Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2022. 3:12 pm CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: This week, St. Lucia announced that it will become the fifth nation within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to have full membership in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
On Tuesday, Acting Governor-General Cyril Errol Charles announced the country’s intention to join the CCJ and replace the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as the highest appellate jurisdiction.
Charles, delivering the traditional Throne speech at the state of a new Parliamentary term, said that the move to join the CCJ was a part of the government’s commitment to addressing the country’s destiny as an independent nation, “both tacitly and tangibly.”
“This year, St Lucia will take steps toward the accession to the appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice. We are thus expected to become the fifth CARICOM member state to replace the Privy Council with the CCJ,” Charles said.
To join the CCJ there needs to be an amendment to the country’s constitution, something that poses no problem for the incumbent St. Lucia Labour Party, which took a 13-4 majority in the July 2021 general elections. Charles said that the Phillip J. Pierre administration has appointed a committee under the chairmanship of former CCJ president, Sir Dennis Byron “to prepare the way for St Lucia’s accession to the CCJ,” and that the draft legislation would soon be available for public scrutiny.
St. Lucia will join Barbados, Guyana, Belize, and Dominica, the only other CARICOM countries that have become full members of the CCJ.
The CCJ has been Belize’s final appellate court since June 2010
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