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Story Highlights

  • Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) President, Sir Dennis Byron, is expressing satisfaction with the achievements of the court, which is marking a decade of existence this year.
  • In its original jurisdiction, the CCJ serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which governs the 15-member CARICOM.
  • Barbados, Guyana, Belize and Dominica are the countries that have officially signed on to the CCJ in its appellate jurisdiction.

Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) President, Sir Dennis Byron, is expressing satisfaction with the achievements of the court, which is marking a decade of existence this year.

In an interview with JIS News, Sir Byron said during its 10 years of operation, the CCJ has exceeded many of its expectations.

“Although we have only had four countries joining the final appellate jurisdiction, the court has been able to establish quite an outstanding track record in the decisions it has given,” he said.

Barbados, Guyana, Belize and Dominica are the countries that have officially signed on to the CCJ in its appellate jurisdiction.

In its original jurisdiction, the CCJ serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which governs the 15-member CARICOM.

Jamaica is moving to join the list of countries that have replaced the United Kingdom (UK)-based Privy Council with the CCJ, as their final appellate court.

The required pieces of legislation were passed in the House of Representatives on May 12, and are set to be debated in the Senate in October.

The CCJ President, who was attending the recently concluded 4th biennial Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO) conference in Montego Bay, informed that in its 10 years of existence some 160 decisions have been made by the Trinidad and Tobago-based court.

He noted that many of these decisions “have been on very important principles of law, which have set the standards for the Caribbean jurisprudence that we all have been aiming for.”

 

He cited the case of Jamaica’s Shanique Myrie, “who got justice in her dealings with the problems she had with the Government of Barbados and there is also another Jamaican, who is a litigant before the court…who has brought proceedings against the Government of Trinidad and Belize…so all the countries have benefitted from the work of our court.”

Sir Byron said he was looking forward to many other countries joining the court soon in its appellate jurisdiction.

“The new government of Trinidad has just announced that they are going to be moving towards registering in the court very soon and we are also in the process of working with the governments of Antigua and Grenada, who have started the process of joining the court. We are actively engaged with three additional countries coming on board, so we are hoping that this will set the tone for the next decade,” he said.

Sir Byron said the contribution of the CCJ to the countries that have signed on to the appellate jurisdiction is clear, while making a valuable contribution to the court system in all the other Caribbean nations, which are yet to come on board.

“We are making a contribution to all the other countries in the Caribbean through our work as the arbitrator for the Treaty of Chaguaramas,” he pointed out.

“In addition to that, we have been able to do lots of other related activities to support the quality of justice delivery in our region,” he told JIS News.

The CCJ was established on April 16, 2005.