June 27, 2007

DID YOU KNOW - Movement of Skilled Community Nationals

Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas

Article 45

"Member States commit themselves to the goal of free movement of their nationals within the Community"

Article 46
Member States have agreed...to accord the following categories of Community nationals the right to seek employment in their jurisdictions:

(a) University graduates
(b) Media Workers
(c) Sportspersons
(d) Artistes
(e) Musicians

June 25, 2007

Possible Case for CCJ?

Guyana rice producers threaten lawsuit against 2 regional importers
Source: http://www.theledger.com/article/20070622/APN/706220995

Guyanese rice producers are threatening legal action against two Caribbean island neighbors that buy subsidized rice from other regions without levying import taxes, an agriculture official said Friday. Montserrat, a British Caribbean territory, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines regularly buy rice from several Asian nations and the United States without levying mandatory import taxes, according to Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud.
Persaud said Guyana, which is the region's largest rice producer, instructed the South American nation's rice export board to take their trade dispute to the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice, the highest judicial body for much of the region. Agriculture officials in Montserrat and St. Vincent did not immediately return calls for comment.
Rice is Guyana's third largest export earner after sugar and gold.

June 20, 2007




"Where a national court or tribunal of a Member State is seised of an issue whose resolution involves a question concerning the interpretation or application of this Treaty, the court or tribunal concerned shall, if it considers that a decision on the question is necessary to enable it to deliver judgment, refer the question to the Court for determination before delivering judgment. "
Persons, natural or juridical, of a Contracting Party may, with the special leave of the Court, be allowed to appear as parties in proceedings before the court where:
1. The Court has determined that the person has a right or benefit under the Treaty.
2. The person has established that he has been prejudiced.
3. That the Contracting Party ( Member State) has omitted or declined to bring up the claim or has expressly consented to the person bringing the matter on his own behalf.
4. The Court has found that the interest of justice requires that the person be allowed to bring up his claim.
For additional information: email your questions to deidrepowell@googlemail.com

June 19, 2007


Trinidad minister responds to expulsion of Caribbean journalists
Published on Tuesday, June 19, 2007
By Stephen Cummings - Caribbean Net News Trinidad and Tobago Correspondent

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad:
Trinidad and Tobago 's Foreign Affairs Minister Arnold Piggott has responded to the expulsion of two Caribbean Journalists from Antigua and Barbuda.
One journalist is Trinidad and Tobago national Vernon Khelawan, while the other is Dominican-born Lennox Linton.
Piggott, speaking in reference to Khelawan, said in his case he could apply for re-entry. Piggott said he had been in contact with the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and had been assured that the two expelled journalists can re-apply for entry into the island once the necessary immigration documents are submitted. "There is the right of any immigration authorities in any country to deny entry, if they have good reason or if they grant entry to an individual and later decide otherwise, to revoke that entry," said Piggot. "My ministry recognizes that Mr Khelawan, a national was involved in an incident, and we approached the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to obtain an explanation," said Piggott.
According to Piggott, Trinidad and Tobago had been provided with full information on the matter. However, the minister said there continues to be ongoing discussion on the development aimed at a resolution.
The issue has cast some shadow on the effectiveness of the free movement of workers initiative within the region and the Caricom Single Market and Economy CSME drive. Head of the CSME Unit in Trinidad Ambassador, Jerry Narace has rejected claims that the expulsion of the journalists was a sign of weakness in the system.
Both journalists were ordered to leave Antigua and Barbuda on the order of that country's Prime Minister, Balwin Spender after they were said to be in violation of immigration documents. Among the violations were the absence of work permits.
While many Caribbean countries now have a Caricom treaty which allows for free movement of media and other specific categories of workers within the region Antigua and Barbuda is one of those countries still to update its law in accordance with that treaty.

June 15, 2007


Article 7 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas Establishing the Caribbean Community including the CARICOM Single Market & Economy states:

"Within the scope of application of this Treaty and without prejudice to any special provisions contained therein, any discrimation on grounds of nationality shall be prohibited."

June 11, 2007

Closing the Circle of Independence - Pollard

Some people have asked what is a good book to read to gain information about the Caribbean Court of Justice and since my book is not yet published, I recommend Justice Duke Pollard's "The Caribbean Court of Justice, Closing the Circle of Independence. It was published in 2004, when he served as Director of CARICOM Legislative Drafting Facility.

It details the development of the court and gives a comprehensive analysis of the courts original and appellate jurisdiction.

It is a must read for all CARICOM practitioners and the public at large, as the region marches towards a single market economy and as we strive to have our own final appellate court within our region.

June 05, 2007

Constitutional Reform on Jamaican Govt. Agenda

Gov't places constitutional reform back on agenda in election year
B. Henry
Jamaica Observer
Tuesday, June 05, 2007

THE Cabinet, in an unusual development yesterday, voted to table a Green Paper on constitutional reform in the House of Representatives today, effectively placing the issue, over which there are some areas of disagreement, firmly on the pre-election agenda.

Information Minister Donald Buchanan told yesterday's post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House that the Green Paper will address a number of constitutional issues, dating back to 1991 when the current process originated.

"We have been going through some 15 continuous years of discussions and negotiations and we are satisfied that now is the appropriate time for us to place this Green Paper on the table of Parliament," Buchanan told reporters.

He added that it would, basically, ensure that the process is taken forward in this legislative year.

Among the primary issues to be addressed in this Green Paper are:
. the creation of a republican system, with the Queen replaced as Head of State by a president;
. the complete rewriting of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms;
. the substitution of the Caribbean Court of Justice for the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as Jamaica's final court of appeal; and
. procedures with appropriate sanctions for parliamentary oversight of the executive;and changes in the composition of the Senate.

"We would want the Parliament of Jamaica, and by extension the people of Jamaica, to be fully aware of where we are so that, as we enter into a national general election some time within the next five months or so, that those issues will be squarely in front of the people, as well as the fact that, thereafter, the government of the day would have some level of obligation to carry forward this process," Buchanan said.He said that once the elections are over, there should be no retraction or reneging on the process.

Responding to questions about the Charter of Rights and the Caribbean Court of Justice, which have been debated outside the ambit of the current constitutional reform issues, Buchanan said: "We feel that all of these discussions are sufficiently advanced... so that we can incorporate them into this Green Paper as the basis for going forward."

He said that everything in the Green Paper would be debated. The issues in the Green Paper have not been the primary focus in the current election campaign, as discussions have been more centred on the economy, crime and the personalities.

Although a Green Paper is not an official government paper and is only tabled for discussions, its acceptance depends on what tactics the Government will use to get consensus on moving these issues forward, whoever wins the election.

The ruling People's National Party (PNP) and the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) have agreed, basically, on the need for a republican system of government, a Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the need for procedures with appropriate sanctions for parliamentary oversight to control the power of the executive.

However, while the PNP wants an executive president, the JLP has been insisting on a symbolic head of state. The parties differ even more on the issue of the final court of appeal, with the JLP wanting to retain the Privy Council, at least for the time being.

Buchanan said the question of the composition of the Senate relates to whether independent persons should make up the membership.

But he insisted that in large measure, both sides have agreed in principle to these changes, which will require bipartisan support in Parliament or public approval via a referendum.

"It would be most unfortunate if these agreements, so painstakingly fashioned over the past 15 years, were to be abandoned in the course of the forthcoming election campaign or ignored thereafter," Buchanan said.
RJR, Jamaica
After more than 15 years of deliberations Cabinet has directed Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives, Dr. Peter Phillips, ...
Jamaica Observer, Jamaica -
THE Cabinet, in an unusual development yesterday, voted to table a Green Paper on constitutional reform in the House of Representatives today, ...
Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica -
Constitutional reform and the burning issues that accompany debate on this matter has once again been placed on the agenda for public debate.