Citing disrespect from the Trinidad based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says if his Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is re-elected in the upcoming general election, his administration will leave the CCJ in its appellate jurisdiction.
Stuart, who was speaking late on 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 Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is re-elected to office, I am determined to put Barbados on the same level as every other CARICOM country by delinking from the Caribbean Court of Justice in its appellate jurisdiction. We went in first and we can come out first.”
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 in a general election on Thursday to elect a new government with the contest expected to be between the ruling DLP and the main opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) headed by Mia Mottley, who is seeking to become the first woman head of government in the country.