November 15 Start-Up of CCJ Postponed


The November 15 inauguration of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has been postponed until the budget has been finalized for the establishment of the Court.
Minister of Justice, Senator A. J. Nicholson made the disclosure while responding to questions posed by Opposition Senator, Bruce Golding about the establishment of the CCJ, during the sitting of the Senate at Gordon House on Friday (Oct. 3). While unable to say when the Court would be inaugurated, Senator Nicholson said, “I know that certainly, a budget must be put in place for the inauguration of the Court, and so, that is one of the reasons that the 15th of November is not on, but I can’t tell you the projected date”. He further explained that the relevant information on the details of the budget would be made available to the Senate as soon as it was issued to the government. “Under my instruction, Counsel from the Attorney General’s chambers has written to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat for information on the current status of preparation of the budget for the Court. The Hon. Senate will be duly informed when a reply is received,” he stressed.The CCJ is to be financed through the establishment of a Trust Fund, with a one-time settlement of US$100 million. A Board of Trustees is managing the Fund, which is responsible for appointing an executive officer, an investment manager and an auditor.
The Board will also be responsible for authorising the provision of resources for the biennial capital and recurrent expenditure of the Court and the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission. In May of this year, both Houses of Parliament gave the Government the nod to ratify the Agreement to establish the CCJ. Also in July, at the 24th Regular Meeting of the Heads of Conference of CARICOM held in Montego Bay, instruments were signed for the Agreement Establishing the CCJ; the Agreement Establishing the CCJ Trust Fund; the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the CCJ and the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission. The CCJ is intended to be the final court of appeal and the highest arbitration mechanism for trade matters for CARICOM member states.

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