Why the CCJ hold-up?
In the latter part of 2023 I attended a reasoning session held at the Faculty of Law at The University of the West Indies on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
Having listened to all the discussants as well as the guest speaker, who is a member of the CCJ, one was left thinking: Why has Jamaica not given up the Privy Council and be fully part of the CCJ?
Aside from the fact that we contribute to the operation of this regional court from its institution so cost is involved, I concluded it must be a political reason, as it has crossed both administrations.
What is Jamaica waiting for? The CCJ started in 2005.
Guyana, Trinidad, Barbados, and Dominica who all got “independence” after us have moved away from the British system to a republican system of government. In my view, Federation was not a pipe dream. It could have worked. Look at where we are now in relation to the smaller states that would have “sucked the big pig (Jamaica) dry” if we became part of Federation. They are better off today and, through Carifta and later Caricom, get benefits for their smaller size.
I have heard that the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) is funded by the UK Government so it would be good reason to delay leaving. Is this true?
Years ago a minister of government said if Jamaica was allowed to run with ganja, instead of being restricted to following the directives of the USA, we would say goodbye to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), international debt, loans and grants that we depend on now. The international community wants to keep us dependent. We do not make guns here yet there is a high flow of weapons entering our country.
I believe the size of our Parliament needs to be drastically reduced. Why do we need 63? We do not need more than about 15-20 Members of Parliament. The constituencies would be created based on our overall population.
Having worked in the government system for over 40 years I had to interact with ministers. What became clear to me over time was that some are suited to running a constituency on a full-time basis, while others are suited to focusing on being a minister in charge of a ministry without the distractions of constituency matters or running for election.
I believe a lot of taxes would be saved. It can be done through changes to our constitution, but I am doubtful either of the major political parties will take it on.