St. Kitts PM says CCJ not priority for his administration

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Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris says joining the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is not a priority for his coalition administration in St Kitts and Nevis.

Harris, speaking on WINN FM radio here said that his government is not treating membership of the CCJ that was established in 2001 to replace the London-based Privy Council as the region’s final court, as a priority at this time.

“In terms of the CCJ the cabinet has not made a determination with respect to that matter, it is a matter we will perhaps consider at a more proficient time. At this moment I think there is a sense that the Privy Council is favoured by the national community,” Harris said.

St. Kitts-Nevis is among Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries that have signed on to the original Jurisdiction of the CCJ. However, only Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Guyana are signatoresi to the appellate Jurisdiction of the Court that also functions as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement, CARICOM.

Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada are due to hold national referendum on November 6 to determine whether or not to replace the Privy Council.

Harris told radio listeners that the issue of replacing the Privy Council with the CCJ is among the matters “that before we attend to this we will put before the people, have an educational programme with regard to any movement away from the Privy Council and get a good grounding from the people where they want to go because there are very strong views for and against on that one.

“It is a matter someday we will have to confront, we don’t need to confront it today, so it is not a priority consideration at this time for the Team Unity administration,” he added.

Former CCJ president, Sir Dennis Byron, a citizen of the twin island Federation, said recently that the CCJ is not a party issue and that a referendum often requires a two-thirds majority for change.

“What has been happening in our country is because of the cost, and the complexities and the difficulty of going to the Privy Council our people have not been having a final appeal. They just have a case and a court of appeal and most people have to stop there even if they are not satisfied.

“The CCJ has put a stop to that because, in the countries that have adopted our jurisdiction, people are coming to us. It’s easier, it’s cheaper, it’s on the spot and if you look at some of the decisions that we have made it’s impacted on the day to day life of the communities in ways in which the Privy Council never do,’ Sir Dennis had said.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Clean constantly running water, health care. roads, poverty, cost of living, the economy, crime, unemployment, high interest rates, education to name a few things that is far more important than CCJ.

  2. Thank you Antigua Newsroom for publishing this story. It tells me that you are NOT biased like the gov’t. They would have you think that every single voter is in support of the CCJ. Thank you for sharing the views of the leader from our neighbour. I haven’t received any water since Sunday. How about the gov’t focus on that!!

    • So true… They need to use the money they’re pumping into the CCJ and fix and maintain our water situation and along with our problems here before taking about CCJ.

  3. Y antigua could not have a smart pm like u sir am looking at you guys road rehabilitation program and it looks great….in antigua they are patching the roads with a weak mix to cover a small hole then the roads becomes worst after it rains it wash off and makes it way worst……y not cut the roads and then patch and make sure the mixture is of good quality……

    • Long as we don’t imitate their astronomical crime rate. 24 murders so far for the year. Hope Dr. Harris can stop it before it reaches to 33 like last year.

      • Actually you’re confused. On one hand you’re lauding this vision less prime minister for him saying no to ccj and on the other hand you’re talking about murders in St Kitts. We have never tried the ccj but you don’t want it. What are the grounds of you not wanting the ccj. You must learn to be a leader and not a follower.

      • Only God can stop this evil act on mankind. The government can only put things in place to control it to minimum percentage but in these last days the heart of mankind have become very evil all around the world.

    • Are you Spliff? He always use that lame example in giving his reason to support the CCJ. He also used it on Beef show. The same Beef that he terminated his friendship with over the same ccj. Imagine a difference of opinion cause you to ostracize your longtime friend.

  4. Boy, I thought I was the only one thinking that this referendum is not a priority at this time. There are so many things that we need to focus on. The bad roads, persons in the public sector not being paid on time, improving our standard of living. Funding APUA, so that when I need a street light I’m not told that there’s none in stock, so I’ve got to source the light myself, then bring the light to the company to install, constant supply of water in my tap….

    If I continue I’ll have a chapter of a book.

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