Tue | Jul 17, 2018

CCJ amends rules for its Original and Appellate Jurisdictions

Published:Friday | May 12, 2017 | 3:27 PM
CCJ President Sir Dennis Byron

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
The Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has made amendments to the court’s rules in its Original and Appellate Jurisdictions.

On Friday, the CCJ advised that the revised rules were amendments to those published in 2014.

“The CCJ recognises that is important to evaluate our procedures for efficiency and make sure that they are documented on a regular basis in order to continue to deliver fair and accessible justice. This rules revision exercise was particularly important as the Rules now accommodate recent changes to our internal processes, principally the adoption of e-Filing”, said CCJ President Sir Dennis Byron in highlighting the need for periodic reviews of Court practices.

The Court’s latest introduction of e-Filing allows persons to file a matter with the Court at their convenience and offers a structured way to make submissions by guiding the user through various required fields of information.

In January, the CCJ began using the Curia court management system which, in addition to electronic filing, has a performance management module and one for case management.

Other substantive amendments in the 2017 Rules include ending the requirement to file multiple print copies of documents; introduction of electronic signatures (in a specified format) to remove the requirement for printing and signing specified documents before uploading and filing; adoption of a gender-neutral approach in the wording of the Rules; shifting away from use of Latin terms in favour of simpler language in the Appellate Jurisdiction rules and the introduction of express rules to provide for an application for special leave to appeal to be treated as the hearing of the substantive appeal and the basis on which costs should be determined in such cases.

In its Original Jurisdiction, the CCJ interprets the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas for countries, businesses and citizens of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

In its Appellate Jurisdiction,the court  hears appeals from lower courts in both civil and criminal matters from countries which have decided that the CCJ should be their final court of appeal.

The CCJ’s Rules Committee is led by the Justice Rolston Nelson.

The new rules came into effect on April 21.

In 2001, CARICOM member states established the CCJ to replace the London-based Privy Council as the region’s final court.

But so far only Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Guyana have signed on to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the CCJ, even though most of the 15-member grouping are signatories to the Original Jurisdiction of the CCJ that also serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the integration movement.