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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CCJ arranges unprecedented Sunday hearing

Port of Spain, 12 May 2018 – The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has responded swiftly to an appeal from Barbados where a resident of that nation is fighting for his right to vote. The CCJ has set the hearing for 13 May 2018 at 11 am.  

Professor Eddy Ventose, a Saint Lucian national who has lived in Barbados for several years, is seeking to be included on the Barbados electoral register. He alleges that under the prevailing laws he is qualified and entitled to be registered to vote by virtue of being a Commonwealth citizen. The Chief Justice of Barbados, sitting as a trial judge, after hearing arguments on the matter, had issued the order compelling the Chief Electoral Officer to allow Professor Ventose to be registered to vote.

The Court of Appeal in Barbados on Monday, May 7th ruled that Professor Ventose was entitled to be registered to vote but stopped short of compelling the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to enroll him on the register of voters, instead the Court ordered the CEO to determine Professor Ventose’s claim within 24 hours. Professor Ventose is asking the CCJ to declare that, as a person who satisfies the necessary requirements, he is entitled to be registered to vote and to order the CEO to enter his name on the final voters’ list ahead of its publication this week.

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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Outgoing CCJ president to be honoured at special court sitting in Antigua

Outgoing President of the Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Sir Dennis Byron, will be honoured with a special sitting of the regional court at the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda next Wednesday.

“It is with much pride that I leave the CCJ after serving as President of the Court for seven years. I am most pleased to be marking the end of this phase of my career with a special sitting in Antigua and Barbuda, because of the very special place that the country has in my heart”, Sir Dennis stated.

The CCJ President’s tenure will end on July 3, 2018.

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Barbados disappointed at level of support for CCJ

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Feb 28, CMC – Barbados has expressed its disappointment that only four Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have joined the appellate jurisdiction of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) that was established in 2001 to replace the London-based Privy Council as the region’s final court.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who attended the 29th CARICOM Inter-Sessional summit that ended here on Tuesday, said that it is unacceptable that, to date, only four Member States have joined the Court.

“We contend that it is a disgrace that after the Caribbean Court of Justice has been in existence for so long, that only four countries have signed on to that court in its appellate jurisdiction.

“I do not buy the argument that there is a division of opinion in the countries that have not signed on to the Court in its appellate jurisdiction, because the biggest decision that CARICOM countries have had to make has been on Independence,” Stuart said.

Via CMC

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