“Mind you, this is not to say that the CCJ is the only real alternative. In fact, the jingoistic politics that have made CARICOM such a dysfunctional laughing stock actually militate against member states turning to this regional court as a replacement for the Privy Council.
Accordingly, we may find that the only viable alternative is for each CARICOM country to simply establish its own Supreme Court. To be sure, this would be an ironic default outcome; after all, a judiciary with a final court of appeal at its apex is a hallmark of any independent nation.
In any case, it is immature, irresponsible and, frankly, niggardly for Caribbean leaders to have relied all these years on our former colonial master to fulfill this essential function of our national self-determination.”
…Lawyer Anthony L. Hall writing at Petal Barclay-Smith’s blog
Anthony Hall proposes nothing less than full surrender to an oligarchy
Washington lawyer and Turks & Caicos ex-pat Anthony L. Hall is letting fly over at Petal Barclay-Smith’s blog about the failure of CARICOM states to establish a Supreme Court or courts.
If Mr. Hall uses the word “niggardly” to attract attention, well, he has ours. I don’t care what the origin of the word was. I don’t care what the proper use of the word is – in the real world it makes the hairs on the back of my neck start to tingle and it works its way right around the top to my eyebrows and then for just a moment I want to punch somebody in the face. Then it passes.
A writer can do something a little outrageous and keep the audience thinking about the main point, or upset the readers and cause them to lose focus on what the writer wants to communicate. We have that problem around here ourselves all the time so we understand about coming a little too close to the line.
Really, Mr. Hall…
Now as to Mr. Hall’s conclusion that perhaps Barbados and other CARICOM states should each establish their own Supreme Court…
Is Mr. Hall on the planet earth?
Has he been in Washington so damned long that he has forgotten what it’s like on these small island nations when a small group of people wield all power? Good Lord!
In Barbados we have a Chief Justice who was first a lawyer and businessman, then a politician, then a Cabinet Minister, Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General – who then took a few weeks off and was appointed as the highest judge in the land!
Chief Justice David Simmons and Prime Minister Owen Arthur who appointed him didn’t care about even the appearance of judicial independence. It was a consolidation of raw political power the likes of which set Bajan democracy back four decades.
And that is exactly what citizens of Barbados could expect if our tiny country of fewer than 300,000 people established a Supreme Court. It’s bad enough now trying to get a fair shake in the courts, but if there was no higher authority to turn to outside of Barbados this country would be nothing more than a dictatorship of a select group of insiders (which we are close enough to already.)
Mr. Hall should give his head a shake.
Agree or disagree with Mr. Hall, you can tell him what you think at…
PBS Communications Inc. Blog: No more Privy Council; take care of your own judicial mess!