Coward, selfish response to CCJ issue
I find it amusing that the legal profession can be so divided on the issue of the abolition of the Privy Council.
The decision to withdraw criminal appeals and transfer this jurisdiction to the Caribbean Court of Justice in the first instance is a good one.
There is a need for cautious optimism as opposed to unbridled chauvinism.
I accept, wholeheartedly, the Prime Minister's explanation that reservations were expressed by the corporate sector and potential international investors.
Frank Solomon should be commended for his independence and bravery for saying that the abolition of the Privy Council is no good. Self-serving and uncharitable statements made by Martin Daley (who sat on the Commission that is responsible for the appointment of judges to the CCJ) and Michael de la Bastide (past president of the CCJ) underscore our institutional and political immaturity.
Many lawyers have privately expressed the view that the total abolition of the Privy Council is a bad thing (but for whatever reason they are afraid to do so publicly).
This is also why critical analysis of the local court judgments is absent. There is marked reluctance by the legal profession to demonstrate true independence as a result of the subservient and sycophantic relationship they share with the judiciary.
Unlike what obtains in other countries lawyers are afraid to critique judgments delivered by Caribbean judges out of fear that they (the judges) may take it personally and subsequently victimise them and their clients. Frank Solomon is therefore a rare exception.
The rush to sacrifice the Privy Council at the altar of political expedience in the name of "complete sovereignty" is deceptive as it is dangerous.
Whilst there are some judges of the highest calibre on CCJ bench there are equal amounts of intellectual mediocrity and that is in part responsible for the people's reluctance to submit to the CCJ.
And yes the court did get off to a false start by not having a judge of Indian descent—Justice Hewitt, after all, is from The Netherlands.