Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, Mr Edwin Carrington, has re-emphasised that establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is imperative to the creation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
The Secretary-General, who is in Jamaica for a week long series of public education programmes, 24-30 April 2001 to build public awareness of the CCJ, stressed that dialogue with the people of the Region, including the stakeholders, is a fundamental step leading to the establishment of the Court.
Mr. Carrington said so far there has been fruitful dialogue, with the Bar Associations offering valuable contribution.
“We have taken on board the majority of the suggestions from the Jamaica Bar Association and we certainly thank them and appreciate their contribution,” said the CARICOM Secretary-General.
Legal consultant with the CARICOM Secretariat Mr Duke Pollard said establishment of the CCJ is important for the Community in both its Original and Appellate Jurisdictions. He stressed that it is in the Original Jurisdiction that the Court will apply rules of International law in applying and interpreting the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which provides the legal framework for the CSME. Mr. Pollard added that the Court will be a part of the CARICOM system and will be essential to the integration process.
In the Appellate Jurisdiction, the Court will rule on civil and criminal matters.
The public education activities in Jamaica have seen the Secretary-General along with other members of his team from the CARICOM Secretariat, and the Attorney General of Jamaica, Arnold J Nicholson, engaging in public discussion and debate throughout Jamaica in symposia and through the media, in particular, radio talk shows.
The weeklong series in Jamaica kicked off an intense Region-wide public education campaign on the CCJ. This was mandated by the CARICOM Heads of Government at their February 2001 Inter-Sessional Meeting in Barbados where the Agreement Establishing the Court was signed.