The Government of Saint Lucia has begun the transition from utilizing the Privy Council to employing the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as the country’s final court of appeal.
Saint Lucia will become the fifth country to make the move after Dominica.
Attorney General, Hon. Leslie Mondesir said Saint Lucia’s Accession to the CCJ brings the country one step closer to attaining full independence.
“In April of this year we signaled to the Government of the United Kingdom our intention to terminate appeals to the Privy Council. This in a necessary step by virtue of Section 41 of our Constitution. The Government of the United Kingdom has recently responded with its non-objection to Saint Lucia commencing the legal process to terminate appeals to the Privy Council. We wish to emphasize that a referendum is not required to complete the Accession process once agreement is reached with the United Kingdom.”
A committee has been established to facilitate this historic move. Leading the Accession Committee is Sir Denis Byron, former Chief Justice of the Caribbean Supreme Court and former President of the Caribbean Court of Justice. He informed of the composition of the committee.
“Miss St. Rose, the immediate past president of the Saint Lucia Bar Association. Mr. Matthew Roberts, retired head of the University of the West Indies Campus in Saint Lucia and former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr. David Vitalis a qualified and experienced media practitioner, and Mr. Rene Williams who is the senior Crown Council in the Office of the Attorney General. Administrative support is being provided to the committee by Miss Claudine Gibson,” Sir Denis said.
The committee recently held a press conference to launch a public education campaign that will inform the public of Saint Lucia’s intention to join the jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice.
In the coming weeks the draft legislation to amend the Saint Lucia’s constitution to provide for appeals to the CCJ, will be circulated for public comment. The public is encouraged to stay updated with the information being disseminated.
SOURCE: Government Information Service