PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Justice Adrian Saunders, says the Caribbean has always played an “outsized role” in the field of international law.
The region has recognised five Caribbean judicial officers and legal professionals who have made significant contributions to the development of international law.
Speaking at the first ever Eminent Caribbean Jurists Gala and Awards Ceremony here on Monday night, Justice Saunders said it is not by accident that the realm of international law had identified as the first area in which the jurists would be honoured.
The event was organised by the Caribbean Court of Justice Academy for Law, the educational arm of the Trinidad-based CCJ and was established to, among other things “promote the recognition of judges and other legal practitioners who have made a consequential and lasting contribution to Caribbean jurisprudence, and to memorialize that contribution”.
The Guyana-born former secretary general of the London-based Commonwealth group, Sir Shridath Ramphal; the Jamaican judge Patrick Robinson from the International Court of Justice; Trinidadian justice Anthony Lucky of the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea; and Guyanese nationals, Ambassador Dr. Bertrand Ramcharan of the United Nations Refugee Office and Professor Duke Pollard, who served as a judge on the CCJ, were the five jurists honoured.
Justice Saunders said the CCJ, established to replace the London-based Privy Council as the region’s final court, has a special relationship with international law and that quite apart from its work as a final appellate court, the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas mandates the Court’s judges to apply “such rules of international law as may be applicable” when interpreting the Revised Treaty, which governs the regional integration movement, CARICOM.
“But even beyond this responsibility, we at the CCJ are forever conscious of the fact that international law is of the most profound value to the people of this region. In the first place, it is international law that paved the way for the countries of CARICOM to free themselves from the grip of colonial rule.”
Justice Saunders said it is international law that secures the region’s integrity as mini-States in a “volatile world” and that it also provides a framework for states like Guyana and Belize to resolve border disputes, with far more populous and powerful neighbouring states “in ways that are peaceable, respectful and based on predictable rules.”
“It is to international law that we must turn if our small and vulnerable island states are to meet the existential threat posed by climate change. It is an international legal order that allows my own country, of only 110,000 souls, proudly to take its place, in January next year, as a member of the UN Security Council alongside and with the same single vote as the mightiest nations on earth,” the St Vincent and the Grenadines-born jurist noted.
But he said, come to think of it, the Caribbean has always played an outsized role in the field of international law, noting how he had been struck “by the leadership young Jamaica gave to the world in re-igniting the global debate on international human rights throughout the 1960s”.
He recalled, also, it was Jamaica’s then UN Ambassador, the late Sir Egerton Richardson, whose “unstinting efforts and dynamism guided the world community” as Jamaica became the main broker of progress in UN human rights diplomacy from 1962 to 1968.
Jan 23, 2020Guyanese athlete Lionel D’Andrade finished second in the Chinmaya Mission 5k race which took place on Sunday last in Trinidad and Tobago. D’Andrade clocked 17 minutes and 34 seconds, while...
Jan 23, 2020
Jan 23, 2020
Jan 23, 2020
Jan 22, 2020
Jan 22, 2020
Lost, completely lost, in the rejection of the no-confidence vote (NCM) by those who said it was a constitutional farce... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]