JIS News

Head of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Robert Miller has said that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) was not a court of appeal for Jamaicans.
The CCJ, he explained, functioned as a court of original jurisdiction, applying the rules and international law in interpreting and applying the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
It would therefore decide on matters as it applies to trade and non-trade activities under the CSME. “If there were no Caribbean Court of Justice there would be no CARICOM Single Market and Economy,” Mr. Miller observed.
President of the CCJ, Michael Anthony de la Bastide T. C. is slated to visit Jamaica next week and Mr. Miller expressed the hope that Justice Bastide would correct the misconception.
“I expect Justice Bastide to speak on this, amongst other issues, on his visit,” Mr. Miller said. Justice Bastide is scheduled to deliver an address on the CCJ and the CSME to members of the Jamaican corporate sector on Wednesday (Oct. 19) at the Hilton Kingston Hotel.
The CCJ was inaugurated in April 2005 to serve as a tribunal for disputes arising from the CSME and to be the region’s highest appellate body in civil and criminal matters. Only Barbados and Guyana have passed the necessary legislation to benefit under the appellate provision, but it is expected that over time, other countries will also sign on.
CARICOM member states, at the 12th Inter-Sessional Conference of Heads of Government in Bridgetown, Barbados on February 14, 2001, signed the agreement establishing the CCJ.
In November 2004, six judges were appointed to the CCJ, including the President, Justice Bastide, who is a Trinidadian born judge.
In his address at the CCJ’s inaugural ceremony in April, Justice Bastide described the CCJ as a unique “two-in-one court”, which in one instance interpreted and applied the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramus and in another is the Appellate Court, which would over time, replace the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
The CCJ is domiciled in Trinidad and Tobago.