St. Lucia to make Caribbean court its final court

The St. Lucia government says it will soon table legislation that will allow for the island to make the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) its final court of appeal, replacing the London-based Privy Council.

Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony said St. Lucia has a provision in its constitution that is identical to a provision of which the constitution of Dominica, which used that measure to join the CCJ, which was inaugurated in 2005.

“St. Lucia has an identical provision but it makes reference to a section in the constitution which we believe was wrong. In other words, there is an error in the section,” he said.

Anthony said St. Lucia has a law that allows the attorney general to refer questions to the court of appeal for an advisory opinion in constitutional matters.

The prime minister said he has written to the British government “advising… that the government of St. Lucia wishes to delink from the Privy Council.”

Anthony said while he has no objection or problem with the move by the opposition, his administration would go ahead and table the legislation.

“Our constitution requires a 90-day period between laying and the debate and once the constitutional process is completed, meaning that the legislation has gained the approval of parliament for which we must have a two-third majority, then I would expect that the persons who are opposed to the delinking will want to approach the court,” he added.

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