CCJ Develops Manual for Original Jurisdiction Referral

Port of Spain, Trinidad. Port of Spain, Trinidad. The Caribbean Court Justice (CCJ) and the CCJ Academy for Law earlier today, hosted a working meeting at the CCJ’s Headquarters to review and finalize a draft Manual on the CCJ’s Original Jurisdiction Referral Process.

Article 214 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and Article XIV of The Agreement Establishing the CCJ provides for Treaty-related issues to be referred to the Court under its Original Jurisdiction.  However, since the Court’s establishment in 2005, this avenue for legal redress has never been utilised. As a result, the CCJ has resolved to develop a Manual which will provide guidance on referrals to the CCJ from national courts and tribunals of domestic disputes that concern the interpretation or application of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC). Once finalized, the Manual will be made available to judges, legal practitioners and other stakeholders in the region in the hope that the guidance offered will assist in ensuring that the full benefits of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy are derived by the people of the Caribbean Community.

The Manual is being drafted by Professor Alina Kaczorowska-Ireland of The University of the West Indies (Cave Hill), who also facilitated today’s meeting. Professors Karen Alter (Northwestern University) and Laurence Helfer (Duke University) provided perspectives from their experiences as legal practitioners before other courts of similar jurisdictions.

Apart from the CCJ President and other CCJ Judges and court staff, the meeting was also attended by the Hon. Mr. Justice Eddy Ventose of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

Following the finalization of the Manual, there will be a series of sensitization lectures facilitated by CCJ Judges. The CCJ Academy will also collaborate with the Council of Legal Education to do sensitization activities with legal practitioners.

Photo below: President of the CCJ, the Hon Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders being presented with the a copy of the manual by Prof. Alina Kaczorowska.