Boyce criticises Franklyn on Privy Council comments
Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn received a tongue lashing from a fellow senator after his suggestion that Barbados should have retained the Privy Council as its final appellate court.
Franklyn’s comments came on the heel of both Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda voting to reject the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and instead maintain the London-based court. However, Independent Senator Kevin Boyce called Franklyn’s comments regressive.
“What is so scary about the mirror image that we see in ourselves that we have to seek recourse for our final judicial decisions at the Privy Council?” Boyce asked during debate on the Offences Against the Person (Amendment) Bill, 2018 yesterday.
“Why can’t we get it right within the Caribbean? Why is it so offensive? Why do we always have to go to others to solve our disputes? We sit down here and we say we want to do things and move forward but Senator Franklyn, according to you, we should take a step backward and go to England and let them decide these things for us. I say no, sir,” he said.
Earlier this year, former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart expressed dissatisfaction in the CCJ and vowed that if re-elected he would withdraw from the court, though he did not indicate if Barbados would have returned to the Privy Council.
But Boyce, an attorney-at-law, stressed that the steps made to unify the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as an entity should not be taken lightly or disregarded by rhetoric.
“I say we have made progress. I say Barbados has always been on the forefront of championing legislation that the other territories have not and we have done it fearlessly. Both political parties have always understood we in Barbados take the forefront of this legislation. So Senator Franklyn, I say to you, I understand your appeal, I understand that it sweet and it sounds good but let us be careful that we do not in our zeal encourage the populace to take a step backward with us because it suits the interest of rhetoric of an argument,” he added.