Saturday, January 19, 2019
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OECS Bar Association President ‘Not Surprised’ At CCJ Vote Outcome

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The President of the OECS Bar Association, Thaddeus Antoine, has said that he is very disappointed with the outcome of referendums in Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda, in which the populations voted in favour of retaining the London-based Privy Council.

However while expressing disappointment, Antoine told RCI’s Keba Taliam Wednesday that he was “really not surprised.”

“It just goes to show that our education on the issues of access to justice – the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Privy Council, needs to be ramped up,” the Attorney at Law asserted.

“Something else I got from the referendum is that we have to remove the politicians from the entire process,” Antoine stated.

He noted that politicians are viewed with some cynicism.

” No matter what they say, although they may be correct in what they are saying, the public feels that they agree with a position because there is something in it for them – there is some ulterior motive, and that is very sad. But it affects us,” the OECS Bar Association President observed.

Antoine expressed the view that the bar associations and civil society have to become more involved..

He expressed the hope that the OECS Secretariat would have a campaign alongside the bar associations to help fund a campaign to educate people on the need for our courts and how it is important to access courts.

“Not to say to the people that we must go to the CCJ or get rid of the Privy Council, but rather to provide them with the information so that they could make an informed decision that is not clouded by any party colour or by any politician. I think that is important,” Antoine told RCI.

The President of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Justice Adrian Saunders, has  said that the court would continue “ongoing initiatives with justice sector bodies” in Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada despite the vote to retain the Privy Council.

“While the news is not what we hoped for, we respect the people of both nations and their decision,” Justice Saunders said in a statement following Tuesday’s vote in the two countries.

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  1. It’s quite unfortunate that we have to reject the CCJ and will continue to do so until the privy council rejects us. This is so because we have no trust in out judicial process. Toooo much corruption among our magistrates, lawyers Judges. Justice is based on ones position in society and who knows who. Justice is based on back door dealings to a great extent. Judgements seldom go against governments as some judges themselves were former politicians. I have been a victim of unfair court decisions. It is clear that our judges refuse to grant judgements against certain entities. The bias is quite evident. Hence I and many many others say yes to the privy council and no to the CCJ. We will support that entity when its judgements seem fair to the masses. The justices at the privy council have no interest in us and therefore rules on a principle of fairness. How can I trust any judgement from M. – politician turn judge especially when his party is involved or concerns his former political colleagues. My views represent that of the masses. And trust me I fully understand the argument on independence, but one might ask, independence to what end. All we want is justice!

  2. Felt sorry for you when you were radio with “I Cladius”. That guy kept interrupting you and wouldn’t let you finish one sentence.

  3. The Privy Council does not have appellate jurisdiction in the UK itself for the type of cases that reaches the Council from the Caribbean.

    Secondly, they have very little regard for our laws and their rulings have set precedent not just in the country where the appeal came from but in the region as a whole. Even in our decades of independence the colonial masters are still enjoying rule of law over us.

    Thirdly, independence of the CCJ judicial selection process should be highlighted as well as the independence of the court. But the thing is though, it will seem very odd for a court of law to actively engage in marketing itself. So if not by the government of the day then who is left to advocate on behalf of the court?

    Unfortunately, I think it’s only when the Privy Council themselves abandon their appellate jurisdiction status will there be an opportunity for the CCJ to grow.

  4. That’s right! “Remove the politicians from the entire process.” Then people will have a different mindset.

  5. Dont even waste your time with publicity campaign, we bright enough in st lucia to know that lawyers worthless, police lazy to non-existent, magistrates dont do anything of worth. they all tied to one political party or another and they open to bribes and political influence. when a party outside, they not tied to nothing on the inside, and have nothing to lose. so they judge. but here no siree. this one have to think its their comrade, they waiting for appoinment from that party and this party ect.. put you all courthouse in order in that place before you all think of CCJ.the last good magistrate here was suzy d’auvergne who took her job seriously.

  6. The privy council has no respect for our laws. They interpret the law and pass judgment base on their own laws. So despite hanging being on our books the privy council will never rule to hung anyone convicted oof murder here because it is not law in their country. So they interpret the law according tto their own laws and not that of the jurisdiction the matter originated from. We need to change that.

  7. Lawyers in the caribbean mean “high-way robbers like practically all of the politicians. We will NEVER vote for the CCJ. That was kenny anthony et al bogus idea. And his yardfowls. And that says something really ugly. We shall hold on strong to the PRIVY COUNCIL! Thank you very much.

  8. Caribbean people do not (TRUST) the CROOKS masquerading as attorneys in the region. We will never vote for the CCJ. We are holding fast to the PRIVY COUNCIL

  9. WE IN THE CARIBBEAN DO NOT (TRUST) THR CROOKS masquerading as lawyers in the region. They all stink to high heaven !

  10. Well seems our local judges dont do their job,so people dont trust them.We all see this every day? To many dont seem to understand what is going on either?We need a higher man with a rod,to wack us when we cross the line,to much corruption here,and all around.Poor man needs to know,there is a saviour up there,it may be white? Who cares as long as he saves your poor ass

  11. Have they explain the transition enough to the average citizens? That the biggest problem. Personally I have not fully understood what is going on.

  12. ” we have to remove the politicians from the entire process”

    And that is exactly what people fear with the CCJ. I would rather an impartial racist white man adjudicate than those corrupts, thieving judges and lawyers in the Caribbean.

    • And you would be happy with the US highest court? Right? If you do, then your post becomes moot. Why? Because choosing a high court judge is very political! Guess who chooses him/her . . The politicians. Remember the Cavenaugh hearings? Trump wanted him and Trump got him!

      • So you’re saying Privy Council judges care about the politics in these islands. Guess you totally missed the point.