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CARICOM attorneys-general discuss implications of CCJ ruling
Published on December 5, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- The Legal Affairs Committee (LAC) of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has discussed the implications for the Community and member states of the recent Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruling in the matter involving Shanique Myrie.

The LAC, which comprises attorneys general and ministers of legal affairs of the Community, met by video-conference on Friday 29 November 2013 and received a brief on the case, officially entitled Shanique Myrie vs the State of Barbados (Defendant) and Jamaica (Intervener) [2013] CCJ 3 (OJ).

The Committee discussed the requirements for implementation and several members reported on on-going discussions and steps being taken at the national level. Attorneys general identified certain issues that would benefit from further review and policy decisions at the Community level, particularly to ensure harmonised procedures to be implemented by member states.

The Committee, under the chairmanship of Adriel Brathwaite, attorney general and minister of home affairs of Barbados, also recommended two important instruments for signature by the heads of government. The attorneys general for Dominica, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines also participated, with authorised representatives Grenada and Suriname, and delegations from Anguilla, Belize, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

The LAC approved the protocol amending article 83 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. Article 83 provides the authority of the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) to administer the Common External Tariff (CET). The CET is one of the fundamental elements of the CARICOM trade in goods regime, which requires member states to maintain a CET on goods imported from non-CARICOM countries. The protocol seeks to clarify the authority and flexibility of the COTED in administering the CET.

The LAC also approved the agreement establishing the Caribbean Community common fisheries policy. This agreement stems from a mandate of the heads of government and has been negotiated for several years. The vision of the CARICOM common fisheries policy is effective cooperation and collaboration in the conservation, management and sustainable utilisation of the fisheries resources and related ecosystems in the region. It is intended to secure the maximum benefits from those resources for the Caribbean peoples and for the region as a whole. It is a framework document, which provides for the future elaboration of further protocols on specific areas.

Attorneys general reviewed draft protocols concerning the OECS Economic Union and contingent rights, and a revised agreement establishing the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) which will be considered further prior to the upcoming 25th intersessional meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government, to be held in February 2014 in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
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