CCJ President respects the outcome of referenda in two Caribbean countries

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President of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Justice Adrian Saunders, said that the court would continue “ongoing initiatives with justice sector bodies” in Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada despite the population in those two Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries voting in favour of retaining the London-based Privy Council as  their final court.

“While the news is not what we hoped for, we respect the people of both nations and their decision,” Justice Saunders said in a statement following Tuesday’s referenda in the two countries.

“One of the positives that came out of this exercise is that there was sustained public education in both nations and the conversation about the CCJ intensified. We can see the fact that there was more interest in our website, ccj.org, and on our social media platforms, on LinkedIn and Twitter.

“As we begin to implement our strategic plan for the 2019-2023, which includes a renewed focus on public education, we will certainly be taking advantage of the increased audience, and the interest that has been piqued, to provide more information about the work of the Court,” Justice Saunders said.

The governments in Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada had hoped to join Belize, Barbados, Dominica and Guyana as the only CARICOM countries that are full members of the CCJ that was established in 2001 to replace the Privy Council as the region’s final court.

The CCJ, which has both an Original and Appellate Jurisdiction, also functions as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the 15-mdmber regional integration movement.

Justice Saunders said despite the defeat, the CCJ “will naturally continue ongoing initiatives with justice sector bodies in each of these countries, and the wider Caribbean, through the JURIST project and otherwise.”

The turnout in the referendum in both countries were low.

In Grenada, of 21, 979 votes cast, some 9,846 persons voted to adopt the CCJ as the final Court of Appeal,, while in Antigua and Barbuda, there were 9,234 votes against and 8,509 votes in favour of the adoption of the CCJ.

“These results will not, of course, deter us from serving with distinction those nations that currently send their final appeals to us. As well, the Court will also continue to process and hear applications from all CARICOM States, and from CARICOM itself, in our Original Jurisdiction, and our justice reform work in the region will also continue,” Justice Saunders said.

The CCJ noted that Grenada has an Original Jurisdiction case currently before the Court and that the JURIST Project, which is a multiyear justice reform project being implemented by the CCJ on behalf of the Conference of Heads of Judiciary of CARICOM states, is working on a Sexual Offences Model Court to be housed at the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda in 2019.

The CCJ Academy of Law is also hosting a legal conference in Jamaica in December 2018 at which jurists from both countries, as well as the wider Caribbean, are participating, the CCJ added.

9 COMMENTS

  1. So he did not throw a tantrum like Gaston …..we need constitution reform now we need to change alot of things here ……first of all they should keep politicians out of it please

    +7-29 ratings
  2. I think the ALL THE CARIBBEAN JUSTICES SHOULD HAVE A FORUM IN EACH OF THE COMMON WEALTH COUNTRIES…TO EDUCATE THE PPL MORE …MAKE THEM MORE FULLY AWARE OF WHAT THE CCJ STANDS FOR…THE COMPETENCE OF THE JUSTICES….GIVE PPL NEEDED CONFIDENCE IN THEM…THEY NEED TO KNOW BELIEVE TRUST CCJ.

    TO MAKE CCJ…THE FINAL SAY….

    +1-23 ratings
  3. Can we ask the CCJ for a refund now? Antigua wants its own Antigua and Barbuda Supreme Court (ABSC). Why are all the politicians refusing to propose the idea having our own final Supreme Court?

    I’m tired of Antigua giving money to the establishment of all these weird Caribbean institutions. Let’s keep the money for ourselves and lets build Antigua into a real independent nation.

    When we give money to these Caribbean institutions, all we are doing is exchanging one form of colonialism for another.

    Real independence for Antigua means having our own Supreme Court as the final court of appeal.

    +8-210 ratings
    • @ the real rass
      Oh my gosh, there is now a need for a new court to save some bloggers from their ignorance.

      Ignorance is broken down quite nicely by BOLD FACE “Wen U Nah no, U jus nah no”.

      +1-78 ratings
    • How come you don’t seem to know that the court is not just an appellate court. It is an International Tribunal for Caricom Member State as it relates to matters of the treaty of Chaguramas

      +0-66 ratings
      • All these Caribbean institutions like CARICOM, etc. etc. are a waste of Antigua’s time and money. If you say you want to be a truly independent and free nation, then there is only one way to to have that – actually be independent and free!

        Therefore, let’s be truly free and independent and have an: Antigua and Barbuda Supreme Court (ABSC).

        +3-03 ratings
  4. @Mansion in greece-Keep politicians out of what? The constitutional reform? Who has to move bills to amend the constitution? Do you people even listen to yourselves before blogging and see if what you are about to blog sound like sense? I don’t think so..

    +2-57 ratings
  5. The politicians should keep out of the CCJ accession exercise. Their role is to pass the bills not to induce the populace one way or the other. This is a referendum not a election campaign.
    Yes we listen to ourselves and know exactly what we’re talking about.

    +2-02 ratings
  6. Thank you for graciously accepting OUR DECISION for not wanting you as our final court, yet.
    HOWEVER, I HOPE THAT YOU AND THE LEADERS OF THE CARIBBEAN, MORESO OURS WOULD NOT ONLY HAVE LEARNT, BUT UNDERSTAND THIS LESSON: Most good relatioships are built on mutual trust and respect. Mona Sutphen.
    Didn’t you realize that our trust and respect were COMPLETELY taken when we perceived that you all tried to force us against our will to accept your way of …?
    Nonetheless, I hope that you will encourage them to do the right thing by us, for only then will we make CCJ our final appellate.

    +1-01 rating

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