Letter: Jamaica's colonial law

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Sir: Your leading article 'An ancient court proves its worth' (3 November) is an enthusiastic endorsement of the Privy Council decision that Jamaica cannot execute those found guilty and liable to execution under Jamaican law. A predictable liberal reaction, but surely a classic liberal dilemma.

The Privy Council's authority rests on colonial history; it is an anachronistic, colonial institution. Do you only condemn cultural imperialism by reference to outcomes, or is self-determination an absolute right? Whatever the answer, perhaps one ought to see this problem from a Jamaican perspective, not forgetting British reaction to rule from Maastricht, and certainly be careful not to dismiss Jamaicans as primitives who still need their colonial ex-masters to teach them how to behave.

Yours etc,


Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne