Should the Caribbean stop burdening the Privy Council and have their own Final Court of Appeal

 You may see in the media  the need for the Privy Council to be replaced by the Caribbean Court of Justice or some other court.

It is very clear that the UK judiciary is giving an indication and it is only clear that maybe the caribbean need to infer from such indication unless persuaded otherwise.

What do you say? Do read the article below

Privy Council hampers Supreme Court
By Michael Peel and Jane Croft

Published: September 21 2009 03:00 | Last updated: September 21 2009 03:00

Top judges charged with a landmark modernisation of the British legal system will be diverted from their task by an unlikely and perverse duty: serving on a court that is one of the country’s fustiest jurisprudential -relics.

Lord Phillips, president of the new Supreme Court, said he was searching for ways to curb the “disproportionate” time he and his fellow senior justices spent hearing legal appeals from independent Commonwealth countries to the Privy Council in London.

The concerns highlight how the Supreme Court’s creation is a quintessentially British constitutional fudge, separating the judiciary from parliament for the first time but leaving intact a sister chamber widely seen as a post-imperial anachronism.

Lord Phillips said in an interview that he was concerned the judges who will staff the Supreme Court from next month would – as during their previous incarnations as House of Lords justices – end up spending as much as 40 per cent of their working hours on Privy Council business.

He said: “It is a huge amount of time. I personally would like to see it reduced. It’s disproportionate.”

The president questioned whether some Privy Council cases – which have ranged from Jamaican death row appeals to fights over press freedom in Bermuda – needed to be heard by a panel of five of Britain’s most senior judges.

He said he was looking to take some of the pressure off the Supreme Court by drafting in Court of Appeal judges to help out, although he added that “in an ideal world” former Commonwealth countries would stop using the Privy Council and set up their own final courts of appeal instead.

A creature of Britain’s 19th century colonial pomp, the Privy Council judicial committee is now used as a London-subsidised top court by about 15 independent nations, most of them small islands in the Caribbean and Pacific.

Many independent observers say this is both an ideological stain and a financial drain on the newly-created Supreme Court.

The Council judicial committee shares both the court’s handsome Parliament Square headquarters and access to the dozen judges whose £200,000-a-year day job is supposed to be resolving Britain’s most important criminal and commercial cases.

Robert Hazell, director of The Constitution Unit at University College London, said it was a “minor public scandal” that judges in the country’s top court spent almost half their time on business “of no interest to anyone in the UK”.

He said: “If they didn’t spend time in the Privy Council, the justices of the Supreme Court could hear almost twice as many cases coming up from the UK legal system.”

The Ministry of Justice declined to respond to Lord Phillips’ comments, saying that how he ran the Supreme Court was a matter for him.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.

  1. #1 by ukshasha on September 25, 2009 - 8:01 pm

    Well, considering that these judges earn upwards of £200,00 per year, what is wrong with them doing their job. They don’t only hear cases from Jamaica, but act as the court of last resort for the commonwealth, 30 overseas British territories, Gibralter, The Falkland Islands and Bermuda.

    The debate about severing one of the last ties with the so-called Motherland (the other is getting rid of the office of Governor General) has raged for some time, personally, I’m not sure that I have confidence in the integrity of the CCJ, and have grave concerns about the financial burdens it will place on member countries for its continued maintainance.

    Robert Hazell’s asinine remark just shows his level of ignorance of Britain’s multi-culture nature.

  2. #2 by sylbourne on September 25, 2009 - 8:12 pm

    …and a serious question is the relevance of the Commonwealth? cause if they start to severe these ties step by step it is weakening the effect and strength of the Commonwealth not that it is effective.

    There is a nevertheless a clear need for the Caribbean Court of Justice ( CCJ) to take it’s rightful place but there is also the need for it to credible.

  3. #3 by Ripstmomyc on September 27, 2009 - 4:14 pm

    Interesting observations, I am would like to know how This CCJ would function. Wihch countires would be involved? If it is exclusive to commonwealth countries, why would Ja sill need the offic of the GG. Who would draft the laws for the CCJ?

  4. #4 by sylbourne on September 27, 2009 - 4:50 pm

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