Browne: CCJ debate to continue


Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister
Dr Amery Browne.

THE Senate debate on Independent Senator Anthony Vieira’s motion for Trinidad and Tobago to replace the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its top appellate court will continue next month.

In a texted reply to Newsday’s query on Thursday, Senate leader Dr Amery Browne said, “The debate on that motion is scheduled to continue on the next Private Members’ Day.

The Parliament website, in its glossary of terms, said private members business “has precedence on the fourth Friday/Tuesday of each month,” implicitly referring to the days set aside in the House of Representatives and Senate respectively. By Newsday’s calculation the fourth Tuesday next month is June 28.

Sophia Chote, head of the Law Association (LATT), on Thursday told Newsday she herself supported such a change, but did not state any LATT position.

“I can only give you my personal view at this time, which is I support the AG’s proposal. It is long overdue.

“The (LATT) membership has not been canvassed on the matter recently but I do recall that the Opposition had previously said it would support accession to the CCJ so there might be agreement on both sides.”

During Wednesday’s Senate debate on the motion, Opposition Senators Wade Mark and Jayanti Lutchmedial advised the Government to first hold a national referendum to gauge public opinion, and then only proceed in Parliament if the survey indicated at least 75 per cent public support for the change.

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