UWI lec­turer says CCJ is a co­nun­drum

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT -

they’ll go, panic-stricken, run­ning this way and that, all the while spew­ing non­stop pig-politi­cian gob­bledy­gook. My own par­tic­u­lar noises that have pan­icked the root­ing pig-dogs at the lo­cal trough cen­tered on my doc­u­mented rev­e­la­tions about a cer­tain in­ter­na­tion­ally no­to­ri­ous Saudi money­bags and his equally well­heeled bud­dies, most of them of­fi­cial de­clared Saint Lu­cian na­tion­als with diplo­matic pass­ports.

The noisy ques­tion that set the pig-politi­cians run­ning for cover: “How did th­ese Arabs ac­quire Saint Lu­cian pass­ports and na­tion­al­ity three years ago when our govern­ment only opened its cit­i­zen­ship-for-sale mar­ket on Jan­uary 1, 2016?”

Some­where in his rum­soaked dis­patch my late-night blog­ger re­ferred to me as the “Mer­chant of Venice turned Mer­chant of Anger.” What to do with such mad­house lit­er­ary al­lu­sions? At what point in his Mer­chant of Venice was Shake­speare’s epony­mous loan shark a Mr. Nice Guy? And any­way, what is the is­sue here? My al­leged anger with­out cause—or the dis­turb­ing ques­tion marks over the bor­na­gain Saint Lu­cian-Arabs?

Con­sider this other bucket of swill, cour­tesy our pre­tend lit­ter­a­teur: “Like Tan­talus, he keeps reach­ing out for it; but the more he does so, the more the pound of flesh eludes him.” Where in the myth is Tan­talus syn­ony­mous with elu­sive flesh, whether or not by the pound? Per­chance you care, dear reader, Greek mythol­ogy (pig-politi­cians have ab­so­lutely no use for ver­i­fi­able re­al­ity!) Tan­talus was a Greek king so full of hubris he imag­ined him­self ca­pa­ble of fool­ing even the gods. (Any­one come to

UWI lec­turer Doc­tor Hamid Ghany has de­fined the Caribbean Court of Jus­tice (CCJ) as a “co­nun­drum”, as­sert­ing that Caribbean peo­ple are be­ing asked to ac­cept the court as the fi­nal court of ap­peal.

How­ever, Ghany, who is a se­nior lec­turer in Political Sci­ence, told the Times that the first Pres­i­dent and Chief Jus­tice of the CCJ, Michael de La Bastide, and the cur­rent one, the Right Hon­or­able Sir Den­nis By­ron, both be­came mem­bers of the Privy Coun­cil in 2004.

The UWI se­nior lec­turer ex­pressed the opin­ion that, as a re­sult, the con­ven­tion has emerged of hav­ing the Chief Jus­tice of the CCJ be­come a mem­ber of Her Majesty’s Privy Coun­cil while at the same time the re­gion is be­ing urged to cut ties with the Coun­cil.

“As some­one who has been in­volved in draft­ing two con­sti­tu­tions that set up the CCJ as the fi­nal court of ap­peal, I am not ob­ject­ing to the trans­fer,” Ghany ex­plained.

The UWI lec­turer said he was ob­ject­ing to the man­ner in which the con­cept is be­ing sold to the pub­lic. As far as he is con­cerned, the CCJ should be sold to the pub­lic as be­ing a court that has a su­pe­rior record of de­liv­ery and a cer­tain level of ef­fi­ciency of ser­vice.

“It should not be sold to the pub­lic on an anti-colo­nial ba­sis when you have per­sons who are mem­bers of Her Majesty’s Privy Coun­cil who have knight­hoods in the same breath telling us we should end the colo­nial con­nec­tion,” Ghany ob­served.

He re­called hav­ing asked pub­licly for an ex­pla­na­tion as to why the two lines of ar­gu­ment ex­ist.

Ghany has called on the CCJ to aban­don the anti-colo­nial ar­gu­ment, which con­sti­tutes an “in­tel­lec­tual trap”.

“They need to ad­vo­cate for the court on the ba­sis that it can be more ef­fi­cient and will serve the Caribbean more ef­fi­ciently than the Privy Coun­cil does,” he de­clared.

The UWI lec­turer, who is Co­or­di­na­tor of the Con­sti­tu­tional Affairs and Par­lia­men­tary Stud­ies Unit, Fac­ulty of So­cial Sci­ences, UWI St Au­gus­tine Cam­pus, de­liv­ered a lecture on Thurs­day night at the UWI Open Cam­pus here.

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