Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda Advocates for Caribbean Court of Justice Establishment

Sir Steadroy

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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  1. At this time, it would not be prudent or in the interest of justice for the local man to have the final court of appeals to be changed from the privy council, in England, to the Caribbean.

    As we know, one of the best elements in a Judiciary is for it to be neutral, advanced, properly funded, has numerous international watchdogs and monitors, all of which the Privy Council has and all of which the Caribbean court of appeals do not have.

    The local politicians will have too much influence over judges, and knowing how selfish, uncaring, and incompetent most, if not all, local politicians are, I do not want to take the chance. It is genuinely not the time.

    This is a country that does not even have laws pertaining to bodyworn cameras, body cremation, and I demand for Locals who completed a Jurisdictorate degree in Law, unlike local attorneys who only have a Bachelors degree in law, to be allowed to practice law locally without having to go for one year to Jamaica or wherever else.

    We already have that one year course in our JD and more, unlike your LLB. especially when the JD is from a common-law jurisdiction similar to Antigua’s.

    Say no to CCJ if you are smart and intelligent.

  2. God save the king.

    We the poor people do not want no C.C.J.

    What we have now, the Privy Council, is serving us just fine.

    All you ‘high socie friends’ will not control poor people justice.

  3. Please remember what Dame Janice Pereira,the Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court did say in Antigua.She said there were attempted political interferences into that Court. That is one of many reasons.Why we have to be very careful about the CCJ as our Court of last resort.

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