BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday May 28, 2018 – Barbados will be sticking with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
The assurance has come from Prime Minister Mia Mottley who said the CCJ represents “one of the best examples of Independence” in a court across the entire globe.
She made her government’s position clear following a threat by former prime minister Freundel Stuart that if his Democratic Labour Party (DLP) won the May 24 general elections, Barbados would no longer make the CCJ its final appellate court.
Asked by the media to give her views about the CCJ, shortly after being sworn in as the island’s eighth Prime Minister, she said the Government in 2005, of which she was a part, had worked to establish the Court.
“I had, as Attorney General, the responsibility for chairing the preparatory committee; I went the length and breadth of the Caribbean, selling the Caribbean Court of Justice, from Jamaica in the north right down to Guyana in the south,” he said.
“Barbados perhaps has one of the largest number of cases in the appellate jurisdiction and Barbadians as a rule have seen their rights being protected by the Caribbean Court of Justice and we therefore are a strong proponent of it. It is not an immediate drain on the Treasury because of the manner in which we established it through the Trust Fund. And secondly, it is insulated because it is only the President of the Caribbean Court of Justice who is appointed by the Heads of Government and that is by unanimity. The other judges are appointed by the regional Judicial Legal Services Commission.”
While most Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have signed on to the original jurisdiction of the CCJ, only Barbados, Dominica, Guyana and Belize have adopted it as their final court of appeal.
Mottley identified the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy and LIAT as some of the areas that would be engaging her attention over the coming weeks. Noting that Barbados was the single largest shareholder in the Antigua-based carrier, she stressed there were issues relating to the airline that had to be confronted within the next few weeks.
Mottley added that Barbados was serious about CARICOM and a team would be attending the upcoming CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Jamaica.