Justice Minister, Senator Mark Golding, says he’s now in receipt of two pieces of correspondence between the previous JLP administration and the Judicial Committee of the UK based Privy Council, concerning the possibility of the court travelling to Jamaica to hear cases.
In a statement today, Minister Golding says one letter was sent by former Justice Minister, Dorothy Lightbourne, to the Privy Council, dated November 20, 2009.
That letter was sent through the UK based law firm, Charles Russell, and outlines Jamaica’s desire to explore the idea of the Privy Council travelling to the island to hear cases.
According to the letter, the Jamaican government would like to explore the cost and feasibility of such an exercise and whether it would be possible for such a sitting to take place in 2010 or 2011.
The response from the Acting Registrar of the Privy Council, Louise Di Mambro, dated April 16, 2010, is also in Minister Golding’s custody.
That letter says the Jamaican government would have to cover the return airfares of eight persons, including five judges and three members of staff.
Jamaica would also be required to cover the cost of security arrangements for the court officials during their visit.
Meanwhile, the Justice Minister says the letter from the Privy Council proves that the Caribbean Court of Justice is a far more sensible option for the Jamaican people.
Using the Shanique Myrie case as a reference, Minister Golding says the total cost including fare and accommodations for judges and staff of the CCJ, was a little over JMD$1-million.
He says $650,000 of that sum was spent on hosting the sittings of the court at the Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.
Minister Golding says the upgraded Supreme Court complex in Kingston, means the government would no longer have to rent a facility to host future sittings of the CCJ.
By Nationwide’s own calculations, based on the conditions set down by the Privy Council in their letter, is would cost the country at least $7-million for the court to sit in Jamaica.