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Dominica gets nod to adopt CCJ as final appellate court

Saturday, January 25, 2014    

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ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) — Britain has given Dominica its stamp of approval to adopt the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as the island's final court of appeal.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit disclosed that he received a letter from British Foreign Secretary William Hague indicating that the British Government agrees and has no objection to Dominica recognising the CCJ as its final appellate Court.

"Section 42.4A of the Constitution of Dominica mandates the Government to write to the British Government, seeking agreement before we move to delink from the Privy Counsel. We wrote to the [British] Government late last year and very early this year, January 2014, we received a letter from the British Government indicating that the United Kingdom is in agreement or has no objection to Dominica recognising the Caribbean Court of Justice as it court in the appellate jurisdiction."

Skerrit said this removes the need for a referendum.

"If we had not gotten the agreement from the British Government we would have to go through a referendum. So the fact that we have gotten the agreement from them means therefore, with a simple two-thirds majority, Dominica can recognise the Caribbean Court of Justice as its final court."

He signalled that, while he is anxious to make the move, there is one more hurdle to clear.

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