Saint Lucia gets CARICOM Development Fund support to jumpstart Village Tourism Initiative

The Government of Saint Lucia on Friday signed on for the 2nd cycle from the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF). Since its establishment, Saint Lucia has benefited from the CDF. For the first funding cycle, the Saint Lucia CAP (Country Assistance Programme) was valued at approximately USD $6.1 million or XCD $16.47 million in loans and grants and was designed to enhance private sector competitiveness and youth entrepreneurship.

During this second funding cycle, the CDF Board has approved two (2) projects to support initiatives that are geared to expanding Saint Lucia’s exports, which include strengthening the institutional infrastructure for trade and implementing new programmes for trade competitiveness and village tourism development.

The Village Tourism Grant in the sum of USD $120,000 (XCD $324,000) to finance technical assistance for coordination of the development of village tourism including the provision of technical advice on the establishment of the institutional framework, and for preparation of a road map and business plan for village tourism. Co-financing for the development and support to implement the revised National Export Development Strategy for Saint Lucia in the amount of USD$332,800. (Office of the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia)

CARICOM Development Fund
The CDF was established under Article 158 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas “for the purpose of providing financial or technical assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors”. It is the centre-piece of the regime to address the disparities among the Member States of CARICOM which may result from the implementation of the CSME. The Agreement Relating to the Operations of the Fund was signed in July 2008 and the CDF began operating on November, 2008. Whilst all Members of the CDF are eligible to receive financial and technical assistance support from the Fund, only the designated disadvantaged countries – the LDCs (OECS and Belize) and Guyana (as a Highly-Indebted Poor Country) received access to resources during the first contribution cycle. Under the second contribution cycle the MDCs, as well as the LDCs, will be able to access resources to address development challenges in their disadvantaged regions and sectors, once the enabling policy framework and operational procedures are agreed to by the Community. The relevant policy, procedures and implementation plan to facilitate this are currently being developed within the framework of the formulation of Regional Cohesion Policy, which the CDF has taken the lead role in preparing on behalf of the Community.


Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders chosen as next CCJ President

Port of Spain, Trinidad – The Honourable Mr. Justice Adrian Dudley Saunders, a citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been appointed as the incoming President of the Caribbean Court of Justice with effect from July 4, 2018.

The Heads of Government of CARICOM made the appointment at its last meeting, held in Haiti from February 26-27, 2018, acting on the nomination of the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission (RJLSC). The RJLSC had selected Mr. Justice Saunders after a competitive merit-based process.

Sir Dennis Byron

President of the CCJ, the Right Honourable Sir Dennis Byron, said, “Justice Saunders’ appointment to be the incoming President of the Court has been greeted with pleasure by the entire Bench of the Court. He has served with distinction and has exhibited qualities of excellence, sharp intellect, strong moral values, leadership skills and encyclopaedic knowledge for the law tempered by things Caribbean”.

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


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.



Consultations get underway on comprehensive review of CET, Rules of Origin

The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) mandated the Comprehensive Review
FLASHBACK:  A Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in Georgetown, Guyana 

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat will next week begin consulting with regional stakeholders as it moves to undertake a comprehensive review of the Community’s main trade instruments – the Common External Tariff (CET) and the Rules of Origin.

The consultation will be held at the CARICOM Secretariat on 25 July, 2017, beginning at 9 am. It targets regional organisations that are interested in or likely to be affected by changes to the CET and the Rules of Origin, including Academia, Sector Organisations, Industry Associations, Regional Policy Advocacy Organisations, and Institutions of the Community.

The Consultation, which is in keeping with the Community’s Policy to encourage the inclusion of key stakeholders in policy-making processes, is supported by funding under the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). (more…)

CCJ modernises rules for its Original and Appellate Jurisdictions

The President of Caribbean Court of Justice, the Right Honourable Sir Dennis Byron (seated), signs the revised rules governing the Original Jurisdiction.  The signing took place on 21 April 2017 at an event held by the Court in celebration of its 12th anniversary.  The CCJ’s Registrar and Marshal, Mrs. Jacqueline Graham, who was a part of the review committee, watches as the document is authorised.
The President of Caribbean Court of Justice, the Right Honourable Sir Dennis Byron (seated), signs the revised rules governing the Original Jurisdiction. The signing took place on 21 April 2017 at an event held by the Court in celebration of its 12th anniversary. The CCJ’s Registrar and Marshal, Mrs. Jacqueline Graham, who was a part of the review committee, watches as the document is authorised.

After a comprehensive review of its rules of court, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) announces the publication of its Original Jurisdiction and the Appellate Jurisdiction Rules 2017. In 2014, the CCJ adopted the standard for the revision of its rules of court every two years. The revised rules, which are now on the Court’s website, were amendments to its previous publishing in 2015.

The President of CCJ, the Right Honourable Sir Dennis Byron, highlighted the need for periodic reviews of Court practices; “The CCJ recognises that is important to evaluate our procedures for efficiency and make sure that they are documented on a regular basis in order to continue to deliver fair and accessible justice. This rules revision exercise was particularly important as the Rules now accommodate recent changes to our internal processes, principally the adoption of e-Filing”.

The Court’s latest introduction of e-Filing allows persons to file a matter with the Court at their convenience and offers a structured way to make submissions by guiding the user through various required fields of information. In January 2017, the CCJ began using the Curia court management system which, in addition to electronic filing, has a performance management module and one for case management. (more…)