Is there any plausible assurance that the judicial pronouncements from the CCJ are of the desired quality?
Yes! The Caribbean region has had a strong tradition of erudite judges and sound decision making. Also, candidates for the bench may come not only from the Caribbean, but from any territory of the Commonwealth and from Civil Law countries. In fact, of the first bench, one judge is a Dutch national who has been a judge in the Caribbean for over twenty years and one is British who has once been a temporary judge in the Caribbean. Having cast the net so widely, there is a plausible assurance that judges of the required expertise and legal erudition will continue to come forward for appointment. In any event, critics from the legal community expressing misgivings about the quality of judges should not forget that, the quality of judicial determinations is not unrelated to the quality of submissions by counsel. Indeed, the record would confirm that behind any sound judicial pronouncement in the region, and there are very many of them, the submissions of counsel were very well researched, informed and persuasive in respect of both issues of law and fact. Finally, some comfort must be taken from the fact that most appeals to the Privy Council are dismissed.
It is interesting to note, though, that the present President of the CCJ is a member of the Privy Council and the President-designate is a member of the Privy Council. There are other Caribbean judges who are members of the Privy Council. The President and the President Designate may be invited to sit by the Head of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, but have never been invited to do so.
Posted in: General Questions