Antigua Observer:-University of the West Indies (UWI) Professor and calypsonian Dr Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool has strongly condemned opposition to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
He said people who are against the move towards the adoption of the CCJ are “stupid”, and dismissed the London-based Privy Council as relic of colonialism.
“Emancipation was since 1834. After 200 years of learning, you’re telling people you still want to go to England,” he said. “People who don’t understand history would want Privy Council.”
He has supported the claim that Privy Council judges cannot aptly rule on regional issues because they are not knowledgeable on cultural practices unique to countries in the region.
“They can’t judge us because they don’t know Old Road or John Peter mango. So a fella t’ief two John Peter mango they don’t know what the hell you are talking about,” the intellectual said. “Any time you fall in front of them, they judge you based on English laws.”
Dr Liverpool, a Trinidadian, said many of the laws established during colonial times and handed down the Caribbean countries were not a tailored to the culture of the region.
He said while “law is law”, the law cannot survive without cultural backing.
“Laws are built on the culture of people. You can’t make a law without understanding people’s culture,” he added.
A public education campaign is ongoing on the CCJ ahead of a referendum to determine whether it should replace the Privy Council as Antigua & Barbuda’s final court of appeal.
The referendum is expected to be held later this year.