Barbados PM vows to leave CCJ if reelected

Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon. Freundel Stuart

Citing disrespect from the Trinidad based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart says if his Democratic Labor Party (DLP) is re-elected in the May 24  general election, his administration will leave the CCJ in its appellate jurisdiction.

Too few cases

Stuart, who was speaking late Saturday at a political meeting in the parish of St. Michael said he also had a problem with the limited number of cases brought before the regional court. “That court has heard two cases for the year  – one from Barbados and one from Guyana,” said the Prime Minister who added that Barbados will not return to the London based Privy Council.

“We are not going backward, life goes not backward or tarries with yesterday. But once the DLP is re-elected, I am determined to put Barbados on the same level as every other CARICOM (Caribbean Community) country by delinking from the Caribbean Court of Justice in its appellate jurisdiction. We went in first and we can come out first.”

Respects Court’s decisions

Stuart told supporters that he was not commenting on the decisions of the CCJ, noting that as an attorney, he respects the decisions made by the regional court.

To date, the only countries that have signed onto the CCJ in its appellate jurisdiction are Barbados, Guyana, Dominica and Belize.

In its appellate jurisdiction, the CCJ hears appeals from the lower courts in both civil and criminal matters, while in its original jurisdiction, the court interprets the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas for countries, businesses and citizens of CARICOM.

Barbadians will go to the polls on Thursday  to elect a new government with the primary contest between the ruling DLP  and the main opposition Barbados Labor Party (BLP) headed by Mia Mottley, who is seeking to become the first woman prime minister  in the country.

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