Antigua and Grenada moving to join the CCJ

Two CARICOM countries — Antigua and Grenada — are to hold referendums on Nov. 6, 2018 to decide if they should join the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

This is Antigua’s first referendum, while it would be Grenada’s second, which was rejected in 2016, where other items were also included on the ballot.

In the Nov. 6 referendums both countries are likely to include only one item —- to decide the final court of appeal for their respective countries.

The current final appeal court for the two countries and most English-speaking Caribbean is the Judicial Committee of the London-based Privy Council.

Since the establishment of the Trinidad-based CCJ in 2001 several Caribbean countries have been adopting the court as their final appellate court, but while many of the 15-member CARICOM countries are signatories to the court’s original jurisdiction, only Dominica, Guyana, Belize and Barbados have adopted the CCJ as their final appellate court.

Antigua and Grenada will require a two-thirds majority from their referendums. This will allow for the necessary changes to the made to their constitutions.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is also moving to join the CCJ. A referendum was sought from the people, which was rejected in 2009.

This time Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsavles would be seeking the support of the main opposition in Parliament to pass the legislation.

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