Above: the Caribbean Court of Justice
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Jamaica’s Parliament will soon begin debate on the country’s potential accession to the Caribbean Court of Justice.
The House of Representatives will begin debating two bills: an act to amend the Judicature Act and an act to amend the Constitution of Jamaica, according to Minister Phillip Paulwell, who leads government business in the House.
Jamaica currently sends all final appeals to the Privy Council in London. Three Caribbean countries send their appeals to the Port of Spain-based CCJ: Belize, Guyana and Barbados.
The appellate jurisidiction of the Privy Council is a so-called “entrenched provision” of the Jamaican constitution, meaning either a two-thirds majority vote or a popular referendum is required to amend it.
More Caribbean countries have been expressing a desire to shift their appellate jurisdiction to the CCJ. Last year, Trinidad announced it would send criminal, but not civil cases, while Dominica is working to shift to the CCJ as well.