The Opposition Spokesperson on Justice, Donna Scott Mottley, has taken retired President of the Court of Appeal, Seymour Panton, to task for allotting equal blame to both political parties for Jamaica’s failure to subscribe to the appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ.
In remarks last week, Justice Panton sharply criticised the country’s politicians over the failure to end judicial appeals to the UK based Privy Council.
But the Opposition People’s National Party has taken issue with that characterisation.
Mrs. Donna Scott-Mottley says to ensure fairness, Justice Panton should be reminded that PNP President, Mark Golding, tabled two bills in the Parliament to begin the process of making the Caribbean Court of Justice Jamaica’s final appellate court.
The Opposition Spokesperson says had the PNP been able to secure the vote of at least one JLP Senator, the situation would have been very different today.
She goes on to note that Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who was then Opposition Leader, required all eight Opposition Senators to sign undated letters of resignation to prevent parliamentary support for the CCJ.
Mrs. Scott Mottley says despite the promise of a referendum, the Holness administration has made no effort to advance the process since assuming office in February 2016.
She says in that regard the People’s National Party rejects any notion or assertion that it bears equal responsibility with the Jamaica Labour Party for what she says is the continued and inexplicable delay in leaving the Privy Council and establishing the CCJ as Jamaica’s final appellate Court.
The Opposition Spokesperson says the fact is Prime Minister Andrew Holness does not support the CCJ. She has accused the Jamaica Labour Party of believing that superior justice flows from the London based Privy Council.
The PNP says it repudiates the continued belittlement of the CCJ by the JLP, and it’s calling for the resurrection and quick passage of the three bills to assert Jamaica’s independence and self-dignity.