Dominica informs privy council of intention to join Caribbean Court of Justice
Dominica says it has written to the United Kingdom government informing it officially of its intention to cut ties with the London-based Privy Council in favour of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
“We have in fact written to the Foreign secretary if the British government indicating the Dominica government’s decision to end our relationship with the Privy Council and to establish our relationship with the Caribbean Court of Justice in the appellate jurisdiction,” Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told reporters.
The CCJ was established in 2001 as the region’s highest court replacing the CCJ. It has both an original and appellate jurisdiction, but while many Caribbean countries are signatories to the original jurisdiction, only Barbados, Guyana and Belize have signed on to the appellate jurisdiction.
In addition, the CCJ serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping.
Skerrit said that the island’s High Commissioner in London had already held talks with the Privy Council “seeking to work out the administrative matters with respect to their final decision on their part.
“The Foreign Secretary has written back to me indicating that they are working on administrative issues with the Privy Council to ensure that any matter now before the Privy Council (from Dominica) that we will put in place administrative arrangements to ensure that they can continue to be heard.
“So once that is done the Foreign Secretary will write back to us indicating the approval of the British government, at least the concurrence of the British government to approve of us going because that is an independent decision.”
Skerrit said he was optimistic that within the “next few weeks” receive communication from London, adding “once that is done then we move to the next step of going to the Parliament according to the provisions of the Constitution to finalise the recognition of the Caribbean Court of Justice in its appellate jurisdiction”.