The OECS Bar Association led by Saint Lucian attorney Thaddeus M. Antoine, has called on the Dominica Bar to take ‘appropriate action’ against local attorney, Cabral Douglas for criticizing a ruling against him by the Caribbean Court of Justice [CCJ].
On 20th February 2017, the CCJ ruled that Mr. Cabral Douglas – an Attorney-at-Law and citizen of Dominica – had failed to satisfy the requirement under Article 222 (a) and (b) of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC) to obtain special leave to commence proceedings against the State of Dominica over the denial of entry, detention and deportation of Jamaican recording artist and entertainer, Mr. Leroy Russell (also known as “Tommy Lee Sparta”), along with three other Jamaican support staff. In February 2014, the contingent of four had gone to Dominica for an international concert organized by Mr. Douglas in observance of the annual carnival in Portsmouth. The denial of entry ultimately caused the cancellation of the concert.
Douglas embarked on a regional media tirade linking the CCJ ruling as proof that the CCJ is,“in the pockets of politicians” and “corrupt”, citing the attendance of Sir Denis Byron, President of the CCJ, at the Annual Heads of Government Conference in Guyana around the same time the court’s decision against him was being handed down. He proceeded to imply that the matter was discussed among the heads; that Sir Denis met privately during the conference with Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerritt about the case; and that somehow the heads improperly influenced the CCJ’s decision against him.
In an April 26th statement, the OECS Bar said Cabral’s comments were an attack on the integrity of the CCJ.
“The OECS Bar strongly condemns the strident, contemptuous, inflammatory, and even defamatory, public criticisms of Sir Denis and the CCJ by Mr. Douglas, which fall far short of the objectivity, responsibility, balance and level of respect becoming of an officer of the court. The CCJ represents the highest court for the Commonwealth of Dominica and we call on the Dominican Bar to look into this matter with a view to taking appropriate action.”