Govt questions CCJ jurisdiction despite court rejecting similar arguments previously

first_img– wants regional court to keep President, Ministers in office despite constitutional provisionsThe Government has submitted proposals for consequential orders to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), in which it once again raises questions about the Court’s jurisdiction by claiming that the CCJ cannot set an election date.The Caribbean Court of JusticeAccording to the consequential order proposals, which were released by the Attorney General’s chambers, the opposing parties are seeking consequential orders (like compelling the Government to hold elections in three months like it should have done in the first place) that are contrary to legal principles.The Government side claimed that the CCJ “has no jurisdiction to set the date for elections nor dissolve Parliament”. This is even though President David Granger has failed to do either, in keeping with the constitutional provisions.The Government also claimed in its proposals that “there is no evidence that the President has failed to comply with his duties. Consequentially, there is no basis to order that the President act on his constitutional duty to set a date for elections or to dissolve Parliament.”Thus, the Government is seeking an order that allows the President, Prime Minister, Ministers and Cabinet to remain in office until a President is sworn in after elections are held. The Attorney General cited Article 106 (7) to defend this position.However, Article 106 (6 and 7) says “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence”.Meanwhile, Article 106 (7) states that “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election”.JurisdictionIt would not be the first time that the Government has brought up the issue of jurisdiction. In its submissions, it had argued that the court does not have jurisdiction to inquire into former Alliance For Change (AFC) Parliamentarian Charrandas Persaud’s disqualification as a member of the National Assembly. This argument was rejected by the CCJ in its rulings.The Caribbean Court of Justice has two jurisdictions: an original jurisdiction and an appellate jurisdiction. In its original jurisdiction, the CCJ interprets and applies the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (which established the Caribbean Community), and is an international court with compulsory and exclusive jurisdiction in respect to the interpretation of the treaty.In its appellate jurisdiction, the CCJ, as the court of last resort, hears appeals in both civil and criminal matters from those member states which have ceased to allow appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC). As of March 2015, Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Guyana have replaced the JCPC’s appellate jurisdiction with that of the CCJ.The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is the Caribbean’s regional judicial tribunal. It was established on February 14, 2001, by the Agreement establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice. That Agreement was signed on that date by the Caricom states of Antigua and Barbuda; Barbados; Belize; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Suriname; and Trinidad and Tobago. Two further states, Dominica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, signed the agreement on February 15, 2003, bringing the total number of signatories to 12.The Bahamas and Haiti, although full members of Caricom, are not yet signatories; and because of Montserrat’s status as a British territory, that country must await Instruments of Entrustment from the UK before it can ratify the treaty.The Agreement establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice came into force on July 23, 2003, and the CCJ was inaugurated on April 16, 2005, in Port of Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the seat of the Court.last_img

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