Chuck rejects call to send disabled persons' appeals to CCJSunday, July 25, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck, has dismissed a suggestion from Opposition Senator Floyd Morris that the implementation of the Disabilities Act will require disabled persons to have access to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
The minister told Observer Online that it was the first time that he was hearing the argument, but dismissed it because he said there was really no difference between the cost of appealing to the Privy Council in London, or to the CCJ.
“The truth of the matter is that the expense is no different from that of the CCJ now, because everything is being done virtually. So that's not a good argument,” he said.
He said that he was not aware, either, of a virtual conference of regional bodies representing persons with disabilities, nor of an issue in relation to whether or not the participating countries wished for a disconnect from the UK Privy Council to join the controversial CCJ for that purpose.
“It appears to be another argument to justify shifting from the Privy Council to the CCJ. It was never raised with me,” he added.
During his contribution to the annual State of the Nation (SON) debate in the Senate on Friday, Senator Morris said that while he welcomed Parliament's affirmation of the long delayed regulations for the Disabilities Act, which was passed during the administration of former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in 2014, he wanted to be assured of their implementation.
“I want to say to the minister, that I am prepared to work with you in terms of the implementation, but I want to hear now, the appointed day for the legislation to come into effect to be announced,” he told the Senate.
However, he conceded that the Opposition wants to take the issue much further, by seeking the assurance of the Government that it will reverse its position against the CCJ as Jamaica's final appellate court.
He sought to justify the claim stating that persons with disabilities would not be able to finance appeals to the Privy Council, which is based in London.
“What a progressive step the (Jamaican) Government would make, if it took the decision to establish the CCJ as a final court of appeal,” he said.
The regulations for the Disabilities Act, which was passed in 2014, were affirmed by Parliament last week. The Act is aimed at protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login