CCJ Judge Justice Winston Anderson.
Legal considerations of pandemic discussed during conference
LEGAL luminaries and health officials from across the globe recently came together to discuss the Legal dimensions arising from COVID-19 pandemic during the Caribbean Court of Justice Academy of Law’s sixth biennial conference.
With presenters from Barbados, Brazil, Guyana, Israel, Jamaica, Singapore, Turkey, United Kingdom, the US and Trinidad and Tobago, the webinar was held to highlight some of the critical issues that could have implications for the region as it relates to the novel coronavirus.
Chairman of CCJ Academy for Law and judge on the CCJ Justice Winston Anderson remarked that considerations pervade virtually every aspect of the way we live our lives. “From the international obligations of the State on whose territory the virus first appeared, to questions to equal access to therapeutics and medicines by all states of the world.
“From the impact on civil rights and liberties to the reassessment of commercial contracts and to the administration of justice. The issues are as varied as they are significant.”
Chairman of the General Legal Council of Jamaica Allan Wood said the COVID 19 pandemic has brought about a new reality and it has done so in a blink of an eye. “In this reality, we have experienced the closing of borders, quarantines, curfews, face masks, social distancing and of course webinars.
“This new normal raises questions for our consideration as to the rule of law in a civilised society. On the level of International Law is there an obligation to provide less developed states in the fair share of resources such as medical supplies necessary to combat the pandemic.
“At the level of individual rights, what are the permissible limits to the interference with our civil liberties for our protection and to protect others. The pandemic has thrown the world into economic recession. What is the legal effect on commercial obligations? Should they be treated as merely suspended or wholly terminated? As to the administration of justice, the pandemic has disrupted the operation of our ports. What are the adjustments necessary to ensure a resumption while affording a fore hearing in this new normal?” the chairman queried.
The CCJ Academy for Law is one of the two educational arms of the Caribbean Court of Justice, the other is the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers. The latter, founded in 2009, brings together the region’s heads of judiciaries, justices of appeal, judges, masters, magistrates, registrars, tribunal members, court administrators and other judicial officers. The CCJ Academy for Law established in 2010 brings together students, academics and professionals to provide informative and innovative perspectives on the rules and roles of law, particularly international law. (JH)