Posted: February 07, 2004
Dr. Kwame Nantambu
Now that the plausibility and efficacy of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) have received much currency in the news media, I propose to look into the real origin of constitutional rule and/or the judicial process.
At the outset, however, it must be stated that this writer totally supports and backs the establishment of the CCJ. Such action not only speaks to the real independence of Caribbean nation-states but, most importantly, it also extricates the region of its last vestige of Euro-British colonialism - the legal albatross.
In other words, by replacing the Euro-British Privy Council with the CCJ, Caribbean peoples and leaders are shouting albeit demanding, very loudly and clearly that after forty-one intolerable and blistering years of Euro-British, colonial legal ignominy, teething and purgatory, they can now educate, legislate and adjudicate for themselves, of themselves and by themselves.
Such action finally completes the de-colonialisation process; it is nothing but revolutionary.
Well, it finally happen
London Bridge have finally fallen
Tell de North, ah go tell de South
Dem Euro-colonisers got to
know what Caribbean people
We just sick and tired of eating
with their legal wares
Is time for we to control
we own affairs.
The Afrikan-American historian, Chancellor Williams, points out in "The Destruction of Black Civilization" (1974) that:
"the Constitution of any people or nation, written or unwritten, derives from its customary rules of life and that what we now call 'democracy' was generally the earliest system among various peoples throughout the ancient world."
The fact of the matter is that what today is referred to as Euro-British Common Law in the A.D. era is nothing more that "a (derived) body of fundamental theories, principles, and practices drawn from the customary laws that governed Black Afrikan societies from the earliest times" in the B.C. era.
Indeed, Euro-centrism or HIS-STORY and its writers term these Afrikan governmental systems as "Stateless Societies", "Societies without Chiefs" and "primitive" states.
However, Afro-centrism or Our-Story and its writers suggest that the term "primitive" actually means that these ancient Afrikan societies were "the first" or "the beginners" of democratic - constitutional institutions.
Furthermore, they prove that Afrikans invented the concepts/systems of democracy and constitutional rule as they function and operate today.
The fact of the matter is that when the Greeks (world's first Europeans) invaded and occupied ancient Kemet (Egypt) 332 B.C. - 30 B.C., they studied and observed the decision - making process of the Afrikans - Kemites.
The Greeks called this system of governance "Demos", which has come to be known worldwide as Democracy.
Under European supremacy, the Euro-Greeks are accredited with having 'invented' Democracy. Nothing could be further from the incontrovertible, historical truth.
In ancient times, the Afrikan system of governance was called a Dynasty, which meant a period of family rule. This period could last for one day, one year, five years, ten years, thirty years, etc. There were thirty-one Dynasties in ancient Kemet.
Under this system, a son would succeed his father, the Pharaoh, on the throne; just as Ramses II succeeded his father, Pharaoh Seti I, in the B.C. era.
In the A.D. era today, this ancient Afrikan system of governance is called a Monarchy in Euro-Britain, In Britain, Prince Charles, the son, is now designated to succeed his mother, the Queen (aka Pharaoh), who is Queen Elizabeth II, on the throne.
Under European supremacy, the Euro-British are accredited with having 'invented' the Monarchy system of governance. Nothing could be further from the naked, historical truth.
Historiography proves quite clearly that the concept of democracy originated in ancient Afrikan "Chiefless Societies". According to Prof. Williams:
"And, what is even more significant, democracy reached its highest development here where the people actually governed themselves without chiefs, where self-government was a way of life and 'law and order' were taken for granted".
The fact of the matter is that the spinal cord of the constitutional system of the rule of law in Afrika was the role of the Elders. In these chiefless societies, "the function of the Elders was wholly advisory".
In the case of extreme emergency, a council meeting would be called by the Senior Elder. However, in matters concerning members of the same family or clan, a family council would adjudicate; each family or clan had its own Elder.
And conflicts between families or clans could be heard before any mutually agreed to Elder for settlement. The critical aspect of this earliest, Afrikan judical system is that "the Elder's judgement was not binding on the parties to the dispute".
This was the constitutional theory.
However, if a dispute was very "big" and serious, and the parties were dissatisfied with the Elder's decision, they had the right to call in one or more additional Elders to hear and pass judgement on the case. The parties had the inalienable Right to Appeal.
Ipso facto, the ancient Afrikan principle/concept of the Right to Appeal is now reflected/entrenched in the judicial system of Euro-America.
At the State level, Americans in dispute can appeal to the Court of Appeal, Appeals Court and the State Supreme Court.
At the Federal level, Americans in dispute can appeal to the District Court, Magistrate Court, Court of Appeals and finally to the Supreme Court, which is the legal arbiter of last resort aka Afrikan Senior Council of Elders.
Under the Euro-British judicial system, Caribbean citizens in dispute can appeal to the Privy Council which is the legal arbiter of last resort aka Afrikan Senior Council of Elders.
The CCJ thus makes the Caribbean judicial system Afrika-centered and legitimate in both its original theory and practice.
It must be pointed out, however, that even though the Elders' advisory judgements could be ignored under ancient Afrikan constitutional law, "yet under practical operation of that same constitution, the disputants could ignore their Elders' judgement only at their peril."
In other words, "to ignore the Elders was considered to be ignoring the community itself." The judgement of the Elders represented and reflected the will of the people - the community.
And even if the Elders made a "bad" decision, it was not up to the contestants to determine whether the decision was good or bad. It was the community who decided. The entire community was ever-present at these public hearings and "always indicated their attitude by expressions and nods of approval or disapproval of decisions reached." This was Afrikan Communalism at its socio-humane zenith.
Under this ancient, original Afrikan system of constitutional governance, "the chief or King became the mouthpiece of the people and the instrument for carrying out their will."
Today, in the A.D. era, a similarly derived system of constitutional governance is played out in Euro-America, whereby at his inauguration on 20th January every four years, the U.S. President takes the Oath of Office as follows:-
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States". So help me God.Source: The Presidential Oath of Office, Article II, Section I, Clause 8 of the Constitution of the United States of America.
The Euro-American President takes this Oath as Commander-In-Chief aka the Afrikan King or Pharaoh. The functions, duties and responsibilities remain the same as in ancient Afrikan times; only the name or title of the Head of State has been changed.
Although the Afrikan Pharaoh had "absolute power in theory", in theory, he could ignore the Council of Elders; in practice, however, "he did not dare to defy the Council of Elders, which also had evolved and become 'the people' - their direct representatives".
In a similarly derived system of constitutional governance in Euro-America today, although the U.S. president has "absolute power in theory", he can ignore Congress and veto whatever Bills it passes. However, the President does not dare to defy the Constitution of the United States of America which represents "We the People".
In practice then, like the Afrikan Pharaoh, the U.S. President is not above the law. And if, the President seeks or attempts to break the law (Constitution) then he will be impeached by the Members of Congress aka Afrikan Council of Elders. These American Members of Congress have also evolved and now become the "direct representatives" of "the people" - the American people who duly elect them.
It must be explained that when the Afrikans said that the King is supreme or has "absolute power", they meant that he has "absolute power to carry out the will of the people". The Afrikans clearly understood that supreme power rested in the people and that it was never thought necessary to state such a fact. It was an automatic given.
Today, this ancient original Afrikan concept of governance is called government of the people, by the people and for the people. Prof. Williams observes:
"It was therefore in the societies without chiefs or kings where Afrikan democracy was born and where the concept that the people are sovereign was as natural as breathing. And this is why in traditional Afrika, the rights of the individual never came before the rights of the community. Individual freedom was unlimited until it clashed with the interests or welfare of the community".
As such, the ancient, original Afrikan concept of "individual freedom" being "unlimited" has now been incorporated in the Euro-American constitution which states that American citizens have the "inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
But under European supremacy, the Euro-American "Founding Fathers" are accredited for 'inventing' and originating this concept. Nothing could be further from this boldfaced, Euro-centric lie and thievery.
Truth be told:
This ancient Afrikan society was "a practical society in every way." Its laws were natural laws and order and justice prevailed and were lived out 24-7 - 365 because the society could not otherwise survive.
Truth be told:
Afrikan people are the original people with original ideas, concepts and principles.
If there was not an Afrika of yesterday as in the B.C. era, then there would not be a world, Europe, America of today in the A.D. era.
Afrikan people are the Alpha and the Omega - the beginning and the end.
All life and humankind started in Mother Afrika and there they will all end.
Afrikans are the people of yesterday and tomorrow; Europeans are only the people of today.
The Europe of today is nothing but a derivative, duplicate of the Afrika of yesterday.
Nothing in Europe is original, including Europeans themselves.
The Continent of Europe is named after Princess Europa of Afrika. http://www.trinicenter.com/kwame/2004/07024.htm