Don’t politicize CCJ – PM Skerrit

Skerrit said it is important for Dominicans to have access to the courts
Skerrit said it is important for Dominicans to have access to the courts

Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, is appealing to Dominicans to put aside political concerns and embrace the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

On Friday Dominica will officially mark its ascension to the CCJ as it final appellate court at a ceremony to be held at the State House.

It will replace the London-based Privy Council.

“I think that we have to set aside our political considerations,” the Prime Minister said. “We have to set aside this view that we in the Caribbean and our own people do not have the maturity, the intellect, the knowledge, the competence to do things for ourselves.”

Skerrit is also questioning the reason why many think that “people who do not know us” serve the Caribbean better.

“Why is it that we always believe that we are better served by people who do not know us and do not understand our society?” he asked. “The Privy Council has itself said to us that they are elongated with matters from their own jurisdiction, the United Kingdom, and they have been encouraging us to create our courts and this is what we sought to do, and this is what we have done.”

He noted that, among advantages, there will be greate access to the court by ordinary citizens and they will get the feeling that justice was served.

He said many people would like to go to the Privy Council but have been unable to do so, unlike the CCJ which based in Trinidad.

“It has made it very, very easy for any Dominican to have access to the courts which would give them some kind of finality in respect to justice and justice being served,” the Prime Minister said.

The CCJ was established in 2001 and has two jurisdictions.

The first one, the original jurisdiction, gives the CCJ the exclusive right to interpret the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which established CARICOM.

The other, the appellate jurisdiction, serves as a last resort for criminal and civil matters.

Most Caribbean countries have signed up to the original jurisdiction but only four, Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Dominica have signed up to the appellate jurisdiction.

Dominica approved the bill to make the CCJ its final appellate court in July 2014.

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  1. Malgraysa
    March 7, 2015

    Well mr. Skerrit, you are in good company now. None less than Desire Bouterse of Surinam subscribes to the CCJ. That same Mr. Bouterse who is on Interpol’s wanted list and whose son is incarcerated for drug trafficking. And what can one say about Belize?

  2. Francisco Telemaque
    March 5, 2015

    Roosevelt, everyone knows what is behind your decision to demit, (and this is the appropriate time to use the word demit. You know that if your puppets in the courts of fail to rule on matters of law, dispensing false justice to the perpetrator’s of wrong, the only alternative for fair judgement is to take the case to the Privy Council in London.

    People like you and some lawyers in Dominica, and the Caribbean on a whole will indeed bribe judges into making false rulings in your favor, or government’s favor. Look at it this way some of the practicing lawyers knows the judges, they perhaps attended the same law institutions at the same time. Friends they all are, how many times will a loosing lawyer pick up a telephone, and call his friend to influence his/her decision.

    That is a common practice in the Caribbean. I know of one case where a Dominican was a high court judge in Antigua, a politician; the late Donald Halstead tried to influence him, the judge simply vacate the…

  3. Positively Dominican
    March 5, 2015

    Politician will most certainly influence the outcome of cases at the CCJ. It is fully political! Let us wait and see.

    • joe
      March 5, 2015

      So everybody in the Caribbean is POLITICAL??? What a sad thing for us all!!!!!!!

    March 5, 2015

    Skerrit did not seek permission from the people prior extracting Dominica from the Privy Council. So why does he want the people to Embrace the CCJ? This is a pattern by this Dictator. He shoves everything down the people’s throat and just expect them to accept his CRAP. No Referendum no Acceptance.!!!
    This is totally ridiculous it’s got to stop.
    How much do we have to suffer under this Corrupt Regime

    • The Facts
      March 5, 2015

      It is always vivid, if it were Linton what would you have stated? Your consistent criticisms and unfairness have to stop.

      • PS
        March 7, 2015

        It is not Linton, is it, so your comment does not apply. It is nonsensical in any case. If your mother had been a man she would be your father, not so? It was Skerrit, who dictated this decision and not Linton. We will continue criticizing till we get a true, accountable democracy in our country. That is our God given right and healthy.

    • anonymous2
      March 6, 2015

      Did you forget that he is now the dictator?

  5. home boy
    March 5, 2015

    skerrit will continue to bring you foolish people Down so allyou like it .and he know that there is a set 0f wicked minded people on island.

  6. Anonymous
    March 5, 2015

    Mr pm what about de TABLET u promise de school children my SON and my DAUGHTER is still waiting u said January we are in MARCH what is happening to NEP and when is de RED Clinic reopening u coming with CCJ MAN if u cannot be a real Leader step aside and let those who are more competent than u lead this beautiful country ok sir YDFE

  7. Tou twelle
    March 5, 2015

    Not withstanding all the politics of the issue, I personally believe that as a people it is high time to have our independent court. Just like when all the islands in the 70″s were wondering whether it was time for independence, whether we were prepared….. I think that there has to be a time when we have to risk certain things and hope the beneficiaries will mature enough to do what is expected of them. There are many concerns about the judges, but as one who believes we have to be truly liberated, I will give the system the benefit of the doubt and work it works in the interest of us all.

  8. Shaka zulu
    March 5, 2015

    I do not have a problem with the Caribbean establishing its own supreme Court, however the arguments used by the pm is so weak it can be considered rumm shop arguments. A court cannot be about people and culture, but only about justice based on establish laws that governs a country, place, or region, and the just application on that law. The CCJ has already shown its incompetence when it ruled on the same PM citizenship case. It took the case then said it cannot render a decision since doing so would seem to interfere with country politics. Nothing was said to clear up the letter of the law in Dominica as it applies to citizenship and politics which in my opinion is weakness. Unless the CCJ can prove it is independent of political influence, islandism, and is only concerned with application of law and Justice then I say privy council is fine. They have less reason to be partial and that is what is needed. I wish his concern on self reliance would show in his economic policies.

    • joe
      March 5, 2015

      Shaka Zulu, do you even know what is the purpose of a COURT BOSS??? What political influence are you foolish people talking about??

      how many of us that are aggrieved could go ton the PRIVY COUNCIL?? That was only for a selected few not politicians, most of us would end a lawsuit at the Eastern Caribbean supreme Court stage, even if we felt that the decision of that Court may have been incorrect.

      EVERYTHING IS NOT ABOUT YOUR FOOLISH POLITICS ZULU, the court is for all of us. If your employer dismiss you wrongfully, you may loose in the High Court decide to take the matter to the Supreme Court or leap frog to the Privy Council if you have the cash, but most of us don’t have the cash to go to London so if we loose again at the Supreme Court level then we would just accept defeat, now we are saying we can now appeal to the CCJ which will come right here to hear our case!!!! KUDOS TO SKERRIT!!!

      • shaka zulu
        March 5, 2015

        Your argument is just as weak as the prime ministers. If you can afford a lawyer in local court, then high court, then Caribbean Supreme court then you most certainly can afford a ticket to England. Cost of the courts Is about being able to pay for attorneys and all filling fees Not whether you can pay your passage to get there. Guess you used to rum shop ararguments. It is not about politics but commonsense. Look at our justice system Dominica, it will give you an indication of what the CCJ Will look like.

  9. committed Dominican
    March 5, 2015

    Skerit , why don’t you and your gang, for country sake, step aside and allow competent people to run this country. You guys have proven over and over again that you all don’t know what it is to run the country. This is not a domino club.

  10. real possie
    March 5, 2015

    I was for the CCJ before but after listening to the chief of the CCJ on DBS am even more for it now. The questions I had were explained, the court being in a country that has not put their name to it does not really matter because they used the system they are not in. Money was given by all countries before any of these countries joined so now you can’t say DA gave money yesterday so that’s why they rule in their favor. When you have uneducated people who come and just talk and fool the masses just listen to those who posted below me, they would let you think only Caribbean nationals sits on the CCJ but you have a Brit and one from Suriname, so I can say instead of going to England we have England come to us.

  11. Just Saying
    March 5, 2015

    I don’t know much about the judicial system or the CCJ, but I can say that I’m pleased that he used “people” instead of “persons” which is no longer the the acceptable plural for “person”. Most dictionaries don’t even include “persons” as the plural of “person” anymore, and the few dictionaries that do include “persons” note that it is uncommon, archaic, or going out of style.

    • Titiwi
      March 5, 2015

      This is pathetic. This is such an important subject to discuss and all you can contribute is your displeasure at the use of the word persons. I’m not that clever myself so I use an Oxford dictionary, ninth edition of 2002, which clearly says that the plural of person is either people or persons, so you have a choice. It says nothing about “persons” being archaic, uncommon or going out of style. Concentrate on what is important!

      • Funny Man
        March 6, 2015

        Your 2002 Oxford Ninth edition Dictionary is outdated by 13 years.

    • Views Expressed
      March 5, 2015

      On these persons business I totally agree with you, the blatant use and misuse of this word, even by educationalists…..and other high ranking people.

      • The Facts
        March 5, 2015

        There are other words that are misused and misprinted by also world-wide Media and other people; no exception at work from also management. One of it is “re-occur”. It is bad enough, many cannot spell some words. Since in D/ca, I always knew it as “recur”.
        I heard “re-occur” on the Canadian and US News and in courses of their discussions. Whenever I hear those words pronounced incorrectly, I am always taken aback and tempted to correct them. :lol:
        There are a few more. I often wonder, did these English speaking people learn proper English, spelling and the meaning of those words at school?
        Listening to the evening Toronto News one Saturday, one of them used the word incorrectly. I quickly forwarded an email correcting her and stated you are the news people. . .
        That same evening, there was a fire. She stated, “A cat died in the fire and no one else.” I also stated, “the cat is not a person…” :lol: She is from Trinidad.
        I received a response of thanks.

    • The Facts
      March 5, 2015

      Where did they learn “persons” instead of “people?” Never in my lifetime in D/ca and when I commenced residing in Canada was the word “persons” used. I suppose in recent years it was picked up also from the US, Canada, etc. Now-a-days with Internet, the word “persons” could be used. Some people think it is OK to use it but it is improper.
      “Person” is singular. More than one person is “people”, in the plural form.
      If anyone I personally know use incorrect English words, I correct them; even co-workers. However, we are to do it gently.
      As St. Paul said: “Whatever we do, do it with love.” I cannot state that we are always gentle but in certain instances, I do my utmost to correct them in that manner, commencing with, “I hope you do not mind . . .” or “Do you mind that I inform you . . .” In that manner they will not get offended and angry. You know how some people could be sensitive and think others are lording it over them. Some of them do not like…

  12. looking
    March 5, 2015

    I have no difficulty with all the advantages mentioned above by the Hon Prime Minister. I have no doubt about the abilities of us as intelligent humans who are able to handle our affairs. My only concern is that its easier for politicians to be able to pocket judges and doctor the outcome of cases. I honestly believe it was done in a rush to cover the tracks of people who have been involved in questionable activities and their fear was that the Privy Council would have been more objective.

    • joe
      March 5, 2015

      looking are you saying the CCJ is there to only hear POLITICIAN CASES?? I hope you as an individual never have to use it cause i know you could not access the Privy Council!!!!!


      The comment you make says a lot about who you are!!!!!

  13. cbpossie
    March 5, 2015

    My view is if it so good for the caribbean and its base in trini why not trini itself a member dont you this charity begains at home

  14. Views Expressed
    March 5, 2015

    I do not give any credence, respect to much of what PM Skerrit has to say. Its of no value, he and his government cannot be trusted – he does not believe is justice as he has his own lawyers, appeal court, CCJ, Privy Court in the hands of locals
    Mr PM, if you deserve to be called so, please clean up your house and backyard and come clean with us Dominicans. We do not trust your governance and government, it is a fake.

  15. JoJo
    March 5, 2015

    Mr. Skerrit, the CCJ is in Trinidad which itself is not a member. You really have nerve to imply that Trinidad and other Caricom countries do not have the intellect and competence to deal with the CCJ instead of the Privy Council. I also take great objection to your inference that because of our society we deserve a different kind of justice. Roosevelt, justice is justice the world all over. The ten commandments apply everywhere. Last but not least you say it is easier for us to get to the CCJ. Well, how easy and how costly is it for somebody from Dominica to fly to Trinidad? We don’t all have access to private planes you know but are subject to the mercies of LIAT. Pleas check that out before you talk. Thank you.

    • joe
      March 5, 2015

      joJo the Court moves around like the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court so one do not have to go to Trinidad to have their case heard, EDUCATE YOURSELF before you type RUBBISH the world is reading this!!!!

    • LawieBawie
      March 5, 2015

      You have just inferred that it was easier to get to the London based Privy Council!! Something is wrong with your geography, sense of distance and ability to do simple calculations.

      • JoJo
        March 5, 2015

        Please, look at the LIAT schedules and prices. To go from Dominica to Trinidad can easily involve three flights and take nine hours, same as from Barbados to London For London/Barbados return you can pay less than U.S.750. Compare that with LIAT. Just because we are much closer to Trinidad does not mean it is easier or cheaper to go there. We have LIAT, a govt. controlled airline that is sucking our bones and giving poor service. Your argument is logical but there is no logic with LIAT.

    • Jay
      March 5, 2015

      The P.M. comments are also a slight on the character and integrity of those judges from the Commonwealth, who are members of the JCPC – note that it is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council that hears and rules on cases, and not the Privy Council itself, a non-departmental public body, whose members are appointed on merit.
      If Dominica elects to have the CCJ as its final court of appeal that is its right but the arguments by the P.M. for doing so are spurious and frankly, in poor taste.

  16. F
    March 5, 2015


  17. JABJAB
    March 5, 2015

    SKERRIT, don’t try and fool us, the CCJ and their koshonie justice will soon give judgment’s in politicians favor because they are employed by politicians, will create vigilante justice in those islands.

    • joe
      March 5, 2015

      JABJAB are you saying the case between Lennox Linton vs KPB will see Linton unfairly winning because he is a politician??

      You people are sadly blinded by foolish politics!!!

  18. Pondera
    March 5, 2015

    I compliment the Prime Minister in his leadership in having Dominica move away from the Privy Counsel. This is historic. This signifies a true cessation from our colonial past. I am very pleased with this heroic decision. I believe we have what it takes to decide on our criminal and civil matters. The region has sufficiently qualified jurist who have distinguished themselves in other legal jurisdiction. Dominica can now move with a sense of pride. I am appalled that other caribbean countries are taking so long to embrace the CCJ fully.

    Well done Mr Prime Minister!

    • F
      March 5, 2015

      ya, like the NEP.

    • March 5, 2015

      Pondera, tell me, if St Kitts and Nevis were under the CCJ jurisdiction do you think that they would have achieved the results they achieved through the Privy Council. You are a DOPE if you believe that.
      Don’t you realize that all these judges are singing for their supper? If a PM from any of the islands do not approve your appointment your arse is grass

  19. grell
    March 5, 2015

    Skerrit ,you fooled the poor stupid people of dominica,a big slap in their faces.but am happy youd did that to them,.You knew ahead that the NEP program was a scam all along for political votes,my brother your day will come.Moses freed his people from bondage,god will deliver the poor people from your anarchy form of government.To those of you who support this continue too.

    • DEAL or NO DEAL
      March 5, 2015

      Let Lennox give you work because is for him you vote! Laborite nice boy1

      • grell
        March 5, 2015

        partner i need no work from no politician am not hungry like you beggers,thats what skerrit has done to you, keep on begging fool.

  20. Not a herd follower
    March 5, 2015

    The question is whether the CCJ is free from political influence or persuasion or constraints.

    • March 5, 2015

      Clearly it is not and that is why our PM was so quick to adopt it.

    • TimTim
      March 5, 2015

      That is the real only question and the only one that the PM should be answering and not skirting around the issue with all kids of irrelevancies. Like cost and intelligence and like that.

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