St Lucia Announces Plan to Join Caribbean Court of Justice

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Above: St Lucia

By the Caribbean Journal staff

St Lucia is planning to accede to the Caribbean Court of Justice as the country’s final court of appeal, the government announced this week.

“My Government will therefore follow the lead of the Commonwealth of Dominica and proceed, pursuant to section 41(7) of our Constitution,   to advise Her Majesty’s Government that it wishes to give effect to the international Agreement establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice,” St Lucia Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy said in her recent Throne Speech.

St Lucia, like most of the Caribbean, currently sends its final appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London.

The country would be the latest in the region to plan to sign on to the court. Earlier this year, Dominica announced a similar plan to amend its constitution to accede to the Caribbean Court of Justice.

For now, only Barbados, Belize and Guyana send their appeals to the Caribbean Court of Justice. Trinidad in 2012 announced it would send criminal, but not civil, cases to the court.

St Lucia will have to amend its constitution to make the change, however, and the UK will still have to agree to the move.

“Let it never be said that we are an ungrateful nation. We shall always be grateful to the United Kingdom Government for the years it has allowed us to use the Privy Council as our final Court Of Appeal,” Louisy said.

In 2002, St Lucia ratified the regional agreement establishing the CCJ.