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CCJ appeals to civil society to push governments to become full members

Published:Wednesday | January 28, 2015 | 1:37 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is appealing to civil society groups across CARICOM to lobby their countries to act faster in becoming full members of the court.




The CCJ was established in 2005 with an original jurisdiction which makes the court the only interpreter of the treaty that established CARICOM.



While most countries have signed on to the court’s original jurisdiction only, Barbados, Belize and Guyana, have signed on to the appellate jurisdiction.



Speaking on Nationwide Radio this morning, CCJ president, Sir Dennis Byron, argued that civil society groups are key in the push for regional governments to sign on to the court's appellate jurisdiction.



Although the CCJ head is appealing to civil society to help governments speed up their approach, he says ten years is not a long time for CARICOM countries to make their decision.



Jamaica is set to hold a parliamentary vote on April 28 on three bills which could see Jamaica adopting the appellate jurisdiction of the CCJ and moving away from the Privy Council.



However, the parliamentary opposition is not in favour of the bills.



The Government can easily use its majority in the parliament to get the votes required to pass the bills in the Lower House, but will need at least one Opposition senator to side with it to get them approved in the Upper House.



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