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Dominica given go ahead by Britain to sever ties with Privy Council
Published on January 24, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

ROSEAU, Dominica -- The government of Dominica has moved one step closer in its attempt to formally recognize the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as it final court of appeal, with the British government’s approval of Dominica’s request to de-link from the Privy Council.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit made the announcement on Thursday.

“I just need to inform the country that Dominica has received no objection from the government of the United Kingdom with regards to our decision to de-link from the Privy Council,” Skerrit said.

This, according to the prime minister, paves the way for Dominica’s participation and membership to the Caribbean Court of Justice in its appellate jurisdiction.

The government of Dominica in 2012 wrote to the British government requesting its ‘no objection’ to proceed with de-linking from the Privy Council. This is a requirement of the Dominica constitution.

“That now paves the way for us to go to Parliament and take the Bill to Parliament to finally join the CCJ in its appellate jurisdiction,” Skerrit said.

He added that if the British government had not granted the ‘no objection’ his government would have had to go through a referendum.

“It is good news for the process of us recognizing our own courts in the region,” Skerrit stated.

Additionally he noted that the British government, “Had no difficulty in approving of this no objection to our request and we’re very pleased to receive that no objection.”

Skerrit further noted that the British government’s response is not only good news for Dominica, but also for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), “and our march to greater integration within the CARICOM region.”

The CCJ was established in 2001 by CARICOM heads of government from Antigua and Barbuda; Barbados; Belize; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; St Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Suriname; and Trinidad and Tobago on February 14.

Dominica along with St Vincent and the Grenadines signed the agreement on February 15, 2003.

It was established to serve as a substitute for the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council but is currently recognised by only three CARICOM countries: Barbados, Belize and Guyana.

The CCJ, which is headquartered in Port of Spain, Trinidad, also acts as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which governs the regional integration movement and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

Republished with permission of CBN4News
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