March 22, 2009

Dominica confirms support for CCJ

Dominica confirms support for CCJ
Source: Dominica New Online
Originally published: March 21, 2009 08:01:00 PM
Dominica has officially affirmed its plans to sign on to the appelate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and abolish appeals to the British Privy Council.

According to, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit made the declaration at last week's CARICOM heads of government summit in Belize.
In an interview with the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), Skerrit said that he has already given instructions to engage the Bar Association as well as the political opposition, with the intention of making the decision fully a reality by year-end.
The Dominica leader meanwhile told CMC that members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) should state their positions regarding the CCJ, and proposed that if the region is not serious about the CCJ, it should close the Trinidad-based court.
He said a significant amount of resources have been put into the establishment of the CCJ, but with only two CARICOM states (Barbados and Guyana), accepting the CCJ as their final court of appeal. According to the CMC, Skerrit said the Privy Council has no value to the Caribbean people, and he urged countries to discontinue appeals to the British Privy Council.
The CCJ is the regional judicial tribunal which was officially inaugurated in 2005, as a substitution for the British Privy Council. The CCJ is designed to exercise both an appellate and an original jurisdiction.

1 comment:

Steve Foerster said...

I'm unsurprised that Mr Skerrit is taking Dominica is this direction; politically it seems like an easy sell. I myself am of two minds. On the one hand, to remain connected with what is clearly a relic of the colonial past is a bit galling. On the other hand, the Privy Council does some good by preventing executions (themselves a barbarous relic from the past), and by opposing censorship, as in Antigua when they insisted the government grant a broadcasting license to an opposition radio station. Given the unsettling interest shown by Mr Skerrit of late in placing restrictions on broadcasting in Dominica, I am uncertain whether the CCJ would show the same independence to guarantee freedom of the press.