Foreword & Acknowledgements

AuthorDuke Pollard
ProfessionDirector of the CARICOM Legislative Drafting Facility and one of the principal consultants on all development aspects of the Caribbean Court of Justice on which he now sits as a Judge
The signing by ten Heads of Government of the CaribbeanCommunity1 on February 14, 2001 of the Agreement Establishingthe Caribbean Court of Justice in Bridgetown, Barbados, mustbe perceived as the imminent denouement of a protracted,intensive, regional debate among the principal stakeholders ofthe Caribbean Court of Justice concerning delinking from theJudicial Committee of the Privy Council. This debate waspunctuated, on the one hand, with vigorous asseverations aboutthe imperatives of public accessibility to the Court, the normativerelevance of the law to be applied, political and judicial autonomyof decision-making, and, on the other, with persistent, andoftentimes, genuine reservations about the diabolical intentionsof the regional political directorate, the normative maturity ofour indigenous legal system, the desired legal erudition of regionalcandidates for the Bench of the Court, their judicial integrity andindependence, and the financial sustainability of the Court.2
The genesis of this controversy goes back to 1901 when theJamaican Gleaner Newspaper, in an editorial comment, surmisedthat the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council might be out ofjoint with the times and serious consideration must be given toestablishing a replacement, a regional court of last resort.3
However, enthusiasm for the idea of an indigenous regional courtof last resort did not enjoy widespread support at the time andthe idea remained in a state of dormancy for almost another 50years. In 1947 however, colonial governors of the CommonwealthCaribbean, meeting in Bridgetown, Barbados, resuscitated theidea of a regional court of last resort, but once again, the ideaFOREWORD & Acknowledgements

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