Saint Lucia moving towards accession to CCJ appellate jurisdiction

Saint Lucia Governor-General (ag) His Excellency Cyril Errol Melchiades Charles

CARICOM Secretary-General, Dr. Carla Barnett, has welcomed Saint Lucia’s decision to accede to the appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). Saint Lucia signalled its intention to do so on Tuesday.

The government has appointed a committee that former CCJ President, Justice Sir Dennis Byron chairs to chart Saint Lucia’s course.

His Excellency Cyril Errol Melchiades Charles, Acting Governor-General of Saint Lucia, made the announcements on Tuesday during his throne speech on the occasion of the opening of the Second Session of the Twelfth Parliament.

“My government is committed to addressing our destiny as an independent nation, both tacitly and tangibly. This year, Saint Lucia will take steps toward the accession to the appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice. We are thus expected to become the fifth CARICOM member state to replace the Privy Council with the CCJ.

“To this end, my government has appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Justice Sir Dennis Byron to prepare the way for Saint Lucia’s accession to the CCJ. The draft legislation for the amendment of Saint Lucia’s Constitution to allow for accession has been prepared and will soon be available for public scrutiny,” the Governor-General said.

The CCJ, headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago, is the Caribbean regional judicial tribunal established on 14 February 2001 by the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice. It is a hybrid institution: a municipal court of last resort and an international court vested with original, compulsory and exclusive jurisdiction in respect of the interpretation and application of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. All CARICOM Member States operate under the original jurisdiction of the CCJ. It is the appellate court of Barbados, Guyana, Belize and Dominica.

In his wide-ranging address the Governor-General focused on matters that are engaging the Region such as food security, functional cooperation, building climate resilience, economic transformation and recovering from the pandemic, information and communication technology and regional trade and travel.

Governor-General Charles also announced that the Saint Lucia government intended to strengthen functional cooperation and integration, particularly at the level of the Eastern Caribbean sub-region.

On the matter of transportation, the Governor-General said Saint Lucia wanted movement on the “the dream of regional air and ferry service as well as the review of shipping operations.”

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