President-Elect Sir Dennis Byron Wants More Countries to Join Caribbean Court of Justice

Now Sir Dennis himself is issuing a call for more governments in the Caribbean to embrace the Court in place of the British Privy Council.

The Kittitian jurist has expressed his desire to see more CARICOM states coming on board when he assumes office on August 17. To date, only Barbados, Guyana and Belize are fully signed on to the Court.

The international jurist made the comment during a press conference at the CCJ Headquarters in Trinidad. Among those present were CCJ President Michael De La Bastide and moderator/journalist Tony Fraser. It was conducted via video conference in Guyana, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Quizzed on whether he had any concerns about the CCJ when he assumes office, Sir Dennis said: “I must be concerned that only three of the member states have acceded but as I have been observing the developments in the region, I echo the remarks made by President De La Bastide, that, it seems to be that as time goes on, the member states are getting closer to doing what is necessary to accede to the Court.

“So I would only hope that as I take office I would witness this development which would allow the Court to discharge its functions to benefit as wide a segment of our community as possible,” Byron was quoted in the Trinidad media as saying.

But he admitted there was “more fact finding and discussion.” “I hope my information base would be much broader and I look forward to discussing much more concrete plans as they emerge,” said Byron.

Byron reiterated his firm belief in the potential of the CCJ and its promise for the development and advancement of the Caribbean. Byron also said he was grateful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity (President Designate).

Rwanda experience: ‘Deeper perspective of human rights globally’ Byron’s present assignment is as President of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Africa.

Quizzed on his greatest achievement as President of ICTR, Byron said he had gained “a deeper perspective of the basic human rights of people globally.” He said:

“I benefited enormously from both the jurisdiction of our Court which has had to apply rules of international and criminal and humanitarian grounds.” Byron said he had gained substantively from the collegial interaction with judges from around the world. He added: “We have sat with and worked with judges from a wide variety of judicial traditions and backgrounds and experience. I think it has been a very rewarding experience.”

Byron also expressed his confidence in the quality of Caribbean jurists. “One of the inevitable consequences of that interaction has been a revival in my confidence in the quality of Caribbean jurists. I have had the opportunity to reflect on my association and knowledge of colleagues throughout the region.

 

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