Clarksville, TN – In 1833, the British Empire further entrenched a legal court – the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) – to hear formal appeals from its many colonies and territories across the globe.
That appeals court still exists today, but as many of those colonies earned independence, the resulting countries’ leaders were faced with a difficult decision – should they establish their own national high court or simply remain under the authority of the JCPC.
In the Caribbean, some of these former colonies remained part of the JCPC while others joined the Caribbean Court of Justice, and according to Dr. Harold Young, Austin Peay State University (APSU) associate professor of political science, these decisions reflect how a young nation’s leaders and institutions were impacted during the colonial period and shaped the judicial structure.
Young, a native of Belize, examines this dynamic in the Caribbean and across the British Commonwealth of Nations in his new book, “The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and the Caribbean Court Of Justice: Navigating Independence and Changing Political Environments.”
Lexington Books published the academic work last month, and it is already generating discussion among international legal scholars.
“Not only does this book offer important insights into the ever-changing composition of the JCPC, but it also offers a comprehensive theoretical framework for understanding how, when and why countries do or do not join supranational institutions,” Dr. Amy Steigerwalt, professor of political science at Georgia State University, said. “In an ever globalizing world, these are questions that will continue to confront nation states, and Dr. Young’s work offers guidance as to how to understand their answers.”
Dr. Kathy A.M. Gonzales, assistant professor at Creighton University, added that, “Dr. Young provides a timely examination of the operation of the Caribbean Court of Justice, the Caribbean community’s judicial institution. He highlights the impact of the court’s decisions on Caribbean integration and indeed, the evolution of a Caribbean identity. Meticulously researched and well-written, this book is destined to become a staple on the shelves of historians, lawyers, researchers, and others interested in the development of Caribbean jurisprudence.”
Young earned his law degree from the University of the West Indies/Norman Manley School of Law in Jamaica. He practiced criminal, business and real estate law in Belize City before transitioning to a 16-year career in public health. Then, at the age of 47, he decided to earn his doctorate in political science from Georgia State University.
In 2016, Young joined Austin Peay’s Department of Political Science and Public Management. He received a Top Blogger Recognition from Midwest Political Science Association, a John A. Garcia Scholarship to the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, a Glenn Abney Fellowship for most promising Public Law student (GSU) and a Price Fellowship (Centers for Disease Control).
His work has been published in the Journal of Race, Politics & International Social Studies Review, Endarch: Journal of Black Political Research, Journal of International & Global Studies, Economics, Politics and Regional Development and the Journal of Global South Studies.