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