WINN – Having officially bid farewell to the London-based Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, Dominica is now encouraging the rest of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to fully embrace the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as soon as possible.
The island on Friday acceded to the Caribbean Court’s appellate jurisdiction, becoming the fourth Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state to do so.
The other three are Guyana, Barbados and Belize.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, at the official ceremony in Roseau, noted that Dominica is the first OECS country to take that step, and said that as OECS chairman he would try to influence the rest of the sub-region into taking the final CCJ step.
“I will ensure that some governments in the region take steps towards recognizing the court,” Skerrit assured CCJ president Sir Denis Byron.
“We need to show greater appreciation for the achievement of our people. Too many times we seek to question who we are as a people, to question our competence,” the Dominican prime minister said.
He said that, while some were questioning the competence and integrity of Caribbean justices, “the rest of the world are admiring them”.
St Kitts and Nevis has been working on accession to the CCJ’s appellate jurisdiction.
However, the new government as the then opposition recently had success at the level of the Privy Council on the boundaries changes court case.
So how much of a priority will it make the CCJ was a question put to former Acting Chief Justice of the OECS Supreme Court, Sir Brian Alleyne.
“I cannot say what judgment the CCJ would have given in the St Kitts case, but I think the jurisprudence set down by the Privy Council in the St Kitts case is correct, and I have no reason to suspect that the CCJ would not have come to the same decision on the same reasoning,” Sir Brian told WINN FM’s The Bigger Picture.