CCJ Continues its Referral Workshops in Saint Lucia

On Tuesday, 20th February 2024, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), continued its Referral Workshop Series and sensitisation sessions on the CCJ’s Original Jurisdiction with the Saint Lucia Judiciary, Bar Association, and Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture (CCIA). For one day, Saint Lucia’s judges, registrars, magistrates, attorneys, and business community gathered at the Palmville Conference Center, Coco Palm Hotel and the Bay Gardens Beach Resort in multiple sessions to deepen their understanding of the referral obligations of local courts and the Court’s Original Jurisdiction. This initiative is co-funded by the European Union.

The sessions were facilitated by Mr Justice Peter Jamadar, CCJ Judge; Dr Jan Yves Remy, Director of the Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy, and Services at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus; Suraj Sakal, CCJ Judicial Counsel; Ria Mohammed-Pollard, CCJ Communications and Information Manager; and John Furlonge, Project Coordinator, 11th EDF Support to the CCJ.

Through simulation exercises, step-by-step guides, and group exercises, participants were able to identify when a question concerning the interpretation and application of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas arises in domestic proceedings, assess whether a referral should be made to the CCJ, formulate the question(s) to be referred together with the ancillary information to be supplied to the CCJ, oversee/supervise the process of making the referral utilising the office of the Registrar, and apply the ruling of the CCJ to resolve the dispute. They were also able to understand the process for accessing the Original Jurisdiction of the Court and the value that this Jurisdiction brings to the local and regional business communities.

The positive impact of the interaction was endorsed by CCIA President Ross Gardiner: “this session was powerful and wish to thank the CCJ for this outreach programme and collaboration.” V. Dexter Theodore, KC, one of Saint Lucia’s top civil attorneys, also expressed his sentiments saying, “The CCJ’s jurisprudence contributes to the development of a distinct Caribbean legal framework, grounded in the region’s history, culture, and legal traditions.”

Throughout this year, the workshop series will continue in other CARICOM Member States.

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