Belize abolishes all appeals to Privy Council

CMC

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

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BELMOPAN, Belize – The Belize government said Tuesday it would abolish all appeals to the London –based Privy Council from June 1 this year, effectively making the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) its final court.

A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister Dean Barrow said he had issued orders that bring into force the Belize Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act and the Caribbean Court of Justice Act with effect from June 1, 2010.

The statement said the removal of the Privy Council and its replacement by the CCJ as the highest court for Belize "represents a major landmark in the constitutional and legal history of Belize."

The government announcement stresses, that the move to the CCJ on June 1, will not affect any appeals pending before the Privy Council on May 31, 2010.

Belize now joins Guyana and Barbados as the only Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to sign on to both the appellate and original jurisdiction of the CCJ that was established in 2001.

The CCJ also acts as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that established the Caribbean Community.

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