Impassioned plea for OECS to join CCJ

Delivering the traditional Throne Speech at the start of the new parliamentary term here, Liverpool outlined the various stages of development of the CCJ, which was established in 2001 to replace the London-based Privy Council and which also serves as an international Tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement.

While most of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have joined the CCJ in its original jurisdiction, only Barbados, Guyana and Belize are signatories to the appellate jurisdiction.

“It is my hope that this Honourable House will see its way clearly to complete the legislative work required and take the proper steps to ensure that the court functions…with respect to matters from Dominica”

He said that the sub-region would be presented with a “very untimely state of affairs if all the independent countries of the OECS do not accede to the appellate jurisdiction of the court as a group.

“We may hardly remind ourselves that this country is a part of one court system, a Supreme Court consisting of a Court of Appeal headquartered in St. Lucia, and High Court situated in all of the territories.

“It would be most undesirable therefore to have some states in this unified court system taking their appeals to the Privy Council while others accede to the jurisdiction of the CCJ.”

Liverpool, a prominent Caribbean jurist, said that every attempt should be made to “entrench the position of the court in our constitutions at the same level hat our current Supreme Court system is entrenched.

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