Sir Steadroy Cutie Benjamin, the Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda, has underscored the significance of establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) within the country.
A primary objective of the administration led by Gaston Browne is to persist in the effort to establish the CCJ, particularly in the aftermath of the unsuccessful 2018 referendum that proposed relocating the nation’s highest appellate court to the CCJ.
“I will take a leading role in advocating for the establishment of the CCJ. Without control over our judiciary, true independence remains elusive. We do not presently exercise control over the judiciary, and until we achieve that, our independence remains incomplete,” he stated.
The Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda remains unaltered, distinguishing it as one of the few constitutions in the region that has never been amended, despite multiple past attempts to do so.
Constitutional reform in Antigua and Barbuda necessitates a referendum, but such efforts have not been successful to date.
Similarly, other independent Caribbean nations like Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and the Bahamas also require referendums to amend their constitutions. St. Lucia stands out as the sole country that has accepted the CCJ as its final appellate court without a referendum.
The Antiguans and Barbudans for Constitutional Reform and Education (ABCRE) have persistently advocated for constitutional reform over the years.
The government recently announced that it will take into consideration proposals from both political parties before making a final decision.
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