JURIST Project launches Model Sexual Offence Guidelines

The Honourable Sir Marston Gibson, Chief Justice of Barbados receives a copy of the Model Guidelines for Sexual Offence Cases in the Caribbean Region from the Honourable Mme. Justice Maureen Rajnauth-Lee, Judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice at the launch of the Guidelines at the CAJO Conference in Curacao. (Photo via CCJ)
The Honourable Sir Marston Gibson, Chief Justice of Barbados receives a copy of the Model Guidelines for Sexual Offence Cases in the Caribbean Region from the Honourable Mme. Justice Maureen Rajnauth-Lee, Judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice at the launch of the Guidelines at the CAJO Conference in Curacao. (Photo via CCJ)

The Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) Project has launched its Model Guidelines for Sexual Offence Cases in the Caribbean Region. The Guidelines are intended to provide internationally accepted best practices for the management of sexual offence cases, and offer a rights-based approach to the treatment of complainants and vulnerable witnesses, including children, involved in sexual assault cases.

The launch took place at the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officer’s (CAJO) 5th Biennial Conference which is being held in Curaçao from September 28 – 30, 2017.

Speaking at the launch, the Honourable Mme. Justice Rajnauth-Lee, Judge at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) explained that even though the CARICOM region has made progress in promoting gender equality, sexual violence perpetrated against women, girls and boys remains a significant problem. The region, she said, experiences high levels of sexual violence – the majority of which is under-reported and ineffectively dealt with by the justice system.

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CCJ seeks to trigger digital revolution in Caribbean courts

Sir Dennis Byron, President of the Caribbean Court of Justice
Sir Dennis Byron, President of the Caribbean Court of Justice

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad—The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is hoping that a set of technological upgrades it recently adopted will trigger a digital revolution in courts across the region, and transform how justice is delivered.

CCJ President Sir Dennis Byron, who spearheaded the Court’s adoption of the new digital platform for document-filing, case management and performance measurement, described the switchover as “a major development for lawyers and courts in the region,” with significant potential to make the delivery of justice more efficient and timely.

Byron explained that the electronic filing of case documents, in particular, would save both time and money for all parties.

“The new system will allow judges direct access to case information from any location, including via their mobile phones. It eliminates the risk of misplaced files and enables lawyers to commence proceedings by filing actions over the Internet,” he said in an interview at the CCJ headquarters in Port of Spain.

Read more at: Dominica News Online

People will know CARICOM is working when they see, taste, feel – The Bahamas Prime Minister

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New Prime Minister of The Bahamas delivering his inaugural address to the Conference
New Prime Minister of The Bahamas delivering his inaugural address to the Conference
“CARICOM is a community of the people we serve, not a club of officials and politicians. We need to cast our nets far and wide to engage the combined spirit and the collective brain-trust of the Region. We must blend various languages and accents in order to speak to the world with one voice about the aspirations of our people and the mission of CARICOM.” Dr. Hubert Minnis
Dr. The Hon. Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, has signalled his readiness to help deliver the mandates of CARICOM to provide better, healthier and more prosperous lives for the people of the Community.

In doing so, the newest Member of the Conference of Heads of Government also expressed confidence in organs and institutions of the Caribbean Community to deliver benefits of integration.

His inaugural address to the Community, at the opening of the 38th CARICOM Summit, in Grand Anse, Grenada, Tuesday evening, was punctuated with an urgent call for unity. (more…)

Close political gap between integration arrangements, demands of the people – CARICOM Chairman

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Grenada Prime Mnister Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell
Grenada Prime Minister Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell

Developing inclusive mechanisms to close the political distance between integration arrangements and the demands of the people of the Region is a task that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) must confront.

Incoming Chairman of CARICOM, Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, issued this charge to his colleagues at the Opening Ceremony of the Thirty-Eighth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, 4 July, 2017. The Ceremony was held at the Grenada Trade Centre, St. George’s, Grenada.

“Having spent 32 years and counting, in the political arena, I have become convinced that perhaps the most difficult task is to develop “inclusive” mechanisms that close the “political distance” between our integration arrangements and the demands of our people, at all levels of our societies—but especially with our young people,” Prime Minster Mitchell said.

Closing that political distance with “our regional constituents”, he added, also meant that barriers to intra-regional trade had to be lifted. He framed his comment in the context of the commitments to eliminate barriers to trade by regional forbearers as far back as Dickenson Bay in 1965. (more…)

 

Happy CARICOM Day!

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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) comprises 15 Member States and five Associate Members.

At the Eighth Heads of Government Conference of the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) held in April 1973 in Georgetown, Guyana, the decision to establish the Caribbean Community was brought to fruition. The process through which it was established is set out in the Georgetown Accord issued by that Conference. The Accord which was agreed to in April 1973 contained the draft treaty which we now know as the Treaty of Chaguaramas.

The original signatories to the Treaty on 4 July, 1973, were Prime Ministers Hon. Errol Barrow for Barbados; Hon. Forbes Burnham for Guyana; Hon. Michael Manley for Jamaica; and Hon. Eric Williams for Trinidad and Tobago. By 1 May 1974, all other members of CARIFTA had signed the Agreement to become full members of CARICOM, except Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis. They both signed the Agreement in July 1974. (more…)