LATT President: Honour de la Bastide by making CCJ T&T’s final appellate court

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LATT President: Honour de la Bastide by making CCJ T&T’s final appellate court

Law Association (LATT) presi­dent Lynette Seebaran-Suite, SC is calling for the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to be made Trinidad and Tobago’s final appellate court.

In her view, it would be one of the highest honours that could be given to the court’s first president, Michael de la Bastide.

De la Bastide, a former chief justice, died at age 86 on March 30th and will be laid to rest today following an official funeral service at the Church of the Assumption, Maraval, at 10 a.m.

Seebaran-Suite, in an interview with the Express, described de la Bastide him as a colossus of the legal profession and the Judiciary both in Trinidad and Tobago and the CCJ.

“One of the best honours that he could be given going forward would be for Trinidad and Tobago to seriously consider the Caribbean Court of Justice,” she said.

Seebaran-Suite said she is disappointed T&T has not yet made the step to accede to the CCJ, adding that all her immediate predecessors have been in support of joining the CCJ.

Regarding concerns about possible political influence in the CCJ, Seebaran-Suite however said the method of appointment of CCJ judges is so “carefully constructed” so as to avoid the potential for political interference.

The CCJ judges are appointed by the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission which is made up of persons from Caricom, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and jurists appointed by the Council of Law, she pointed out.

She said, ironically, Trinidad and Tobago is the country that has had the most judges in the CCJ of all the territories.

Seebaran-Suite said there are many advantages of becoming a member of the CCJ, including cost.

“With joining the CCJ you really have a great opportunity of advancing and broadening the jurisprudence of the Caribbean by virtue of the type of the cases that would go to them,” she said.

She said during her second term as Law Association president she intends to deepen and broaden the education of the public of the pros and cons of joining the CCJ.