BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, May 28, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) –Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris has said that the delivery of justice matters here in St. Kitts and Nevis, and as such pledged the continued support of his Team Unity-led administration to the advancement of the judiciary in the twin island Federation.
“The St. Kitts and Nevis which my Government is attempting to construct is one that is best in accordance with the powerful words of our national anthem—a land of beauty where everyone is free. And we recognize and appreciate that the enlargement of the freedom of our citizens and residents comes in large measure to the efficacious work of the judiciary,” Prime Minister Harris said today, Tuesday, May 28, as he addressed the opening ceremony for the Judicial Education Institute’s annual Judicial Conference 2019 and the Magistrates’ Conference 2019 at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
The opening ceremony was attended by top legal luminaries from across the Caribbean region including Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Her Ladyship Dame Janice Pereira, DBE; President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the Honourable Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders; Premier of Nevis, the Honourable Mark Brantley; and Attorney General in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Vincent Byron.
The Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton, was also in attendance.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Harris referenced the World Justice Project’s 2019 Rule of Law Index which ranked St. Kitts and Nevis 30th out of 126 countries and jurisdictions worldwide. That ranking positioned St. Kitts and Nevis number one in the OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) and second only to Barbados (29th) in the entire CARICOM region.
“This of course is a tribute to the work of our judiciary, our government, and all of our people within the sub-region,” said Dr. Harris.
The prime minister added, “We were an above average performer on a critical area of rule of law across some eight indicators. We were holding our own against some of the more powerful countries around the world, so justice matters to us in St. Kitts and Nevis and we will always be supportive of the endeavors of the judiciary and the people to expand and improve upon their work.”
The WJP Rule of Law Index measures countries’ rule of law performance across eight factors namely: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice.