Golding: No support of Jamaica Republic without the removal of the UK Privy Council

The People’s National Party Leader Mark Golding told reporters at the Annual Conference that he and his party will not support the removal of the British monarch as head of state without the simultaneous removal of the UK Privy Council as Jamaica’s final court.

Marlene Patricia Malahoo Forte who is the Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs for the ruling Jamaica Labour Party and the chairperson of the Constitutional Reform Committee CRC) says removing the UK-based Privy Council as the final court is not at the centre of the move to transition Jamaica to a republic.

According to Radio Jamaica News, in a release issued Thursday May 4,2023, the Committee said it met on Wednesday and deliberated on the matter of Jamaica’s highest court.

The CRC is of the view that a decision on the Privy Council, while necessary for what it calls the ‘Jamaicanising’ and ‘decolonisation’ of the Constitution, is not a pre-requisite for Jamaicans proceeding to a referendum on the transition to a republic.

The Committee has written to the two main political parties requesting that they outline their positions on the Privy Council and a final appellate court for Jamaica.

The Constitutional Reform Committee is also seeking to assure Jamaicans that the Privy Council, as Jamaica’s final appellate court, is on its agenda. It said Jamaicans will have a voice in the deliberations that will appropriately advise the government on the issue.

“We in the PNP have no interest in moving to a republic while retaining the King’s Privy Council in London as Jamaica’s final court. Time come for full decolonisation,” Golding said. 

Golding continued: “Jamaicans need a final court where they don’t need a visa to go there, and where the costs are not way out of their reach. Time come for a Jamaican head of state and the Caribbean Court of Justice as our final court. We will support both moving forward together. We have no interest in one without the other.” Jamaica Gleaner

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