PM refutes Fontaine’s claim on CCJ

first_img Sharing is caring! Share 10 Views   no discussions Share LocalNews PM refutes Fontaine’s claim on CCJ by: – February 10, 2014center_img Share Tweet Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has refuted claims by the United Workers Party (UWP) hopeful Dr Thomson Fontaine that his government did not consult with the nation prior to seeking the British Government’s approval to delink from the Privy Council.Dr Fontaine told the Caribbean Media Corporation last week Friday, that his party does not believe that Dominica “is ready for the move” and that there are “a lot of questions about the judiciary and the ability of our own people to preside over themselves”.Mr Skerrit told the media on Monday, February 10 that discussion regarding the CCJ has been ongoing here since 2000 when the CCJ was being established. In 2005, the Dominica Parliament debated the island’s accession to the court and according to the Prime Minister, Earl Williams who was the UWP leader at the time, supported the decision. “The issue that we have not consulted people is untrue; we have had several, several consultations far and wide on the court,” Mr Skerrit said.In 2013, President of the court, Sir Denise Byron, was the guest of honour at the Dominica Association of Industry & Commerce’s Chew On It Luncheon to discuss the CCJ.“I have written to the private sector, all the private sector groups, all the unions seeking their views on Dominica’s accession to the court as its final jurisdiction,” Mr Skerrit said.The government also held consultations with the private sector and unions to discuss the move to the CCJ.Dominica became a signatory to the court in February 2003 along with St Vincent & the Grenadines.“Dominica went to the CDB along with all the Member States of CARICOM to sign on to the contracting of a loan and, in fact, the taxpayers are paying for this loan which is financing the operations of the court”.He also criticized Dr Fontaine reasoning that questions the ability of Caribbean people to preside over themselves.“Is this somebody who is aspiring to be a leader of a country or in Government saying that the Caribbean people are not mature enough, are not intelligent enough, are not capable enough to manage their own affairs,” Mr Skerrit questioned.He highlighted Sir Denise Byron, former president of Dominica Dr Nicholas Liverpool and deceased Justice Georges as some of the brightest judges and lawyers who are “world renowned and world respected jurists” “For the UWP to say as a party that in the second decade of the 21st Century that we are not prepared, that we believe that a white person in England who does not know anybody in the Caribbean, who does not know about our life is more qualified than our own people to manage the affairs of our country, this is a very sad state”.He said this indicates that “UWP is bereft of ideas, they are jumping like jumping jacks all over the place; today they support something tomorrow they oppose it and they next day they have something new to talk about,” Mr Skerrit continued. He added that the next step is to officially recognize the Court in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and this should be done at the next sitting of Parliament. “We will go to Parliament very soon to start the process because there is, I believe, a 90-day period between the First Reading and the Final Reading taken in Parliament”.Mr Skerrit, who defended his government’s decision to make the Caribbean Court of Justice its final appellate court, said it will provide greater justice for all citizens in Dominica and the Caribbean.“It is a mature move, it is a responsible move, it is a progressive move and it is a move towards gaining our full and outright independence as a people, as a country and as a region”.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

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