CARICOM heads of government who are yet to sign on to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), on Wednesday came under heavy criticism from outgoing president of the institution Sir Dennis Byron.
He was speaking at a ceremony which took place ahead of the start of the CARICOM Heads of Government summit in Montego Bay, St. James for the swearing in of the new CCJ President.
Speaking at the swearing in ceremony for incoming president Justice Adrian Saunders, Sir Dennis expressed concern that the court is the final appellate court for only four CARICOM member states after 13 years.
They are Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Guyana.
In expressing his disappointment, he said he had hoped that at the end of his tenure as CCJ president, more Caribbean nations would have been a part of the court.
Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow shared similar sentiments, adding that the CCJ is here to stay.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who also gave remarks, hailed the institution as integral to CARICOM, pointing to landmark rulings such as the Shanique Myrie matter. He, however, did not comment on Jamaica’s position regarding making the CCJ the country’s final appellate court.
During his 2016 election campaign, Mr. Holness had said he would take the matter to a referendum.