concerned about what we can get from each other but rather how we can help each other.” These were the sentiments expressed by President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Hon. Anthony Carmona during a presentation on Redefining Caribbean Pride for the 21st Century Youth at UWI, Cave Hill Campus. President Carmona was lamenting on the fact that some countries are yet to replace the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

T&T’s President is of the belief that forging together as a united Caribbean front with the CCJ to be the court of last resort is a step toward fortifying our Caribbean identity. A past High Court Judge himself, Carmona even appeared a bit frustrated over the absent CCJ so much so that he questioned students present, “Why have we yet not all subscribed to the jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice?””

At present, only Barbados, Guyana, Dominica and Belize have accepted the CCJ as their final authority in legal matters. As for the majority of CARICOM members, including Trinidad and Tobago, President Carmona believes that they are all causing a downfall “that mitigates against the spirit of the Caribbean integration movement”.

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”.

He also explained, “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.”

Story By: Kay-Marie Fletcher

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