Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 04, 2017 (SKNIS): This year marks 50 years since the establishment of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) in 1967 when Members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) namely, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts & Nevis, and Saint Lucia – joined in a new “status of association” with the United Kingdom, in accordance with the West Indies Act of 1967.
During a special ceremony at Government House in St. Kitts and Nevis to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of ECSC on Saturday, December 02, Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Shawn Richards, noted that legal fraternities throughout the region, especially in St. Kitts and Nevis, should be celebrated for their sterling contribution to their respective member state.
“It is very fitting that we celebrate the past and embrace the future of the ECSC, particularly because legal luminaries from St. Kitts and Nevis have played a leading role in its administration of justice and are sure to continue doing so in the years to come,” said the Deputy Prime Minister, adding that of the 12 acting or confirmed chief justices since the establishment of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, a third came from the Federation. “This is a remarkable achievement by St. Kitts and Nevis, which once again proves that we do have remarkable talent and human resources and of this we really should be proud.”
Sir Maurice Davis (1975-1980), Justice Neville Berridge, [Ag.] (1983-1984), Sir Dennis Byron (1996-2006) and Sir Hugh Anthony Rawlins (2008-2012) were all Chief Justices from St. Kitts and Nevis, who served the ECSC.
Deputy Prime Minister Richards noted that the formation of the ECSC brought numerous changes for all in the region.
“The establishment of the ECSC by the West Indies Associated State Supreme Court Order No. 223 of 1967 ushered in a period of momentous changes in the lives of our people. That year witnessed new and extraordinary opportunities for us to assert and challenge ourselves, having then entered into a new status of association with the United Kingdom in accordance with the West Indies Act of 1967,” said Minister Richards.
He explained that 50 years later, just as the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis also stands “fully fledged and independent”.
“We have made it here… to celebrate the evolution and achievement of the august ECSC over the past 50 years and in so doing I encourage all of us to consider its ineffable impact on our society,” he said. “Across the societies of the six independent states, including St. Kitts and Nevis and the three British Overseas Territories that it serves, the ECSC works diligently to uphold its motto: “Fiat Justitia,” which translates to “Justice be Done.”
The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court 50th Anniversary is celebrated under the theme – “Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Future”.