See the latest video of the actual proceedings HERE, HERE and HERE from the CCJ website.
also see: The Line in the Sand for the PNP ...... but vote ☐ PNP ☐ JLP ☑ Legalize Buggery in private
The cost of appeals to the Privy Council is also a major deterrent that makes it inaccessible to the vast majority of Jamaicans. For argument’s sake, let consider the same teacher I mentioned just now. The £120.00 it would cost him to apply for a UK visa pales when compared to the other overheads. Added to that, a flight from Jamaica to London costs about $150,000. And then the costs of retaining UK lawyers to fight these appeals are prohibitive to him and most Jamaicans, and even where such services are provided pro bono there are the costs of London hotels, meals and transportation which must be met.
Indeed, even the court charges just to file an appeal are exorbitant. In 2013, no doubt in response to the UK Government’s needs to meet its fiscal challenges, the Privy Council implemented significantly higher filing fees on persons seeking to access the court. To give an example of the scale of the increase, prior to 2013 there was a flat fee of £370 (J$67,000) for filing a case, but the new filing fees range from £400 (J$72,000) to a whopping £5,000 (J$900,000) for a high value appeal (as most civil appeals are)! So while the UK Government has said that it remains neutral on this matter and is leaving it up to the Jamaican people to decide whether or not to stay with the Privy Council, the exorbitant filing fees at the Privy Council are consistent with a message that says to ordinary Jamaicans – “you can’t afford the cost of accessing this court, so it’s time to move on.”
In stark contrast, accessibility to Caribbean citizens is a key object of the Caribbean Court of Justice, so with the CCJ a filing fee of US$60 (J$7,200) is payable on filing an appeal in the CCJ, regardless of the nature of the appeal or the amount claimed, and there is no fee charged on filing submissions generally.
The CCJ has also invested in modern audiovisual technology, and its procedures encourage the use of ICT, so that matters before the court can often be dealt with without requiring litigants or their lawyers to travel. Audio-visual facilities have already been set up at the Supreme Court in Kingston to allow matters before the CCJ to be argued from right here saving litigants the costs of sending counsel to the headquarters of the CCJ.
The CCJ is also designed as an itinerant court. It can (and does) travel to its member countries to dispose of cases on home soil. This was demonstrated by the sitting of that court in Jamaica in the Shanique Myrie case, Indeed, that is how Shanique Myrie was able to access justice after her Treaty rights were violated by agents of the State on attempting to enter Barbados.
The most telling and significant benefit of the CCJ over the Privy Council is its accessibility. We must pass this legislation and give our people access to justice so that the protection of these rights afforded by law can be meaningful and not illusory. Time come. Justice for all our people, is our demand today.
I dare say where is the leadership Minister Golding? As the said time has come to rid ourselves of this old law that never had any pious intent to begin with when it was passed way back then in 1533 and with all the amendments, repeals and re-enactments it only sought to punish for the most part enemies of state craft, religion and the greater imperative of the reformist agenda then under King Henry VIII; amounting to the greatest piece of privatization in the history of governance then in the land grab of the monasteries or the dissolution of the monasteries.
Maurice Tomlinson’s case that of his claim of discrimination due to sexual orientation by his alleged blocking to enter Trinidad which he was not able to properly prove was met with a reserved judgement by the court and the struggle
Golding has claimed ignorance but the official correspondences must be there I imagine and was he honest in parliament when he outlined his justification?
also see: Opposition leader (JLP) reiterates his call for a referendum on Buggery ..... 2014 and Jamaican Opposition Leader says he would allow homosexuals in his cabinet .. and Non Governmental Organization Consultant says JLP suggested Referendum on Buggery is not a good idea
Mr Golding continued in his presentation “Mr. President, one issue in the public domain is whether there should be a referendum on this issue. We believe a referendum would be a huge mistake.
The Privy Council has no security of tenure under our law, as it is not protected by entrenchment in our Constitution and could be abolished by a Bill supported by a simple majority in both Houses of Parliament. This striking fact is no doubt because it was always understood that independent Jamaica would not stay with that colonial vestige forever.
In contrast, the Bills now before us will entrench the court in the constitution in a manner that is consistent with the principles enunciated by Lord Bingham giving the opinion of the Privy Council in the Syringa Marshall Burnett case, and the CCJ will have the same protection in our constitution as the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Adopting the approach derived from the Privy Council itself in the Syringa Marshall Burnett case, these Bills seek to entrench the Caribbean Court of Justice in our Constitution in the same manner as the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, requiring not less than two-thirds majority support in both Houses of Parliament.
However, the Constitution does not require or contemplate that these changes be put to a referendum, once these Bills are passed by the required two-thirds majorities in both Houses of Parliament. It would therefore be inconsistent with the scheme of the Constitution to subject the Bills to a referendum, if these Bills are passed by the required two-thirds majorities in both Houses of Parliament. Indeed, once these Bills are passed by the required two-thirds majorities, any referendum thereafter would have no legal status as it would not be in accordance with the provisions of our Constitution.
There is very good reason for this. A referendum is fundamentally a political process. Political parties inevitably seek to use them for political advantage. It is highly undesirable to subject a decision concerning the highest level of our judiciary, a most critical and sensitive institution that is always to be shielded from the vagaries of politics, to the excesses of political rhetoric on campaign platforms. Some 41 countries formerly in the British Empire have moved away from the Privy Council, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Barbados, Guyana and Belize. None of them has put the issue to a referendum. Only one country has done so (St. Vincent), and this was because its Constitution expressly required it, and the experience of that referendum supports our worst fears. It became highly politicized, polluted by all sorts of extraneous issues, and as an indication of the will of the people on the issue at hand it therefore served no useful purpose.”
Golding continued over the past fifteen years, there have been calls from some of the UK judges who sit on the Privy Council, whose main responsibility is their local supreme court, for Caribbean countries to use the CCJ and free up their judicial time to deal with cases from their home jurisdiction. In 1999, Lord Nicolas Browne-Wilkinson, the then President of the Privy Council in a publication in “The Lawyer” made clear his view that appeals from Caribbean Courts to the Privy Council should be scrapped. Then in October, 2003 Lord Hoffman, addressing the Trinidad & Tobago Law Association Port of Spain, noted that “A court of your own is necessary if you are going to have the full benefit of what a final court can do to transform society in partnership with the other two branches of government.” And in 2009, Lord Nicholas Phillips, the President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, publicly lamented the disproportionate amount of time spent by senior justices of the Supreme Court on matters emanating from countries outside of the United Kingdom. He expressed the view that in an ideal world Caribbean Commonwealth nations would establish a final court of appeal of their own.
Mr. President, it is frankly degrading for Jamaica to continue sending our appeals to the UK, when it is clear that our presence there is not welcomed by the very judges who are deciding those appeals. It is embarrassing for us to be forcing ourselves on them. It is time to take the hint.
I am hopeful that, 53 years after our national independence, we can achieve political consensus between the Government and Opposition to fulfill this important aspect of achieving independence. We regard our present systemic arrangements, in place since the 1830’s, as constituting important unfinished business that derogates from Jamaica’s otherwise proud credentials as an independent nation, and as an affront to the fundamental democratic objective of securing access to justice for our people. Time come, we say. Justice for all our people. But I ask Mr Golding when is time going to come for gay or bisexual men on consensual anal sex with freedoms to choose and remove this ugly law?
Now comes the kicker for me, the minister also said “The Opposition has said many different things about this most important matter over the years. Their latest position appears to be that Jamaica should set up a final court of its own.
But our court system is already substantially under-funded, and the fiscal challenges that underlie this reality are not going away for many years to come. It would be misguided and, frankly, shambolic to try to set up a new home-grown organ as our highest court, with no substantial incremental budgetary support available to do so.
The CCJ Trust Fund disburses approximately US$5.5 million annually to cover the operating expenses of the CCJ. This amounts to J$660 million. This expenditure is funded from the investment profits and gains of the CCJ Trust Fund. In contrast, the 2015/16 budget for the Jamaican Court of Appeal is J$246 million.
The reality of Jamaica’s fiscal situation is that Jamaica is not able to finance the establishment of an acceptable domestic final court for many years to come. Such a final court, in order to ensure its independence, would need to be endowed upfront with a capital sum similar to the US$100 million that was borrowed by Caricom Governments and paid into the CCJ Trust Fund. The Jamaican people will not trust, and investors, whether local or international, will not accept, a final court that is beset with the same funding constraints and related problems that are besetting the local court system.
But whereas Jamaica only had to bear US$26 million of the borrowing of US$100 million to establish the CCJ Trust Fund, if we were going to set up a new Jamaican final court with similar standard of jurisprudential quality and independence, we would have to finance the full US$100 million to do that on our own. This is a pipe dream that simply cannot happen in an era when we are making the required fiscal sacrifices to bring our bloated public debt down to sustainable levels So while the Government of Jamaica is not averse in principle to Jamaica one day having its own final court, any such court would need to be no less well endowed from a financial perspective, and have no lesser guarantees of independence from political interference, than the CCJ. It will take many years before any local final court can be established that would pass that acid test. In the meantime, we have paid for the CCJ. It is a gem, providing justice of the highest quality to the citizens of Barbados, Guyana, Belize and Dominica. We all agree, I believe, that we must leave the Privy Council without further delay, so let us move to the CCJ right way, with an understanding that the door remains open in the future for Jamaica to establish our own final court when we have built an economy that can support it financially.”
So our own court as suggested by the JLP is too expensive! And this is the same man who says Justice for All! My mentioned sprucing up our local courts is missing from that last barb by the goodly minister.
If we are going to get rid of all the vestiges of colonialism legislatively that is get rid of all of them I say and while I know it cannot happen overnight a sound of the impending change would be nice; but to essentially capitulate to the paranoia of the religious right is just plain poor leadership but as the latest Ferguson 18 dead babies salvo shows us and the lack of decisive action by the Party leader shows the PNP ship seems steerless. Why should I vote for a rudderless ship and in the same breath b forced to stomach an equally lost JLP with no serious ideas yet?
Former Prime Minister PJ Patterson’s call for tolerance not genuine & sheer hypocrisy.
No Buggery Law Removal says Justice Minister, Gay Marriage parachuted in yet again
LGBT advocacies have also added to the problems with simply poor communication regarding repeal versus decriminalization of buggery, though their late in the day stance on the latter it is simply not being said loud enough for the average man or the anti gay groups as they keep referring to repeal. Even the justice minister himself seems unsure as evidenced when he was on his feet in May 2015 reporting on the UN review where he attended.
Woe is me, I am befuddled.
Peace & tolerance
also see and hear the present PM siding with the former PM Bruce Golding on not to gay marriage:
PM scolds gay-rights protesters in New York ........ challenges truthfulness of Homophobic Claim
Justice Minister reiterates his personal position on the Buggery Law, Anal Intercourse, Consent & Privacy
Portia Simpson - 'Uncouth behaviour of others to make me look less than polished'