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  • Debate on the three Bills, which seek to make the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Jamaica’s finale appellate court, will continue in the Senate on October 22 and Friday, October 23.
  • The Bills are the Constitution (Amendment) (Caribbean Court of Justice) Act 2015; the Judicature (Appellate Jurisdiction) Act, 2015, and the Caribbean Court of Justice Act, 2015.
  • They are seeking to delink Jamaica from the Judicial Committee of the United Kingdom (UK) Privy Council, and to become part of the CCJ in its Appellate Jurisdiction.

Debate on the three Bills, which seek to make the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Jamaica’s finale appellate court, will continue in the Senate on October 22 and Friday, October 23.

The Bills are the Constitution (Amendment) (Caribbean Court of Justice) Act 2015; the Judicature (Appellate Jurisdiction) Act, 2015, and the Caribbean Court of Justice Act, 2015.

They are seeking to delink Jamaica from the Judicial Committee of the United Kingdom (UK) Privy Council, and to become part of the CCJ in its Appellate Jurisdiction.

Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, who opened the debate on the Bills on October 16, said the objective of Jamaica’s full participation in the CCJ is to ensure that justice is in the reach of all citizens.

He said the high cost of accessing the Privy Council prevents most Jamaicans from appealing cases there.

“The rights of our people are protected by access to justice, which means access to our courts. For centuries, the vast majority of our people have been denied the right to appeal their cases at Jamaica’s final court, because our final court is a colonial institution, which sits in London,” he noted.

“For the vast majority of Jamaicans, if they lose their appeal in the Jamaican Court of Appeal, that is the end of their recourse to the law for protection of their rights,” he pointed out.

The CCJ Bills were debated and passed on May 12 in the House of Representatives, where the Government enjoys the two-thirds majority needed to have them passed.  The Opposition voted against all three Bills.

The CCJ was established on February 12, 2001 through an agreement signed by the Heads of Government of CARICOM at their 22nd meeting in Nassau. It has two jurisdictions: an appellate and original.