Will the “Island of Heroes” Deliver an “Heroic” vote for the CCJ on 6 th November?

Submitted by DAVID A. COMISSIONG, Attorney-at-Law and Son of the Caribbean Community

A national Referendum on the issue of whether a Caribbean nation should disengage from the British Privy Council and accede to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as the nation’s highest appellate Court is more than just a vote about a court of law!  Rather, it is a vote that presents the national population with an opportunity to assert their inherent human right to self-determination and personal dignity, and to make a major advance in their historical journey towards the interlinked goals of full national sovereignty and Caribbean civilizational independence.

 It is with this understanding in mind that I therefore look forward with great anticipation to see how the people of Grenada – the citizens of my late father’s native land – will vote in the 6 November 2018 Referendum on the CCJ.

 Grenada, for me, has always been an “island of heroes”!  Aside from the fact that my late Grenadian father – Rev. Vivian Comissiong – is one of my own personal heroes, I am of the view that, for its size, Grenada has produced more heroic historical figures than perhaps any other nation in the world – heroes that have valiantly resisted European imposed enslavement and colonial domination as they sought to bring their people into a promised land of full autonomy and self-determination.

 It is this struggle/journey that the Grenadian people should have at the back of their minds when they make their way to the various polling stations on 6 November.

 Spare a thought for the original owners of the island of Grenada – the Carib or Kalinago people – who were so determined to resist the European colonisers and to maintain their autonomous nationhood that in 1651 (at Sauteurs in the north of the island) they chose death rather than to live in a state of European imposed servitude and national dishonour.

 Recall that as early as 1765 our enslaved African ancestors – faced with the onslaught of an influx of rapacious British slave plantation owners who had descended upon Grenada – revolted against the British plantocratic regime and tried their best to escape the jurisdiction of the British slave plantation by setting up their own maroon communities.

 Reflect on the tremendous example of the so-called “free-coloured” revolutionary leader, Julien Fedon, and his lieutenants – Stanislaus Besson, Etienne Ventour and Joachin Phillip – who, in the 1790’s fought the British colonisers to a standstill and almost succeeded in destroying the British colonial and slavery regime.

 And then contemplate the fact that from the very beginning of the 20th century a succession of heroic Grenadians have been in the vanguard of the Caribbean struggle to extricate our region from the tentacles of British colonisation and to establish not only an independent Grenadian nation, but also an autonomous, integrated Caribbean Civilization.

 This latter period of Grenadian nationalist struggle encompasses the turn-of-the century activism of the great black patriotic newspaper editor William Galway Donovan; the decades long Pan-Caribbean political, journalistic, and industrial activism and institution building of Theophilus A. Marryshow; Eric Gairy’s 1950’s radical, grassroots mobilization of the Grenadian peasantry and working class against the British colonial authorities and the social elite of Grenada; and – of course – the mighty “Grenada Revolution” of 1979 to 1983 and the efforts of Maurice Bishop, Unison Whiteman, Jacqueline Creft and others to demonstrate that Grenada would never be content to remain in anybody’s colonialist backyard.

 The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) that the Grenadian people will be voting for (or against) on 6 November 2018 is our very own Grenadian and Caribbean institution and is part of a structure of freedom and nationhood that we Caribbean people started to build for ourselves way back during the early struggles of our indigenous and African ancestors.

 The CCJ is the outgrowth of a centuries long process, but its more contemporary roots are to be found in our 1965 establishment of a Caribbean Free Trade Area (CARIFTA); our 1973 transformation of CARIFTA into the more developed Caribbean Community (CARICOM); our 1981 establishment of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS); and the goals that we set for ourselves in 1989 with our Grand Anse Declaration and its aspirations towards a Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).

 As we set about building for ourselves a regional nation or civilization it became clear that a natural and necessary component of that process must be that we take ownership of our entire national judicial system, inclusive of our highest national Court of Appeal.

 And so, in 2001, Grenada joined together with nine other CARICOM nations – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago – to sign the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as both an “international court” vested with jurisdiction in respect of the interpretation and application of our Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, and as the highest “municipal or national” Court of Appeal for our CARICOM region.

Grenada also acted with great vision and a sense of responsibility by contributing its portion of the US$100 Million trust fund that our CARICOM states established to finance our CCJ on a permanent and secure basis, and by playing a role in establishing our independent and well-structured Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission to oversee the running of our CCJ.

But in spite of the highly commendable role that Grenada played in constructing and investing in the CCJ, Grenada has– up to today– only ever utilized the CCJ in its original “international court” jurisdiction, but never in its “municipal or national” jurisdiction as Grenada’s highest Court of Appeal. That honour and critical function has –up to today– been reserved for the foreign-based British Privy Council ! 

The CCJ was inaugurated on 16 August 2005 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, and has therefore been in operation for some thirteen and a half years now.  And during that extensive period of time it has served all of our CARICOM nations as our  “international court” vested with jurisdiction in respect of the interpretation and application of our Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, and as the highest municipal or national Court of Appeal — but only for the nations of Barbados, Guyana, Belize and Dominica.

 Needless-to-say, over the thirteen and a half years of its existence our CCJ has performed excellently well in its role as a final Court of Appeal, and, along with the University of the West Indies, has proven to be an institution of our Caribbean Community of which we can be justly proud – an institution of our Caribbean Civilization that does justice to our fore-parents’ historic struggle for dignity, self respect, autonomy and nationhood.

Why then should Grenada or any other Caribbean country for that matter have any reservations about extricating itself from the inherently “colonialist” situation of having a foreign, European court that is located thousands of miles away from the Caribbean as its highest supposedly “national” Court of Appeal ?

 If we reject the CCJ – one of our greatest indigenous Caribbean constructions – we are in danger of rejecting both ourselves and our ancestors and their heroic struggles.

 

107 comments

  • waru the only thing that would make her a shoe in for primeminister is if she walked with a limp or had a lisp

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  • Biggest “snowflakes” are Americans and Israelis crying about Anti-Americanism and Anti-Semitism while normalising White Supremacy with scum like Trump and Bannon’s alt-right far right Movement linking up with racists all over like White Boy Trolls

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  • “waru the only thing that would make her a shoe in for primeminister is if she walked with a limp or had a lisp.”

    So how come you never made it.

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  • @piece
    I noticed that your attention span is longer than a few weeks. You mentioned Yugge Farrel. Do you see how she has faded into oblivion.

    I believe that if GP and DM keep silent and let nothing escape their ‘lips’ (mouth closed and butt cheek clenched) and if Mia does nothing then Jackie Stewart and her story, like Yugge Farrel, will fade into obscurity. Perhaps, in time, we will find some other story that grab our attention.

    Time and do nothing is a friend of the political class. And when they do something like the ‘integrity legislation’, the do nothing.

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  • And now ladies and gentlemen, more cruel than the death penalty, in fact you will beg for it before he’s over, the devil’s favorite comedian, introducing the non-funny guy …Lawson

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  • Well it would certainly be a long haul for govt
    Not only is Jackie using new facebook strategies on face book
    But have also managed to breathe new life into the Violet Beckles story( a story which i had no interest and originally found hard to belive except now that another voice/s are added with their own stories) which have propelled me to take another look.
    What started out as an ants hill has grown into a mountain atrracting million of viewers world wide
    At this point govt strategy of silence does not help in receding the tidal wave of corruption heaped on the forehead of Marshall and George Payne across the world wide web and would only get worse
    There is a story in the bible where Joshua blew his trumpet and the walls came tumbling down..plenty inspiration and a good food for thought which govt should heed. …
    Also

    The old saying of day runs till night catches up still works
    Keep that in mind

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  • @ pieceuhderockyeahright,

    there is a video that says Yugge Farrel is in Cuba. I did not post said video because I cannot verify the veracity of a vincy especially when I have an imaginary friend called Googlit. lol

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  • Btw what happened to George Payne he seems to have “dug”a hole (lol)where he can hid

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  • “…………the Violet Beckles story( a story which i had no interest and originally found hard to belive except now that another voice/s are added with their own stories) which have propelled me to take another look.”

    Come off it, Mariposa

    The only reason you are now interested in Violet Beckles is because her situation comes under scrutiny under a BLP administration.

    Chances are, if Beckles’ matter is not resolved any time soon and extends into the term of a prospective DLP administration, you would lose interest, similarly to how you did over the past 10 years.

    Your hypocrisy is one of the many reasons why I don’t take, seriously, anything you contribute to this forum.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Now hear you Artax come talking pup about political differences
    For your information the Beckles story was given consideration as one to be looked into by Thompson yet still i had no interest
    The chain of events and circumstances in my mind were hard to logically prove
    However now that Jackie has given information as to how these scams work and can be achived throught mischievous and corrupt handlers within the system the Beckles Story becomes a lot cleared to understand

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  • Nice try!!

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  • Artax u can try again also

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  • My friend, your comprehension skills are definitely lacking.

    If you really understood what is meant by the term “political differences,” you would not have written the above comment in response to my contribution.

    Now, please read it S L O W L Y…. and wheel and come again.

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  • @45govt.

    Why are you so hateful? Do you think that Kiki (555dubstreet), is black or Bajan? He is not!! He is a successful professional from a highly intellectual and educated professional cadre. It is amazing how you come on here, read a few blogs and pigeon hole contributors without knowing anything about the person. Shame….

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  • And the humiliation continues..lol

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  • “Wheel and come again”what! suffice to say
    You understood quite well what i meant
    Steupse
    Wheel and come again bro

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  • Bajans, you must be mixing up SSDumbShit with someone else. The one peddling his hatred of whites is the moron I am addressing.
    Successful? Professional? What a joke. You sure you spelled cadre right?
    Shame on you. Butt out.

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  • @ Theophillus

    These are names of the poor man and the downpressed that de ole man does not forget.

    Nazzim Blackett, Abijah Holder and Yugge Farrell are three such names.

    I noticed that you too have been the sole party that has been carrying a campaign for Yugge.

    What i have noted Theophillus is that, when people talk about injustice and wrongs and doing the right thing that most of us do it in abstract.

    Like David Come Sing a Song, when you examine the matters he would have “fought” for you notice that all of them are either (i) sensationalist (ii) contra the Democratic Labour Party (iii) pro Cuba and other communist sympathies or (iv) pro Africa and the Dark Continent so that it can show how black his Hunkie Corner (by the Tamarind Tree outside the Geography Room at Harsun College is)

    I am sorry if, at this my golden years, de ole man ent drinking de coolaid like Gabriel and others who now exist in the shadow of the CARICOM Ambassador.

    I to ole to lik pooch or to get ammmmm dat badword dat de bajan menses like.

    The true practicuum Theophillus lies in what we do when the rubber hits the road.

    De ole man could prosper immensely from the suck poochism but you know what, i cant sleep good when Mia Mugabe doing shy$# to Bajans and I know that it is badword.

    I going watch and see if Andrew Pilgrim going prosecute the government of St Vincent for Constitutional abuses at the Inter American Human Rights Commission or if he going just left it like that.

    But we shall see shan’t we??

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  • @ the Honourable Blogmaster, your assistance please with an item of r Theophillus thank you

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  • 45govt:

    No you butt out. You are a johnny come lately. you do not know anything about the bloggers. You peddle hatred of blacks so what is the difference between the two of you?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Ralphie duck the Vincy Yankees,preferring to meet in selected homes rather than a town hall.I dont know this Ralphie atall atall.Probably getting timid in his senior years.

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  • @bajans – you sound like a silly little girlie, a WARU in the making relying on victimhood and the false hope of ‘reparations’ to keep your sorry body and soul together.
    I do NOT peddle hatred of blacks, it would be hard to square that with BEING a Bajan, but I do denounce those who think two wrongs will make a right by peddling hatred of whites, as people like you do. “Johnny come lately”?? I have been here longer than you, and have known Barbados a LOT longer than you, and unlike you, understand it is in deep trouble. The attitudes of race-baiters like you will do what to the popularity of the island to white tourists, do you think?
    Grow up.,

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  • The white mindset is typified by Times article headline on 6/10/18
    “Black rights activist Alice Walker cites ‘racist’ Kipling poem as a favourite”

    All blacks were Black Rights activists (fighting for equal rights)
    All whites were racists (white supremacists) (no quotes are required for ‘racists’)

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  • Awwww….the humiliated lowIQ is trying to make back hand amemds…which still sounds racist as hell..

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  • Cause he still think he got straws to clutch at …that lowIQ…eg….we still got wunna though, wanna need white tourists….

    But that is only because the dummy house negros refuse to diversify the economy…when that finally happens…lowIQ45. will not be able to clutch at straws anymore…he ah go drown..

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  • This topic can be closed if there are no more useful contributions besides the usual.

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  • Well, Wot A Racist Udder, why DON’T you dummy house negroes diversify the economy, since you have seen things go so well with the likes of you in other benighted countries? Go on, get off your asses and put your actions where your big mouths are, you know it makes sense! ROFLMA.

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  • LowIQ…how long have YOU been back in Barbados after over 3 decades in UK…upclose and personal with the Westminister system….the real one….upon ya return to Barbados and after the customary 3 year defrosting process. ..ehy did you not impress upon the house negros in parliament….the NEED to diversify the economy….to PREVENT what is happening NOW…

    I only found out what those criminals have done…..in full….from 2005….we were only hearing stories in the last 20 years, with very little substantiating. ….it is only now it has become worldwide knowledge…but you and your ilk have known all along…that I know as fact…so why did yall not expose them….or tell them to diversify their economy of dependency..

    …..do ya want me to tell the forum why yall did not…

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  • Yep, Wot A Racist Udder, you tell the forum…..please.

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  • PS It is WESTMINSTER, please don’t show yore iggorance, I’m embarrassed for you.

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  • Whatever…you think I care about spellings, everyone knows what it is..

    Ok…since ya don’t mind…yall minority thieves and bottom feeders were busy with the help of the same dummies in parliament…fleecing the majority population their tax dollars and pension money…..for DECADES..

    both useless governments indulged yall over the years…..that was the only way to collect kickbacks and bribes for them and the only way yall could survive on the island without starving to death or running to the real world to find real jobs…something like how you did…..so yall felt no need to change anything because THIEFING from the majority population is yall game…the only one ya know…and it made too many of you wealthy off the backs of the majority population.

    Yall are parasites and bottom feeders. ..but that show is about to come to an end..at last..

    Feel free to correct any spelling errors I made.

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  • I have noticed a few misspellings and i am relenting only because you have asked to be corrected . One glaring error that stood out recently was you spelled it MARRIED when referring to your man, when the correct spelling should be GOTATPOUND lol

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