July 31, 2018
A move to CCJ should be guided by the people – Dr Friday

The New Democratic Party (NDP) thinks that the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines should decide whether or not they want the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to replace the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as this country’s final court of appeal.

“It is an important enough issue that the leadership should let the people be a part of the decision,” Leader of the NDP Dr Godwin Friday told SEARCHLIGHT via telephone on Monday.

Dr Friday’s sentiments are the same as former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell, who, speaking on radio last week Tuesday, said the Privy Council should not be abandoned for the CCJ.

The opposition leader said that he is adamant that this decision be guided by the will of the people and does not think that 15 members of Parliament should make this decision without the public’s involvement.

He said that the government has not brought a Bill to replace the Privy Council, and while it has been suggested that the NDP should bring the matter before the Parliament, they are not going to do that.

Dr Friday said that a referendum on the matter will be the best move.

The CCJ has just appointed its first Vincentian president in the form of Justice Adrian Saunders. Last week Sir James said that he is proud when a Vincentian reaches the top of any ladder, but Saunders’ being president is not a good reason to abandon the Privy Council for the CCJ.