The CARICOM Secretariat pushes toward consolidating the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) with sensitization sessions for judges in competition law and policy. This Tuesday, March 8, the first of these workshops kicks off in Jamaica at The Court of Appeal. Seven judges of the court will be participating in the activity which is funded under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). This is part of a larger project to assist Member States with improving their regulatory, administrative and institutional arrangements related to the single market.
Participants will be sensitized on a wide range of areas including the principles of competition law and policy, competition and economic efficiency and abuse of dominance. They will also be examining the critical subject of mergers as well as the different types of agreements between companies. The exercise will be conducted by the consulting firm, BKP Research and Consulting which is based in Germany. The objective is to have these sessions for the judiciary from all the CSME-participating Member States and this will be rolled out over the next 4 months. Judges from both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court in these Member States will be involved in this activity.
At the end of this sensitization exercise, it is expected that the capacity of Member States to handle competition-related issues within the CSME will be strengthened. Under this same project, the Secretariat has also been conducting training in consumer protection for Member States. Sessions have been held on the CARICOM Rapid Alert System for the Exchange of Information on Dangerous Non-food Goods (CARREX), which will facilitate a regional response to harmful products entering the markets of Member States. Additionally, they have been exposed to the Draft CARICOM Consumer Protection Model Bill that will guide Member States in the drafting of their legislation. Saint Lucia recently passed its consumer protection bill which was informed by the CARICOM model.