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Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has called out the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) after it declared a Guy Joseph victory at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), recalling the party’s objection to Saint Lucia’s accession to the Court.
Earlier this this year, the UWP protested the move on the sidelines of a Zonal Conference as it demanded a referendum on the CCJ move.
The party also demonstrated outside parliament against plans by the government to amend the constitution for Saint Lucia to make the CCJ its final appellate court.
Nevertheless, last week, the opposition group declared that former Economic Development Minister Guy Joseph won another court victory when the CCJ dismissed the appeal brought by MBC Television regarding a defamation suit Joseph had filed.
The UWP noted that the former Minister had filed the suit for damages for alleged defamatory statements about him during a news broadcast by Miguel Fevrier before the last general elections.
However, the opposition group disclosed that MBC tried to use a technicality to throw out the matter.
But the Court of Appeal ruled in Joseph’s favour, as did the CCJ when MBC applied for special leave to appeal the Court’s decision.
Joseph was awarded legal costs, and the case was remitted to the trial court for further hearing.
“You realise that the first person who went to the Caribbean Court of Justice was the United Workers Party,” Prime Minister Pierre told reporters on Friday.
He noted that the UWP had demonstrated against the CCJ.
“I was this great dictator who wanted to change the constitution,” Pierre observed.
Nevertheless, he asserted that the UWP was the first to benefit from the CCJ.
“I don’t know if Saint Lucians remember the demonstrations and the noise and the calumny against me because I was following the constitution,” Pierre declared.
He observed that had the Guy Joseph case gone to the Privy Council, next year at this time it would not have been heard and it would have cost thousands of dollars.
“Ask him how much he paid to go to the Caribbean Court of Justice. It just shows when people want to be mischevious and want to just talk for talking sake and want to create disharmony and misinformation. Truth, as I always tell you, truth is what will see me through,” the PM told reporters.
Saint Lucia became the fifth Caribbean Community (CARICOM) state to become a full member of the CCJ.
The CCJ was established in 2001 to replace the London-based Privy Council as the Caribbean’s final Court.
It is also an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.