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The Ministry of Legal Affairs is preparing to conduct another referendum on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) — two years after the electorate voted to reject the Trinidad-based court as its final appellate court.

On Monday, Attorney General Dr Lawrence Joseph confirmed that a draft amendment to the 2016 Constitution of Grenada (Caribbean Court of Justice and other justice-related matters) Bill was recently sent to the Grenada Bar Association for discussions and input.

“We have circulated that amended Bill to the Grenada Bar Association for discussion as part of the first step, after we receive comments from the Bar we will then have wider discussion,” said Joseph, adding that the Bill also must be laid in parliament for no less than 90 days before the referendum could be held.

The main purpose of the Constitution of Grenada (Caribbean Court of Justice and other justice-related matters) (amendment) Bill 2018, is to amend the Constitution of Grenada in order to enable accession to the CCJ as the final Court of Appeal instead of the Privy Council.

The 2018 Bill includes almost everything in the 2016 Bill with two exceptions.

“We have removed the section about swearing allegiance to the country instead of to the Queen as well as the code of conduct for public officials. However, if during the discussion people recommend that anyone be included it will be replaced.”

Joseph said that the Government will once again establish a committee to spearhead the process.

The previous committee was chaired by well known constitutional lawyer Dr Francis Alexis with 18 others who represented several stakeholders including the religious community, the media, the youth, the labour movement and civil society.

The Bill was among seven which failed to receive the adequate number of votes in the November 27, 2016 referendum.

Grenadians voted against the CCJ by a margin of 9,492 in favour and 12,434 against.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell then said that he regretted the defeat for the CCJ, noting that he should have done more to encourage voters to accept the CCJ as the island deepens its political independence from Britain.

Source: ja observer


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Bro.The Observer i see that you have not commented on the statement made recently by the PM of Dominica Mr Grenada and the CCJ ,now there was i thinking that you would have got onto you pen and paper and add a comment.
30By: gabe
8/2/2018 6:55:42 AM
It's amazing that the people overwhelmingly voted the NNP under Keith Mitchell back into office, but at the same time refused to support his bid for a CCJ. The lack of support of Keith's CCJ referendum goes to show that the people of Grenada do have confidence in our legal system nor CCJ. Personally, The Observer strongly believe that our local and regional justice systems are tainted and support the agenda and interest of those at the higher end of the socioeconomic strata. Let's take some scenarios as prime examples: Rape incidences in Grenada are usually address and have have outcomes that favor, not the victims, poor and and underrepresented, but those with money, property and political and social ties to our legal systems and governments in the region. One case that comes to mind: an 11 year old child was viciously raped, violently abused and thrown from a 60 ft high window into some hedges. Fortunately, the victim survived (traumatized and scarred for life). Despite the crime, both men were allowed to walk freely due to the fact that their families (both men related) had property, money and political connections. Another case study concerns Jamaican youth who was innocently killed on his way to his graduation ceremony. Again, irrespective of the crime and witnesses statements, the killer-gunman was allowed to walk...he's a business man...has money, politically and socially well connected. The Observer is drawing reference here to justify why a CCJ would not necessarily serve the interest of most victims of violent crimes especially children, the poor and ordinary citizens. Although the Observer has his own reservations regarding the London based Privy Council, he believes it best to retain it. Why? Because we in the region will have a better chance of our victims gaining international attention to their condition(s).
40By: The Observer
4/25/2018 12:22:31 PM