Michael de la Bastide, the former president of the Caribbean Court of Justice, or CCJ, said Wednesday, that the standing of the court's appellate jurisdiction will be compromised in the eyes of the region's people if Barbados withdraws from the institution.
He said he hopes that threats made by the Caribbean country to pull out of the CCJ as its final court of appeal does not materialize. If it did withdraw, he said the move would be a “retrograde step,” one that would “seriously undermine the standing of the court,” in the region.
“One hopes it does not come to pass,” de la Bastide stressed.
Last week Barbados' Prime Minister Freundel Stuart noted that “Barbados will be withdrawing from the Caribbean Court of Justice as its final court of appeal” if his Democratic Labour Party, or DLP, is reelected.
Barbados was the first Caribbean country to incorporate the CCJ as its final court of appeal, according to Caribbean 360.
The only Caribbean Community, or Caricom, countries, apart from Barbados, that have endorsed the CCJ appellate jurisdiction are Belize, Dominica and Guyana.
London's Privy Council continues to be the final appeals court for all other Caricom nations.
A record 125 candidates submitted their nomination papers to run in Barbados elections to guarantee their spot on the ballot ahead of the country's May 24 general elections. However, despite the record number of candidates, two parties, the opposition Barbados Labour Party, led by Mia Mottley, and the DLP are expected to dominate the campaign and elections with some 30 candidates.
Five other parties are in the race, according to Caribbean 360. They include: United Progressive Party, Solutions Barbados, Barbados Integrity Movement, Bajan Free Party, and the People’s Democratic Congress.
Several independent candidates have also thrown their hats into the ring.