Dominican Attorney, Cara Shillingford, fully supports the Caribbean Court of justice (CCJ) and recommends the Caribbean judicial tribunal as the way forward for Caribbean people.
Shillingford’s comments come in the wake of a recent win at the CCJ, for former DBS Radio manager, Mariette Warrington, whom she represented in a case of breach of contract and unlawful termination against the Dominica Broadcasting Corporation.
She is of the view that our judges are well qualified and they serve their countries well.
“This case has certainly reaffirmed my conviction that the Caribbean court of justice is the way forward for the Caribbean people. The judges who sit on the CCJ are extremely well qualified and accomplished,” she asserted.
“I see no reason why we should stick to the Privy Council when they have been asking the Caribbean court to find an alternative so I endorse the CCJ undoubtedly,” she declared.
Shillingford explained that even as a student, she always thought that going to the CCJ was the right path.
“From the time I was a student. I always thought that the CCJ was the way to go because the idea of clinging to our colonial past, that is the Privy Council, to decide on cases and have the final say, that does not sound like what any independent nation should want,” Shillingford remarked.
She also believes that contrary to a view held by some, it is unlikely that the CCJ will be influenced the Caribbean governments.
“I think we have a lot of problems in the Caribbean in terms of a lack of separation of powers but I think the CCJ is different,” Shillingford noted.
“In terms of funding , that is the main area any government can exercise control over members of the judiciary and since the CCJ is independently funded through this trust fund I don’t think that is something we need to worry about in terms of political interference” she said.
In 2015, Dominica became the 4th Caribbean country to join after Barbados (2005), Guyana (2005) and Belize (2010).