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Saint Lucia Accedes To Caribbean Court Of Justice

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Arrangements for lodging final appeals with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) instead of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) are currently in progress, as Saint Lucia endeavours to make justice more accessible to its citizens.

Appeals can now be lodged with the CCJ. Measures towards accession to the CCJ began 20 years ago under the administration of Dr Kenny D. Anthony and have been successfully completed by the Philip J. Pierre Administration, which was elected to government with a two-thirds majority in July 2021.

The bringing into force of the Constitution of Saint Lucia (Amendment) Act and the CCJ Agreement Act effectively meant that appeals from our Court of Appeal will be now lodged with the CCJ, as opposed to the JCPC.

As such, the commencement of the CCJ Agreement Act has completed the accession process whereby Saint Lucia has become the fifth CARICOM Member State to accede to the CCJ’s Appellate Jurisdiction.

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A decisive stage in the process came on 17th July, 2023, when the Government of the UK conferred “the agreement of the Government of the United Kingdom to the proposed termination of the jurisdiction of the JCPC” as Saint Lucia’s highest appellate court.

Agreement was communicated in a letter, signed by the Right Honourable James Cleverly MP, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.

The agreement effectively sealed Saint Lucia’s accession to the CCJ’s Appellate Jurisdiction.

Saint Lucia is already a full member of the CCJ’s Original Jurisdiction under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC), which established the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) in July 2001.

The RTC provided for the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation and application of the Treaty by the judicial decisions of the Caribbean Court of Justice.

The agreement with the UK Government was one of the several measures the Government of Saint Lucia had to achieve in its quest to leave the JCPC and join the CCJ.

Other measures completed are:

  • The approval by three-quarters of all members of the House of Assembly in passing the Constitution of Saint Lucia (Amendment) Bill, which amended the Saint Lucia Constitution by replacing the provisions that had allowed for appeals to Her Majesty in Council to provide for appeals to the CCJ. This was achieved on 28 February and 2 March, 2023, (in House of Assembly and the Senate respectively).
  • The bringing into force of the Constitution of Saint Lucia (Amendment) Act (9 March 2023).
  • Commencement of the Caribbean     Court  of       Justice (Agreement) Act (20 July 2023).

Recognizing that this is a seminal moment in the history of Saint Lucia, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Secretary in the UK Government, the Rt. Hon. James Cleverly, extended best wishes to Prime Minister, Hon. Philip J Pierre and the people of Saint Lucia, and expressed the hope that he would be afforded the opportunity, in the near future, to personally deliver his congratulatory message.

The constitutional and public communications campaigns in pursuance of Saint Lucia’s de-linking from the Privy Council and accession to the Appellate Jurisdiction to the CCJ was set in motion in March 2022 with the appointment of the CCJ (Accession) Committee, chaired by retired Justice, Sir Dennis Byron, a former president of the CCJ and, and also a retired Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC).

The Committee has conducted a focused series of public information events, including press briefings, community town hall meetings and dissemination of information via conventional and social media.

Saint Lucians now have the opportunity to access the CCJ as their final appellate court for criminal and civil cases.

SOURCE: CCJ (Accession) Committee

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  1. Well done my government, well done! Leave chas and his cohorts behind in their slavery!

  2. Congratulations. This has been long overdue. Thanks to all those who participated in making this possible. When the people of Israel demanded to have a king of their own it was granted to them. Now we have our own to judge us and not others who have been our slave masters. We pray that God grant our judges the knowledge, wisdom and understanding of King Solomon to dispense justice in the interest of all the peoples. Bravo. The yoke of bondage, colonization and its related ill must be removed. The next step is to become the Republic of Saint Lucia. The process of emancipation and freedom which started in 1834 must be completed when we obtain total independence from our Slave Masters.

  3. The arrogance of this is unbelievable. Freedom for the people from the “cloak” of colonialism yet this has happened through the manipulation of our precious constitution by a very select group of tarnished politicians. The denying of the electorate a referendum in a so called democracy is disgusting. A minority of people imposing their opinions on others because they deem themselves more intelligent than the rest of the people is pure arrogance. It’s amazing to watch opinionated hacks pat themselves on the back because they have denied their black brothers and sisters a voice. It is particularly troubling to hear them ridicule the very concept of a referendum.Classic Animal Farm pig behaviour.

  4. Congrats to Iyanola. It was about time. Amazingly, several weeks ago (Early June ), I listened to a live sitting of Her Majesty in Council. They were conducting an appeal from St.Lucia. I observed the following:
    a) The Lords could not correctly pronounce the name of our Nation. They ALL kept on saying ” SAINT LOO-SEE YA

    b) At the end of the hearing Lord XXX stated ” This may be one of the last appeals which we will be hearing from SAINT,,,,,,,,,,”

    We need to revisit Dr. Anthony’s presentation during the Constitutional Amendment Debate. That was excellent. I also vividly remember a statement which was made several years ago by one of our ‘Sons-of-the-soil’ on his retirement as a Justice of Appeal of the Eastern caribbean Supreme Court. He stated thus:

    ” I have no doubt that those of you who have read the unfortunately far too few judgments
    of the CCJ, and who read the judgments of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council,
    would conclude that only rank prejudice and unshakable belief in our own inferiority
    could lead to the conclusion that in the law, in intellect, in independence and in
    integrity, the indigenous is in any way inferior to the imported.”

  5. Getting rid of a court of detached, independent, commonwealth judges to replace it with an old boys club whose salaries are paid for by dubious Caribbean governments. I can just imagine a future SLP uproar when a UWP government under Chastenet wins a case at the CCJ.

  6. In the Caribbean a lot of money is needed to get into politics. Local business campaign contributions no longer cut it. So drugs and money laundering money has entered politics. These launderers then demand large capital projects to clean their money or for ways to channel the funds. Drug dealers are very smart in that they give back some of their evil earnings as gifts to the community. It is only a matter of time that money that is already compromising the CIP and the shady awarding of contracts and selling of land permeates the CCJ. I understand their judges might rub shoulders with some of our perhaps suspect politicians. These judges enjoy a luxurious, tax free existence completely dependent on the governments of the day


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