Antigua to stage referendum on joining Caribbean Court of Justice this year

The Antigua and Barbuda government last Wednesday said that it intends to hold a referendum within the next four months on whether or not the island will adopt the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final court.

Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, speaking at a special sitting of the High Court to mark the retirement of Sir Dennis Byron, the second Caribbean national to serve as President of the CCJ, said that he had been given instructions by Prime Minister Gaston Browne to pursue the initiative.

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Praises for Sir Dennis Byron at special sitting in Antigua and Barbuda

Sir Dennis Byron, who leaves the Trinidad-based CCJ on July 3, was praised during a special sitting of the Antigua and Barbuda High Court for his years of service to the region and the international community as a lawyer and a judge.

Prominent regional and international jurists Wednesday praised the contributions of the outgoing President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Sir Dennis, for his immense contribution to Caribbean and international jurisprudence.

“Sir Dennis, you are, you were and you will be Sir Dennis a man. Sir Dennis you touched the lives of so many persons in this country, in the region and internationally. You are truly a Caribbean man, a man who contributed not only to the development of Caribbean jurisprudence but the development of many a lawyer in the region, Antigua and Barbuda’s Attorney General Steadroy “Cuttie” Benjamin said.

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The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)
The CCJ was inaugurated on 16 April, 2005 in Trinidad and Tobago where it is headquartered. Its central role is providing legal certainty to the operations of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). It is structured to have two jurisdictions – an original and an appellate. In its original jurisdiction it ensures uniform interpretation and application of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, thereby underpinning and advancing the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. As the final court of appeal for Member States of the Caribbean Community it fosters the development of an indigenous Caribbean jurisprudence
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‘Purpose fit solutions’ needed to close CSME implementation gap

“As a region we are not where we want to be with the implementation of the CSME, and as we consider the sub items on the agenda we must do so in a manner to report and achieve progress going forward.”- Chair of COTED, the Hon. Chet Greene
As Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers with responsibility for trade meet in Georgetown, Guyana, calls have been made to ramp up the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The Ministers are in Georgetown for the two-day Forty-Sixth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) which opened on Wednesday at the CARICOM Secretariat. The CSME is one of the main agenda items of the Meeting.

Speaking at the opening session, both Chair of the Meeting, the  Hon Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Immigration of Antigua and Barbuda, and Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General, placed emphasis on the CSME and wanted swifter action on its implementation.

“…Article 15 section 2 (b) confers on this Council the responsibility to, “promote the development and oversee the operations of the CSME”. As a region we are not where we want to be with the implementation of the CSME, and as we consider the sub items on the agenda we must do so in a manner to report and achieve progress going forward. Certainly, the confidence of our people and our businesses within the integration process must not be shattered”, Minister Greene said.

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Hurricanes Irma and Maria a hint of what the future holds

Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque warned that Hurricanes Irma and Maria which devastated many countries in the Region last year were “a hint at what the future holds”.

Speaking at the opening of a meeting with the Heads of Institutions of the Community at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana, on Monday, the Secretary-General noted that the long-term forecasts for climatic activity in the Region were even “more foreboding as the effects of climate change become more pronounced.”

The meeting was aimed at strengthening the co-ordination among the Institutions and the Secretariat as the Community builds resilience to encounter the new normal of more intense and frequent climatic activity. A review of the preparedness and management of the response to the events of last September has been undertaken by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to glean lessons learnt.

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CCJ affirms Professor Ventose’s right to vote in Barbados

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) (on Sunday) ordered that Saint Lucian, Professor Eddy Ventose, is to be added to the register of voters in Barbados.

The Court declared that it was satisfied that the legal and regulatory conditions for his registration have been met. The Court then ordered the Chief Electoral Officer, who participated in the hearing, to ensure that Professor Ventose is registered before 12 noon on Monday, 14 May, 2018. If this is not done, the CCJ President, the Right Honourable Sir Dennis Byron, warned that she may face contempt of court proceedings, which could result in imprisonment and/or fines.

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)
The CCJ was inaugurated on 16 April, 2005 in Trinidad and Tobago where it is headquartered. Its central role is providing legal certainty to the operations of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). It is structured to have two jurisdictions – an original and an appellate. In its original jurisdiction it ensures uniform interpretation and application of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, thereby underpinning and advancing the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. As the final court of appeal for Member States of the Caribbean Community it fosters the development of an indigenous Caribbean jurisprudence
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