“Perhaps most damning is the account from the dismissed acting registrar of the Court, Jamaican Dr Leighton Jackson, who was escorted out of the Court’s Headquarters in May.”
Ask anyone on the B’town streets and you’ll find that few Bajans realise that the vaunted Caribbean Court of Justice carries no actual power or authority even in Barbados – one of the few countries to sign on with the CCJ. Compliance with Caribbean Court of Justice decisions, you see, is still voluntary.
That’s not what has the CCJ in chaos though – it’s a series of recent incidents that some say threatens the court’s continuance.
News 7 in Belize put forth an excellent summary, but the news articles just keep coming including corrupt conduct by a Justice…
Check out the following:
Trinidad Express: CCJ faces internal battle
Stabroek News: CCJ judge gets $$ to hire driver
Stabroek News: CCJ problems sadden former Chief Justice
Jamaica Gleaner: Former CCJ Employee Says Jamaica should be cautious with Court
Administrative Disquiet at CCJ
The Caribbean Court of Justice is the highest Court in Belize, Barbados and Guyana but right now the court is under pressure at its headquarters in Trinidad. News reports from Port of Spain say that the court is facing internal legal battles resulting from a series of dismissals, resignations and suspensions of senior managers. The Court says it is restructuring after 10 years, but half of the 72 employees have joined a union to lodge grievances against the court – mainly about a change in the salary payment system.
On top of that, the court’s senior managers have hired an attorney who is preparing to file suit against the court according to the Trinidad Sunday Express.
Perhaps most damning is the account from the dismissed acting registrar of the Court, Jamaican Dr Leighton Jackson, who was escorted out of the Court’s Headquarters in May.
He told the Jamaica Gleaner, quote, “Based on the incidents of mismanagement, arbitrariness and judicial misconduct, I think the current structure of the court is incomplete and insufficient” end quote.
His predecessor Paula Pierre had resigned at the end of 2013 citing what she called a toxic atmosphere to work in. Jackson is also contemplating legal action against the CCJ.
And to add to the mounting embarrassment, one of the judges Jacob Wit was accused of firing his driver because the driver didn’t want to scalp two complimentary tickets the judge had received to a Carnival event. The Judge later told the Trinidadian media that he did ask his former driver to sell tickets for a Carnival show, but they were tickets his wife bought and not the complimentary ones given to him by the National Carnival Commission. The judge added that there was no relation whatsoever between the incident and the driver being released.