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HomeOpinionCommentarySt Lucia’s accession to CCJ - The politics of miseducation

St Lucia’s accession to CCJ – The politics of miseducation

 Editorial 

The parliament of Saint Lucia on Tuesday, February 28, held up to expectations in a historic non-debate to amend the Constitution of Saint Lucia towards the accession of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). A three-fourth majority in parliament was needed. The amendment was secured by the 13 government members present in the 15-2 parliament.

In the absence of ever having a serious debate, viewers and listeners were saturated with ‘cocky and stocky.’

According to former prime minister Stephenson King: “This amendment is doing one simple thing and that is bringing justice to the people of Saint Lucia and the Caribbean. The ordinary man in the street was ‘begging for justice’. All he wants is an opportunity to reach the highest court as it exists.

“As it exists now, it is not only far in distance but also far in cost. I am proud of this moment…which I believe will make the entire country proud moving forward.”

In a two-hour lecture by former prime minister Kenny Anthony, he mesmerized a journey characterised by the “brilliance of fantasy, in a retrospective display of non -accomplishments, the prospect of retirement, an autobiography and perceived influence in the twilight of better days!”

The courage of parliamentarians, self-respect and confidence on many aspects of the CCJ, fell short to chart the course of a bright future for the dispensation of law and order, and to place confidence in the CCJ.

However, the lame discourse of parliamentarians advanced the presentation of politics as usual, hitherto, when will the representatives of the people ever have a serious discussion and legislation that influence responsibility, and impact lives arising from ‘decolonization to freedom’ and true self-governance?

The present guarantees no change to the inanity which undermines governments’ ability to inspire a generation to real freedom, courage, self-respect, self-confidence and governance.

Of the 15 CARICOM countries, Saint Lucia will become the fifth member country to make the CCJ its final court, joining Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Dominica. The deliberation is such that the Senate and the Governor-General will accede to the habitual protocol.

The focus on constitutional change to the CCJ will have little impact on day-to-day families, their ability to have justice in the lower courts, affordability, and the dispense of justice in Saint Lucia. Guilt declares that at least one magistrate court has been closed for the past there years; while other magistrates’ courts around the island are ruined, the high court is under duress.

The methodology of justice in Saint Lucia is simply a disadvantage to the rule of law and natural justice. A familiarity that alludes to the value of parliamentary representation and government priorities. This is peculiar, where politicians seem to champion every opportunity to masquerade the betterment of the ordinary people.

Indelibly, the consequence is abstract!

“On 28 February 2023, prime minister, Philip J. Pierre with his 3/4 majority in the House of Assembly passed the historic Bill to amend the Constitution of Saint Lucia to allow us to take one step further in completing our Independence. Saint Lucia’s accession to the jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice is a milestone in our history. Accessibility and affordability are major advantages of joining this august body and, most importantly, the access to justice through a regional institution which best represents us as a people,” the platitude narrates.

The politics of miseducation and how trust gets eroded is modulated in conversations that have now become – taboo – after the fact – following the second reading in parliament to amend the Constitution of Saint Lucia, Cap, 1.01 “the Act” to modify provisions that allow for appeals to Her Majesty in Council and to provide for appeals to the Caribbean Court of Justice.”

Public documents to date provide little too ample justification for the CCJ. It’s little wonder that constitutional changes have not advanced Saint Lucian society. The exception has been for the political fancy of selected politicians and parliamentarians in the advancement of their pet projects, and changes to unsustainable tax concession for the selected few.

On the contrary, the contrived ‘gotcha’ moments continue to erode trust in politicians and the governance of Saint Lucia. The fancy games of intellectuals only serve to rule out kitchen table conversations, that urgently apprehend the uncomplicated needs of advancing the people to Saint Lucian to their full potential.

Even as many acknowledge the much-needed conversations on the CCJ, which is needed, in the areas of specialty, accessibility, cost, equity, law and improvements in the judiciary, conversations should not be made any easier for the government. Not when their unsustainable focus fragments the socio-economic circumstances of Saint Lucia.

The skeptical concerns of investors and business have not been eroded, in a governance system (executive, legislative and judicial) that is deeply broken. And further, while everyone struggles to meet basic needs, trust and confidence in the justice system continue to erode.

In the interim, the fragility of opposition to the CCJ is going into meltdown, while others are scared of a portraying Frankenstein campaign speaking for themselves.

The next constitutional amendment for Saint Lucia is towards a republic.

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