Dominica adopts Caribbean Court of Justice

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
Associated Press / Ng Han Guan

The CCJ’s appellate jurisdiction is also recognized by Barbados, Guyana and Belize.

CCJ president Sir Dennis Byron and the court’s registrar and judges went to Dominica for the official ceremony at the State House Conference Center.

The ceremony was attended by Dominica President Charles Savarin; Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit; Eastern Caribbean Chief Justice Janice Pereira; CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin La Rocque; Grenadian jurist, Dr. Francis Alexis and others.

In his remarks, Byron quoted Dominican jurist, the late Telford Georges, who said it is “a compromise of sovereignty” for Caribbean nations to retain “a court which is part of the former colonial hierarchy” on a rejection of the Privy Council.

The court president described the CCJ as an accessible final court.

Byron said, “On this context I extend my congratulations to the people of Dominica; to the Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit Prime Minister and to the entire government and establishment on this definitive step completing the circle of independence.”

“The CCJ offers increased access to justice for the people of the Caribbean. This is very evident in the countries in which the CCJ is already the final court. Unlike the Privy Council, ordinary folk have been bringing their cases before the CCJ.”

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