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Entrench CCJ to protect it from politician's whims, says attorney

Bert Samuels
 
Attorney Bert Samuels has agreed with Justice Minister Delroy Chuck, that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) should be entrenched in member countries to insulate it from the whims of politicians.
 
Mr. Chuck told a Jamaica Labour Party meeting on Sunday that no country should be able to leave the court because it does not like a decision.
 
He was reacting to a threat by Barbadian Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to withdraw from the CCJ as the final court based on recent decisions.
 
Mr. Samuels agrees that requiring a referendum to exit the court would help to ensure its independence. 
 
"From a constitutional point of view, the court ought to be deeply entrenched and what that really means is that you can't just willy nilly take it away. The deepest form of entrenchment is referendum where the people would have to vote on it so that we can't have this court to be at the whims and fancy of individual Caribbean countries," Mr. Samuels asserted.  
 
He said it would be a retrograde step should Barbados withdraw from the CCJ, adding that the statements by the Barbadian Prime Minister are embarrassing. 
 
"We're not going to be pleased about every decision by a court but that is not a pretext for us to abandon a court. I think it's almost childish for that kind of reaction to a court's decision... All parties stand before (the court) to argue the law, if the law is in a certain direction, then you can't quarrel," he purported. 
 


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