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Senior Counsel supports decision: Mendes: T&T now fully independent
Finally, T&T is becoming a completely independent nation, said Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes, as he welcomed the announcement yesterday that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is to become this country’s final court of appeal. Noting that he was “pleasantly surprised” by the announcement by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in Parliament that the CCJ is to replace the Privy Council in the area of crimimal jurisdiction, Mendes said, “I think it is a great move.
“We are on the way to becoming a completely independent nation. Important judicial decisions will be made by Caribbean nationals and not by former colonial masters.” Mendes said he had had “quite a few” matters before the English law lords at the Privy Council and won some and lost some.
Asked if he was satisfied with the judgments, he replied, “Yes, I have always been satisfied with the judgments. “There is no doubt that the Privy Council is a first-class international tribunal. But so is the CCJ.” Asked if the CCJ, inaugurated in Port-of-Spain on April 16, 2005, had delivered enough judgments to enable such a diagnosis, Mendes said, “Quite a few judgments were delivered and I’ve read most of them.
“I agreed with some and disagreed with some. But that’s my personal opinion. “The quality of the judgments was quite high.”
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