PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has unveiled its strategic plan 2019-2024, under the theme ‘Unlocking Potential’, which will chart the court’s direction over the next five years. Justice Adrian Saunders, president of the CCJ and chairman of the strategic planning committee, asserted that the implementation of the strategic plan will help to move the CCJ forward.
The CCJ president stated, “our intention is to take bolder strides and to be more innovative; to better empower decision makers; to communicate more effectively both internally and with all our stakeholders; to work more meaningfully with partners and justice sector bodies in the region; to strengthen our bonds with the Caribbean people and to advance the rule of law.”
Lessons learned from the court’s first strategic plan period, which ran from 2012 – 2017, served the court well in the design and execution of its new strategic agenda.
The CCJ’s strategic plan 2019-2024 is available in hard copy at the CCJ’s headquarters and can be downloaded from the court’s website at ccj.org. The CCJ’s strategic plan contains six strategic issues, which are further broken down into 14 goals and 41 strategies that will be used to effectively fulfil the CCJ’s aim of unlocking the potential of the organisation.
The six strategic issues include: communication; independence and accountability; high performance environment; equality, fairness and integrity in promoting the rule of law, organisational capacity for caseload growth and enhanced regional system capacity and performance. The new strategic plan also includes a new mission, vision and values for the court, which was developed by the judges and staff.
The plan is already guiding the CCJ’s operations as each of the units of the court has used it to develop their work plans for 2019. The process of implementing the strategic plan will be iterative, each unit will assess the results of their efforts on an ongoing basis and will adjust their work plans to ensure that results are aligned with the stated goals.
The development of the strategic plan, the second in the organisation’s history, was made possible with support from the JURIST Project, a judicial reform initiative funded by the government of Canada, and being implemented by the CCJ. Dr Daniel Straub, Dean of the Fellows Programme of the Institute of Court Managers (ICM) of the National Centre for State Courts, helped to steer the process which will direct how the court will assess its performance and direct its resources over the next five years.
The strategic plan was developed using a collaborative process with input from representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission (RJLSC), the CCJ Trust Fund, regional judiciaries, bar associations, law schools and faculties of law. The judges and the staff of the court were also integral in identifying issues and providing recommendations that informed the plan.
Jacqueline Graham, registrar and chief marshal of the CCJ, stated in the plan’s opening statement that the theme of “unlocking potential through the implementation of this strategic plan will also encourage a more streamlined monitoring and review of our systems. These systems must, at all times, be characterized by high levels of accountability, transparency, efficiency and fairness, and they must be harnessed by the court’s governance principles.”