Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the matter of the country’s final appellate court must be put to Jamaicans in a referendum.

He commented on the issue during an interview on Monday on CVM TV’s ‘CVM at Sunrise’ with Dennis Brooks and Yendi Phillips.

Daina Davy reports.


There’s a fierce public debate over whether Jamaica should replace the Privy Council court with the Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ as its final appellate court.

Weighing in on the debate, Prime Minister Holness says the voice of the people should be a priority.

The Prime Minister’s position differs from that of Opposition Leader, Mark Golding, who says the matter should be determined solely by parliamentarians.

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Marlene Malahoo Forte, recently disclosed that support for the retention of the UK-based Privy Council appears to have grown.

This followed the court’s ruling overturning the murder conviction of dancehall star Vybz Kartel and his co-accused.

The Privy Council ruled that the men’s murder convictions be quashed due to several jury issues.

Minister Malahoo-Forte noted that the rising support suggests Jamaicans are still not settled in their minds on whether they wish to replace the Privy Council with the CCJ.

Prime Minister Holness says the situation must not be treated in an autocratic manner.

He says the decision of a final court should not rest on the views of one political party.