The Caribbean Community

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) consists of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies, with its main purposes the promotion of economic integration and cooperation among its members and to coordination of foreign policy, with headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana. Crime and violence is a major factor in the CARICOM region. Since the CARICOM has a high crime rate and persons are often accuse of crime hence a proper court system is needed. In the majority of cases the decisions of the Court of Appeal may be subject to appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (The Privy Council). Technically, the appeal is to the Head of State which is the Sovereign. The Privy Council hears the appeal and makes a recommendation to the Sovereign as to the manner in which the appeal is to be resolved. It may recommend confirmation, overturn or variation of the judgment of the Court of Appeal. The Privy Council is the fifth and highest tier of the Jamaican Court System. Appeals to the Privy Council are restricted to cases of a certain monetary value or where they are of exceptional public importance (Supreme Court Jamaica, 2013).
According to, The International Justice Resource Center, the Caribbean court (CCJ) settles disputes between Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States, and also serves as the highest court of appeals on civil and criminal matters for the national courts of Barbados, Belize and Guyana. The CCJ’s seat is in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The Caribbean Court of Justice does not have competence to hear individual complaints of alleged human rights violations, except in its capacity as a court of final appeal in civil and criminal matters, which often involve fundamental rights. Hence the reason for the Privy Council. To date, only three Caribbean states (Barbados, Belize and Guyana) have replaced the JCPC with the CCJ. Jamaica and other CARICOM countries are taking steps toward making the CCJ their final appellate court. In 2015, the House of Representatives voted for Jamaica to institute the CCJ as its final appellate court (the Jamaica information service, 2018). This article seeks to highlight the pros and cons of CARICOM nations adopting the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final court of appeals.


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