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 PICTRes 16
Caribbean Court of Justice - Description  PICTRes 16 (2 May 2004)
Caribbean Court of Justice
Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)
is a nascent regional judicial body. After the Agreement Establishing
the Caribbean Court of Justice of February
14, 2001, it entered into force
on July 23, 2002 (when Guyana joined Saint Lucia and Barbados in depositing
instrument of ratification).
The CCJ has a hybrid nature that sets it apart from all other courts.
Indeed, like the ECJ, COMESA Court, TJAC,
and even the ICJ, the CCJ is
an international tribunal applying rules of international law in respect
interpretation and application of the applicable treaties. Like
judicial bodies of regional organizations, its role is
to preserve the
community (i.e., the Caricom) legal order (i.e., the Treaty of Chaguaramas
and its protocols).
However, at the same time, and the CCJ will hear appeals
in both civil and criminal matters from common law courts within
of member States of the Caricom and which are parties to the Agreement
establishing the CCJ.
For those Commonwealth States that ratify the Agreement
Establishing the CCJ, the CCJ will replace the Judicial Committee
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts
in the UK (together with the House of
Lords). It is also the highest court
of appeal for several independent countries that were formerly part of
British Empire, the UK overseas territories, and the British crown
dependencies. The move away from the Privy Council was
a long brewed one.
It started in 1970 when the Jamaican delegation at the Sixth Heads of
which convened in Jamaica, proposed the establishment
of a Caribbean Court of Appeal in substitution for the Judicial Committee
of the Privy Council. The process, however, accelerated towards the beginning
of the 1990s when regional governments
and courts and the Privy Council
came at loggerheads over the issue of death penalty (with the former strongly
in favor, and the latter trying to curb its resort). In other words, the
CCJ is both a municipal court of last resort
and an international court
with compulsory and exclusive jurisdiction in respect of the regional
laws. This sets it apart from all other judicial bodies.
Data obtained from the Project on International Courts and Tribunals (PICT)