In what has been described as a historic move, too long in coming, St Lucia’s parliament has given the nod for Castries to have the Caribbean Court of Justice, the final appellate court.
The decision was taken this evening, replacing the London-based Privy Council
According to reports from St Lucia, all 13 government legislators who were present when the vote was taken supported the motion.
Prime Minister Phillip J Pierre said “it is a sad day that a former prime minister is not in the House to debate this bill,” Pierre said, adding that it showed the “scorn and contempt” Allen Chastanet had for the population.
Chastanet had walked out of the parliamentary debate on the CCJ. He later justified his decision, saying that he represents thousands of people and would not be “silenced” by a “bias” Speaker.
“People want to hear a different opinion and I am being denied the opportunity to speak. I am not going to allow the voice of the Leader of the Opposition to be marginalized. There needs to be a challenge to what’s going on with the CCJ but I can’t do it alone,” Chastanet said.
The British government will be informed by way of a letter, according to Prime Minister Pierre, saying that the “passage of the legislation made St. Lucia part of history, and the history books will record that on the 28th of February, St. Lucia broke the shackles of colonialism”.
St. Lucia becomes the fifth CARICOM country to make the CCJ its final court, joining Barbados, Belize, Guyana, and Dominica.