March 29, 2009

CARICOM secretary general to testify before CCJ

CARICOM secretary general to testify before CCJ in legal battle
Published on Friday, March 27, 2009
Print Version
By Oscar Ramjeet
Caribbean Net News Special Correspondent
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad:
Edwin Carrington, Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), has been summoned to give evidence before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) next week in a multi-million dollar legal battle between Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) and CARICOM.

The Trinidad Guardian reported that Carrington has already given an affidavit in the matter and he will be subjected to intense cross-examination by lead attorney for TCL, Guyanese national, Dr Claude Denbow SC. Former St. Lucia Prime Minister, Dr Kenny Anthony, will team up with Anthony Astaphan, SC, to represent CARICOM before the CCJ.
The Jamaican government has joined the fray and will be represented by its Attorney General, Douglas Leys, and Candice Rochester.
The hearing will take place next Tuesday and will continue on Wednesday.
On January 15, the CCJ heard an application by the TCL for special leave to commence proceedings before the court against CARICOM under Article 222 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
The court received written submissions from CARICOM and, at the hearing, heard the oral submissions of the applicant and the Community.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the court granted special leave to TCL as a private entity to commence proceedings against CARICOM. TCL is seeking several remedies, including a declaration that the decision of CARICOM, dated November 25, 2008, to suspend the Common External Tariff (CET) on imports of grey cement for a period of one year, was “irrational, illegal, unreasonable, null and of no effect”.
The TCL Group's principal market is the CARICOM Common Market established by the revised treaty.
The CCJ is hearing the application in its original jurisdiction.

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