New CCJ Bill to be Tabled Next Week


The Government will draft a new Bill to establish the Caribbean Court of Justice in its original jurisdiction. Prime Minister P.J. Patterson made the disclosure in his opening remarks at the two-day Cabinet retreat which began on Monday (Feb. 21) at Jamaica House.
At the recently concluded Inter-sessional Meeting in Suriname, CARICOM Heads approved two amended Protocols to the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, the first of which concerns the Original Jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Constitution of States Parties. The second instrument is a Protocol to the Agreement establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice and refers to the Relationship between Provisions on the Original Jurisdiction and the Constitutions of States Parties.
The provision regarding the Original Jurisdiction will not require a Contracting Party to enact legislation that is inconsistent with its Constitutional structure.
“As the public is aware the Opposition has indicated its general support for the original jurisdiction to be conferred on the Court and the Attorney General will discuss with Mr. Delroy Chuck, the proposed contents of the new Bill priory to its tabling in Parliament next week,” M. Patterson said.
“The legal opinions available to the government from the Solicitor General and other eminent counsel indicate that the enabling legislation should allow Jamaica to comply with its treaty obligations in a manner consistent with our constitutional structure and the nature of our legal system, ” the Prime minister reported
The Prime Minister stated that this Bill would require priority legislative attention before prorogation of Parliament, as April 16 2005 had been fixed for the inauguration of the Caribbean Court of Justice by Heads of Government.

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