Wednesday 7th November, 2018-The president of the Caribbean Court of Justice says though disappointed in the outcomes of the Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada referendums held on Tuesday, he respects the people of both countries and their decisions.
Both OECS territories voted against making the CCJ their final Court of Appeal.
In a statement, Justice Adrian Saunders said “while the news is not what we hoped for,” they “will naturally continue ongoing initiatives with justice sector bodies in each of these countries, and the wider Caribbean, through the JURIST project and otherwise.”
The CCJ President emphasised that, “these results will not, of course, deter us from serving with distinction those nations that currently send their final appeals to us. As well, the Court will also continue to process and hear applications from all CARICOM States, and from CARICOM itself, in our Original Jurisdiction, and our justice reform work in the region will also continue.”
He referred to the JURIST Project, which is a multi-year justice reform project being implemented by the Caribbean Court of Justice on behalf of the Conference of Heads of Judiciary of CARICOM states, which is working on a Sexual Offences Model Court to be housed at the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda in 2019. The CCJ Academy of Law is also hosting a legal conference in Jamaica in December 2018 at which jurists from both countries, as well as the wider Caribbean, are participating.
Mr. Justice Saunders stated, “One of the positives that came out of this exercise is that there was sustained public education in both nations and the conversation about the CCJ intensified. We can see the fact that there was more interest in our website, ccj.org, and on our social media platforms, on LinkedIn and Twitter. As we begin to implement our Strategic Plan for the 2019-2023, which includes a renewed focus on public education, we will certainly be taking advantage of the increased audience, and the interest that has been piqued, to provide more information about the work of the Court.”