Above: Dominica (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has signaled his country’s intention to adopt the Caribbean Court of Justice as its final court of appeal, a move that is finding favour with CCJ President Sir Dennis Byron.
The CCJ leader, who was speaking at a luncheon in Dominica last week, said he hoped Dominica would move toward adopting the CCJ, although it will have to fulfill several requirements to do so.
“The first requirement is that the government of Dominica and the government of the United Kingdom have to agree to abolish appeals to the Privy Council and the second requirement is that a bill must be passed in the Parliament of Dominica with the support of at least three quarters of elected members,” he said.
Byron said the UK had given “many assurances” that it would not stand in the way of Dominica’s move.
“The onus is now on the members of the house, your Parliament, to place a bill on the parliamentary agenda so that Dominica can fulfill its promise to be a full member of the Caribbean Court of Justice, and I would sincerely hope that as this is being discussed it does not become a political partisan issue and that the interest of the country as a whole will be considered,” he said.
And the CCJ is “ready and able” to help Dominica in the process, he said.
Barbados, Belize and Guyana are the only Caribbean countries to have signed onto the court. Last year, Trinidad announced it would be acceding to the court, but only for criminal proceedings.