Above: the Caribbean Court of Justice
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Dominica is moving ahead with its plans to shift its final court of appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said Thursday that the country had received “no objection” from the United Kingdom with respect to its plan to sever ties with the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as its final appellate court.
“I just need to inform the country that Dominica has received no objection from the government of the United Kingdom with regards to our decision to de-link from the Privy Council,” Skerrit said.
The decision clears the path for Dominica’s accession to the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Dominica first wrote the United Kingdom’s government of its desire to request “no objection” to proceed with the plan in 2012.
“That now paves the way for us to go to Parliament and take the Bill to Parliament to finally join the CCJ in its appellate jurisdiction,” Skerrit said. ““It is good news for the process of us recognizing our own courts in the region.”
While acceding to the Caribbean Court of Justice has been a major stated priority for a number of Caribbean governments, just a few have shifted their appeals from the Privy Council.
At present, Barbados, Belize and Guyana send their final appeals to the Port of Spain-based CCJ, while Trinidad said in 2012 that it would send its criminal appeals to the CCJ.