CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION REPORT.
THE Constitutional Reform Commission has declined making any recommendations in relation to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, given the regional nature of the Court.
Today we present another section of Chapter 10 of the Commission’s report dealing with the Judiciary:
The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
The Commission considered the position of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. It noted that the Court was a shared institution, of which Saint Lucia was only one part. It also noted that the Court was constituted in common for the members of the OECS and that any recommendations for reform of the Court may be hampered by or could have implications for, Saint Lucia’s membership of the Court.
The Commission took notice of the manner of appointment of judges of the High Court and Court of Appeal. It perused the Supreme Court Order which established the Court in Saint Lucia and noted that judges of the Court enjoyed security of tenure and that the Court, as an institution, enjoyed special protection in Saint Lucia’s Constitution.
The Commission was privileged to count among its membership, a retired former member of the Court, in the person of our Chairperson, Madam Justice Suzie d’Auvergne, (retired,) and the current President of Saint Lucia’s Bar Association, Mr. Andie George, as well as a number of practising attorneys in Saint Lucia. These members drew the Commission’s attention to a number of occasions in the past on which the Court issued decisions against successive Saint Lucian governments. The Commission noted that the Court issued similar decisions in a number of OECS jurisdictions and that by and large, judges of the ECSC enjoyed a high degree of respect and admiration among the general public, regional academics and other courts in the Caribbean. The Commission took special note of the fact that a number of retired judges who served on the ECSC, were called upon to provide additional judicial service in other countries in the region. The Commission’s attention was also drawn to the fact that in a very high number of cases, decisions of the Court of Appeal were expressly approved of by the London based Privy Council.
The Commission considered the position of the ECSC, and determined that the Court already evidenced the high level of independence and integrity contemplated by the S.I. Consequently, the Commission did not regard reform of the ECSC as necessary in the context of the review.
Moreover, the Commission believed that even if some recommendations for reform were appropriate, which was in any event not the case; it would be imprudent to offer them, given the regional nature of the Court.
(153) With respect to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, the Commission concludes that it was not necessary or appropriate to make any recommendations for reform of the ECSC in the context of the current review.