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CCJ president pleased with Dominica debate on Court

 

CCJ President, Sir Dennis Byron

CCJ President, Sir Dennis Byron

ANTIGUA, CMC – President of the Caribbean Court of Justice CCJ), Sir Dennis Byron Tuesday welcomed the debate in the Dominica Parliament with regards to the island joining the Trinidad-based regional court as its final court.

“It is very important news and I am very happy that Dominica has taken its pledge to make the CCJ its final court of appeal through the constitutional procedures,” Sir Dennis told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

“Today is a very important landmark in the move forward. It is a mature and responsible move and I trust that it will bring satisfaction to the people of Dominica,” he said.

The Dominica Parliament is debating the second and third reading of the act to amend the Constitution to facilitate the establishment of the CCJ as its final court.

The first reading took place on March 19, following the January announcement by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit that Dominica had received no objection from the United Kingdom on the move away from the Privy Council.

The CCJ was established regional governments in 2001 to replace the Privy Council. It also acts as an international Tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement.

But while most of the Caribbean countries are signatories to its original jurisdiction, only Barbados, Guyana and Belize have signed on the appellate jurisdiction.

Sir Dennis said it was significant that Dominica was debating the move in its Parliament on the same day that regional leaders were beginning their 35th annual summit here.

“I hope that leadership shown by Dominica will encourage the other governments to follow suit. I know any have made positive statements in recent times and as I have mentioned the CCJ is ready, willing and able and looking forward to fulfilling its mandate to dispense justice throughout the region in a fair and giving greater access to citizens”.

He said regarding the other Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) making the move to join the CCJ,”the position is very clar.

“There are two OECS countries whose Constitution require them to hold a referendum,. That is Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda. In both countries, Prime Minister (Keith) Mitchell of Grenada has made his position very clear that he is moving towards that process later this year and the new Prime Minister of Antigua, Gaston Browne has already made public statements to the effect that he is going to move his government forward as quickly as possible.’

The other countries in the sub-region do not need a referendum…and we already had statements made by Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony of St. Lucia indicating that his government is moving in that direction as well,” he said, adding that he is hoping that countries like Jamaica will follow.

Sir  Dennis said he is “still hopeful” that Jamaica would succeed in coming forward “during the term of this government’s tenure”.

 Antigua add calls for support for CCJ

Meanwhile,– Antigua and Barbuda’s new Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that the Caribbean cannot consider itself truly independent if the London-based Privy Council remains the final court for many regional countries.

Browne, now the chairman of the 15-member Caribbean Community grouping, told his regional colleagues assembled there for their annual summit that the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) must become the final court for the entire region.

He said while the region remains “grateful” for the many years the Privy Council provided “invaluable service, it is my government’s intention to hold the referendum required by the Constitution to make this possible as soon as practicable.

“We can never be truly independent in the region while our final appellate court is the court of our former colonial masters. The decisions of the CCJ, thus far, can only bolster our confidence in the quality of the jurisprudence that emanates from the Court.”

Regional governments established the CCJ was established in 2001 to replace the Privy Council, but while most of the countries are signatories to the court’s original jurisdiction, only Barbados, Guyana and Belize have signed on to the appellate jurisdiction of the court.

The CCJ also acts as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement.

Browne said that under his administration, Antigua and Barbuda will not loiter on the CCJ matter.

“We will demonstrate confidence in our own and will take steps, in conjunction with our OECS sister states, to join the appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice.”

He said he was calling on Caribbean people “to rally behind this important aspect of our regional governance, and to support the establishment of our judicial independence in the CCJ”.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

 

CCJ President, Sir Dennis Byron

CCJ President, Sir Dennis Byron

ANTIGUA, CMC – President of the Caribbean Court of Justice CCJ), Sir Dennis Byron Tuesday welcomed the debate in the Dominica Parliament with regards to the island joining the Trinidad-based regional court as its final court.

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“It is very important news and I am very happy that Dominica has taken its pledge to make the CCJ its final court of appeal through the constitutional procedures,” Sir Dennis told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

“Today is a very important landmark in the move forward. It is a mature and responsible move and I trust that it will bring satisfaction to the people of Dominica,” he said.

The Dominica Parliament is debating the second and third reading of the act to amend the Constitution to facilitate the establishment of the CCJ as its final court.

The first reading took place on March 19, following the January announcement by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit that Dominica had received no objection from the United Kingdom on the move away from the Privy Council.

The CCJ was established regional governments in 2001 to replace the Privy Council. It also acts as an international Tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement.

But while most of the Caribbean countries are signatories to its original jurisdiction, only Barbados, Guyana and Belize have signed on the appellate jurisdiction.

Sir Dennis said it was significant that Dominica was debating the move in its Parliament on the same day that regional leaders were beginning their 35th annual summit here.

“I hope that leadership shown by Dominica will encourage the other governments to follow suit. I know any have made positive statements in recent times and as I have mentioned the CCJ is ready, willing and able and looking forward to fulfilling its mandate to dispense justice throughout the region in a fair and giving greater access to citizens”.

He said regarding the other Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) making the move to join the CCJ,”the position is very clar.

“There are two OECS countries whose Constitution require them to hold a referendum,. That is Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda. In both countries, Prime Minister (Keith) Mitchell of Grenada has made his position very clear that he is moving towards that process later this year and the new Prime Minister of Antigua, Gaston Browne has already made public statements to the effect that he is going to move his government forward as quickly as possible.’

The other countries in the sub-region do not need a referendum…and we already had statements made by Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony of St. Lucia indicating that his government is moving in that direction as well,” he said, adding that he is hoping that countries like Jamaica will follow.

Sir  Dennis said he is “still hopeful” that Jamaica would succeed in coming forward “during the term of this government’s tenure”.

 Antigua add calls for support for CCJ

Meanwhile,– Antigua and Barbuda’s new Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that the Caribbean cannot consider itself truly independent if the London-based Privy Council remains the final court for many regional countries.

Browne, now the chairman of the 15-member Caribbean Community grouping, told his regional colleagues assembled there for their annual summit that the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) must become the final court for the entire region.

He said while the region remains “grateful” for the many years the Privy Council provided “invaluable service, it is my government’s intention to hold the referendum required by the Constitution to make this possible as soon as practicable.

“We can never be truly independent in the region while our final appellate court is the court of our former colonial masters. The decisions of the CCJ, thus far, can only bolster our confidence in the quality of the jurisprudence that emanates from the Court.”

Regional governments established the CCJ was established in 2001 to replace the Privy Council, but while most of the countries are signatories to the court’s original jurisdiction, only Barbados, Guyana and Belize have signed on to the appellate jurisdiction of the court.

The CCJ also acts as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement.

Browne said that under his administration, Antigua and Barbuda will not loiter on the CCJ matter.

“We will demonstrate confidence in our own and will take steps, in conjunction with our OECS sister states, to join the appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice.”

He said he was calling on Caribbean people “to rally behind this important aspect of our regional governance, and to support the establishment of our judicial independence in the CCJ”.