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June 25, 2015

CCJ Senior Judge, Hon. Justice Rolston Nelson Presentation to the CARICOM Forum on June 23rd, 2015

Rolston_Nelson

THE ROLE OF THE CARIBBEAN COURT OF JUSTICE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE REVISED CARICOM TREATY

The Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) established the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) by the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (“the Revised Treaty” or “the RTC”) on July 5, 2001. By Article 211 of the Revised Treaty, the Caribbean Court of Justice is required to interpret and apply the RTC. The Court is not a national court and is not an institution of the Caribbean Community. It is an independent institution.

The Caribbean Court of Justice

The Court was established on February 14, 2001 as a regional judicial body by the Agreement establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice (“the Agreement”). On that date, the Agreement was signed by ten (10) states. On February 15, 2003 two more states signed but one of them entered a reservation with respect to the appellate jurisdiction. Ultimately, three more states, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Suriname, signed and ratified the Agreement but entered reservations as to the appellate jurisdiction upon ratification. Nevertheless, the states parties to the Agreement have adhered to the original jurisdiction of the Court without reservations.

The Court is a hybrid court in that it is both a supranational and a domestic court. In its original jurisdiction it is an international court designed to promote regional economic integration; in its domestic jurisdiction it is the final court of appeal for all CARICOM countries which have made the necessary constitutional changes to make the Court the court of last resort instead of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. To date, only Barbados, Guyana, Belize and Dominica have made the necessary constitutional changes to make the Caribbean Court of Justice the final court of appeal in domestic matters instead of the Privy Council. In this paper I will discuss the Court only in its original jurisdiction.

Once a State belongs to the Common Market the CCJ has jurisdiction in common market issues in all the States Parties to the RTC i.e. the Community and the Common Market. Note the unique position of the Bahamas (not a member of the Common Market) and Montserrat (the UK Overseas Territory for which the UK has not signed).

The Preamble to the Treaty affirms that the original jurisdiction of the Court “is essential for the successful operation of the CSME”. CSME means the Single Market and Economy. The Court exists to protect the rights and freedoms guaranteed to CARICOM citizens under the Treaty, namely, freedom of movement for goods, persons, services and capital and the right of establishment. The Treaty guarantees the private sector freedom of movement of capital. Free movement of capital is also ancillary to each of the rights and freedoms. The Court is concerned with making those rights and freedoms effective and with providing legal certainty and uniformity in the application of the Treaty.

The Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM agreed that the seat of the Court would be in Trinidad and Tobago. The Court can, however, sit in the territory of any other Contracting Party if the Court so determines.

The parties to the Agreement envisaged that in its original jurisdiction, the Court would fulfil the following roles:

1. To make effective those rights guaranteed to CARICOM citizens under the Treaty.

2. To see that Member States strictly observe the provisions of the Treaty not only vis-à-vis other Member States but vis-à-vis CARICOM nationals.

3. To provide legal certainty and uniformity in the application and interpretation of the Treaty.

4. To serve as an efficient, impartial and effective tribunal in all matters arising out of the Treaty.

5. By its independence and impartiality to guarantee an investment climate friendly to foreign and local investors.

Jurisdiction of the Court

The Court by virtue of Article 211(1), has the “compulsory and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine disputes concerning the interpretation and application of this Treaty.”

More specifically the Revised Treaty provides for the Court to adjudicate on:

“(a) disputes between the Member States parties to the Agreement;

(b) disputes between the Member States parties to the Agreement and the Community;

(c) referrals from national courts of the Member States parties to the Agreement;

(d) applications by persons in accordance with Article 222,

concerning the interpretation and application of this Treaty.”

Thus in addition to the exercise of an appellate jurisdiction, the Court holds an original jurisdiction employing the rules of international law in order to interpret and apply the provisions of the Revised Treaty.

The Court also has exclusive jurisdiction to deliver advisory opinions concerning the interpretation and application of the Treaty, but only at the instance of a Contracting Party or the Community. (Article 212) National courts are obligated to refer to the Court any question concerning the interpretation and application of the Treaty, if the resolution of that question is necessary to enable the municipal judge to deliver judgment: see Article 214 of the Treaty and Article XIV of the Agreement.

The Court also has jurisdiction to review a determination of the regional Competition Commission that an agreement or conduct is anti-competitive and the orders made by that Commission as a result: see Article 175 para. 12. The Court may also review a negative clearance ruling obtained from the Competition Commission by fraud or improper means (Article 180 para. 3) and enforce an order of the Competition Commission where the time for compliance has expired (Article 175 para. 11).

No other international tribunal than the Caribbean Court may be called upon to adjudicate a dispute between Member States or between Member States and the Community or between a CARICOM individual and either a Member State or the Community. The introduction of the word “exclusive” in Article 211 (jurisdiction of the Court in contentious proceedings) has created the impression that on the municipal plane national courts have no jurisdiction to entertain questions concerning the interpretation and application of the Revised Treaty.

The difficulty about a referral under Article 214 is that a national judge is likely to uphold an objection that the CCJ has exclusive jurisdiction over the application and interpretation of the Revised Treaty, and therefore not entertain any issue concerning the Revised Treaty. Secondly, any issue concerning the Revised Treaty must be a matter between Member States or a Member State and the Community. A national judge cannot entertain a matter between a Member State and an individual because individuals and private entities have access to the Court to decide disputes only if they obtain leave pursuant to Article 222.

It is not surprising that there has been no referral of cases from a national court to the CCJ for interpretation and application of the Revised Treaty.

Independence of the Court

The role of the CCJ is circumscribed by its independence and insulation from political influence. A vital element in strengthening the regional integration movement is demonstrating the independence and impartiality of the Court. No criticism has been made of the independence of the Court. Judges are appointed by the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission. The members of that Commission are not named and appointed by any politician, and no politician is a member of the Commission. In fact Article V para. 12 of the Agreement states that “the members of the Commission shall neither seek nor receive instructions from any body or person external to the Commission.”

Whilst the Judges are appointed by the Commission, the President of the Court is appointed by the CARICOM Heads of Government. Notably the appointment of the President can only be made with respect to someone nominated by the Commission so that the independence of the Court is preserved.

The President of the Court is appointed by the CARICOM Heads of Government, but they may only appoint someone nominated by the Commission. Thus the independence of the Court is preserved. The Judges are appointed by the Commission.

 

The President and the Judges cannot be removed from office before they reach the retirement age of 72. Retirement may be deferred to 75 with leave of the Commission. The only grounds for removal before the relevant retirement age are inability to perform their duties or misconduct.

Another safeguard is that the salaries and allowances of the Judges cannot be altered to their disadvantage during their term of office: See Article XXVIII para 3 of the Agreement.

However, since the salaries and allowances of judges can only be paid with the approval of the Heads of Government, the withholding of approval by the simple device of deferring a decision on such emoluments is a potentially dangerous inroad on the independence and impartiality of the judges. Note that Article 28 of the RTC generally requires unanimity and a single negative vote will veto a decision. My proposal is that a Salaries Review Commission similar to the one that exists in Trinidad and Tobago will complete the circle of CCJ judicial independence.

Financing of the Court

Funds for payment of salaries and allowances were provided by an innovative CCJ Trust Fund. The capital of the Fund was provided by the Caribbean Development Bank, which raised the sum of $100,000,000 on the international capital market, but the fact remains that monies for judges’ salaries and allowances cannot be paid unless the political directorate says so. The annual repayment of the capital and interest on this sum was guaranteed by the participating countries in agreed proportions. The Trustees have the responsibility of investing the capital sum borrowed by the Bank so that the income from the sum would meet the expenses of the Court.

Technology

One of the major challenges facing litigants has been their distance from the seat of the Court in Port of Spain, Trinidad. In order to provide the citizens of the Caribbean Community with greater access to justice, the Court has applied technology to improve communications with its regional customers. The Court has equipped the courts of most of the member states of the region with videoconferencing facilities. This equipment provides better communication between the courts of the region, including this Court. Funding for this project was provided by the European Union.

Generally pre-trial hearings are heard either by teleconference or videoconference. Thus, justice is delivered in a timely manner, and the litigant is spared the cost of air travel, accommodation and subsistence for attorneys-at-law travelling to Trinidad.

Audio and video transcripts of proceedings in the Court are available at the Court’s website.

Jurisprudence of the Court

The impact of the Court and its role in the CSME can only be discerned by studying the jurisprudence of the Court in its original jurisdiction.

Predictably because of the reluctance of States to sue one another to date, claims in the original jurisdiction have been brought by private companies and individuals. The first case was filed by Trinidad Cement Ltd (“TCL”) and its Guyana subsidiary, TCL Guyana Inc. against the state of Guyana. The second was by TCL against the Caribbean Community. The third was by a Barbados attorney, Doreen Johnson, against the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD). It is to be noted that very important European Union cases such as Costa v ENEL [1964] E.C.R. 585 and Van Gend en Loos [1963] E.C.R. 1 reached the European Court of Justice as a result of challenges by individuals.

Locus Standi of private entities and individuals: Article 222

Although disputes on the international plane are normally between States, the RTC allows private persons and entities to approach it. On the international plane where a state is responsible for loss or damage to a national or another state, the state of the injured party may present a claim on the national’s behalf: see Brownlie’s Principles of Public International Law (6th ed.) at pages 497-8). However, individuals have been given procedural capacity for presentation of claims even against their own States: see the Arbitral Tribunal of Upper Silesia set up by the German Polish Convention of May 5, 1922, especially Articles 16-24 thereof.

Article 222 of the Treaty provides that private entities may apply to the Court for leave to be allowed to appear as parties in proceedings before the Court.

An applicant under Article 222 must be a person, natural or juridical, of the Contracting Party to the Agreement. In leave proceedings Trinidad Cement Limited v The State of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana (No. 1) [2009] CCJ 1 (OJ); (2009) 74 WIR 302, the Court ruled at [28] that registration or incorporation in a Contracting Party was sufficient to bring a company within Article 222, despite the fact that the majority shareholding was held by a non-national resident outside the Contracting Party.

Applicants for leave pursuant to Article 222 must show (a) that the Treaty intended “that a right or benefit conferred by or under this Treaty on a Contracting Party shall enure to the benefit of such persons directly” TCL v Guyana (No. 1) at [31] and (b) that they “have been prejudiced in respect of the enjoyment of the right or benefit.” At this leave stage, the applicant need only make out an arguable case that these conditions can or will be satisfied at the substantive hearing: TCL v Guyana (No. 1) at [33]. At the substantive hearing, the applicant must show that the private entity or individual has “satisfied fully the relevant provisions of Article 222”: see TCL v The Caribbean Community (No. 2) [2009] CCJ 4 (OJ); (2009) 75 WIR 194 at [17]. In Myrie v Barbados (No. 2) (2013) 83 WIR 104 at [7] the Court said that “by the grant of special leave the Court concluded that Ms. Myrie had fully complied with the requirements of Article 222 RTC.”

As regards “prejudice”, in the leave proceedings the Court held that the obligation of Member States to maintain the Common External Tariff was “of potential benefit to all legal and natural persons carrying on business in the Community having to do with any such goods. Equally, the failure by any particular Member State to fulfil this obligation is of potential prejudice to all such persons.” On this point see Tomlinson v Belize where the mere existence of what appeared to be entry requirements prohibiting gays was sufficient to be a basis for special leave: (2014) 84 WIR 239.

An applicant for leave pursuant to Article 222 must also show that the Contracting Party i.e. the State, which would normally in international law have locus standi on behalf of a national, has omitted or declined to espouse the claim or has expressly agreed that the applicant should “espouse the claim” instead of the Contracting Party.

Article 222 clearly contemplates that a private individual may sue in a proper case, but seeks to preserve the orthodoxy of the rule that a State must sue on behalf of its national by obtaining the State’s declaration directly or indirectly that it was giving way. If the State to which the intended clamant belongs is the defendant, to ask the defendant State to espouse a case against itself would be meaningless. The CCJ concluded that there would be no need to satisfy this requirement. Any other interpretation would ignore the private entity’s right to intervene in existing proceedings, the rule against discrimination in Article 7 and the potential for abuse by a State depriving its ‘nationals’ of their Treaty rights.

Finally, the Court must in all the circumstances consider it to be in the interests of justice that leave be granted in the particular case.

The Court has by its rulings in the cases filed in the original jurisdiction interpreted its jurisdiction broadly. Thus, a company, incorporated or registered in a CARICOM member state is treated as belonging to the State even though ownership or control of the company is held by persons or entities outside the jurisdiction. Indeed the Court has gone further and held that a person (individual or company) who belongs to a State for the purposes of Article 222 may sue the State to which that individual or company belongs. In Rudisa Beverages v Guyana (2014) 84 WIR 217 the Court granted locus standi to private companies and held that an environmental tax imposed on disposable drink containers imported into Guyana was a protectionist charge having an effect equivalent to an import levy contrary to Article 87.

Who may be sued?

It is clear that Member States and the Community can be sued. In Doreen Johnson v CARICAD [2009] CCJ 3 (OJ); (2009) 74 WIR 57, the Court held that CARICAD, an institution, did not act for the Community and was not its alter ego, with the result that the Court had no jurisdiction. It was held that the Organs and Bodies reflect the will of the Community. On the other hand, the Institutions and Associate Institutions have some connection with the Community but they have no power actual or ostensible to bind the Community. The Caribbean Community is on the verge of setting up a Caribbean Community Administrative Tribunal to fill the gap exposed by the Court.

Remedies

It is apparent that the Treaty prescribes no remedies for breach of its provisions. The intention must have been to give the Court a free hand in devising remedies for breach of its provisions.

In TCL v CARICOM (No. 2) [2009] CCJ 4 (OJ); (2009) 75 WIR 194 at [38] et seq. the Court asserted that the impugned decisions to authorize suspensions of the CET on cement (both by the Secretary General and by COTED) were subject to judicial review by the Court. The court had to strike a balance. It had to be careful not to frustrate or hinder the ability of Community organs to enjoy flexibility in the management of the Community. On the other hand, the Community had to be accountable, respect the rights accorded private entities under the Treaty and should not disappoint legitimate expectations.

The Court’s power to review the decisions of COTED was limited to cases where COTED had exercised a discretion. Applications for suspensions had to be dealt with “in a principled, procedurally appropriate manner”: see TCL v CARICOM (No. 2) (2009) 75 WIR 194; [2009] CCJ (OJ) at [41].

In laying down these markers, it is clear that the Court is delineating its own legal system. The subjects of that legal system are not only the Member States but their nationals. Rights are granted expressly or indirectly because of obligations imposed by the Revised Treaty on individuals, Member States and the Community. Liability arises not by virtue of any breach at the municipal level but by virtue of a breach within the new legal system.

This is what the Court was enunciating when it declared in TCL v CARICOM (No. 1) (2009) 74 WIR 319, 328 at [32]:

“By signing and ratifying the Revised Treaty and thereby conferring on this Court ipso facto a compulsory and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine disputes concerning the interpretation and application of the Revised Treaty, the Member States transformed the erstwhile voluntary arrangements in CARICOM into a rule-based system, thus creating and accepting a regional system under the rule of law.”

Thus, the Court has held that in view of its duty to enforce the rule of law and to render the Revised Treaty effective, there was implicit in its functions a power to afford appropriate relief for those who suffered and established loss arising out of an illegal act or omission by the Community or, it seems, by a Member State: see TCL v CARICOM (No. 2) (2009) 75 WIR 194; [2009] CCJ 4 (OJ) at [43]. Not only are compensatory damages available for breach of a Treaty provision but also non-pecuniary damages: see Myrie v Barbados (No. 2) (2013) 83 WIR 104 at [100]. Coercive remedies are also available.

In TCL v Guyana (No. 2) (2009) 75 WIR 327, the Court held that although an award of damages might have been possible, proof of damages had not been established. The Court, however, made a mandatory coercive order requiring Guyana to reinstate and maintain the CET in respect of cement within 28 days of the date of the order: see order at [2009] CCJ 5 (OJ); (2009) 75 WIR 327 at [44] – [46].

Enforcement

In the Treaty, there is no provision for the enforcement of judgments of the Court. In TCL v Guyana (No. 2) (supra), Guyana failed to comply with the Court’s order to re-impose the CET fully for nearly four months. The Court in fact refused an application to vary its order or to extend the time for compliance. Guyana eventually complied fully with the Court’s order.

TCL filed a contempt application TCL v Guyana (No. 3) 76 WIR 312 seeking orders declaring the Attorney General of Guyana (who was not the government official to re-instate the CET) and a further order against Guyana pursuant to Article 215 of the Treaty. Since the Attorney-General was not responsible for implementing the order, the application for orders against him failed. Article 215 requires a Member State to comply promptly with a judgment of the Court. In view of admissions by Guyana that it was in breach the Court made the order pursuant to Article 215.

The contempt application was based on Article XXVI of the Agreement. The Agreement required Member States to take all necessary steps, including the enactment of the legislation to ensure that the Court has power to make any order for the purpose of the investigation or punishment of any contempt of court that any superior court of a Contracting Party may make.

In the first place, the concept of civil contempt with which we are here concerned is unknown to civil law countries such as Suriname and Haiti. But does the concept of civil contempt of court exist in international law? The Court held at [44] that Art. XXVI conferred no express power to entertain contempt proceedings. Secondly, it was not clear that one could extrapolate from the ad hoc international criminal tribunal cases that international courts have an inherent jurisdiction in civil contempt in non-criminal cases.

In Rudisa Beverages v Guyana (supra) the Court ordered that if the judgment creditor did not file a notice of satisfaction of the judgment by a stated time, the judgment debtor should make a report to the Court. Thereafter either side could make an appropriate application to the Court.

However, generally the underlying problem is whether a money judgment is enforceable against a State.

The role of general principles of law in Caribbean Community law

The Treaty is a creature of international law, Article 217 provides as follows:-

“The Court in exercising its original jurisdiction under Article 211 shall apply such rules of international law as may be applicable.”

In TCL v Caribbean Community (No. 1) (2009) 74 WIR 319; [2009] CCJ 2, the Court referred to Article 38(1) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, which is generally regarded as having authoritatively stated the sources of international law as:

(a) International conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules recognized by the contracting parties;

(b) International custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law;

(c) General principles of law recognized by civilized nations;

(d) Subject to the provisions of Article 59, judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations, as a subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law.

See Aust: Handbook of International Law (Cambridge) at page 6.

It is the application of general principles fashioned by the judges and general principles culled from the national legal systems of Member States to the “new legal order of international law” of the regional treaty that creates Community law as a separate system of law. The general principles of law invented by the judges are tools of interpretation and application for the protection of treaty rights of individuals and entities in the interests of the rule of law. These universal general principles referred to in the ICJ statute are in no way different from those applicable specifically to the Member States of CARICOM or to states parties to regional economic agreements.

Recourse to the general principles of law already established in recognized regional courts of justice has the potential to protect and secure treaty rights and obligations. The protection of these rights and obligations would advance economic integration by empowering Community nationals to come before the Court to seek enforcement of commitments and undertakings in the Revised Treaty. In Myrie v Barbados (No. 2) (2013) 83 WIR 104 at [77] the requirement of giving reasons to a traveller denied entry was based on the principle of accountability which forms part of Community law.

The experience of the European Court of Justice, now the CJEU indicates that the sources of such general principles of law are the national legal systems of the Member States, the EC Treaty or international agreements to which the Member States subscribe. These general principles of law are used as a means of assessing the validity of acts of Community institutions or to control abuse of their powers and to review the acts of national bodies acting within the sphere of Community law. General principles of law may also be used to fill gaps in Community law. Advocate General M. Dutheillet de Lamothe explained that the fundamental principles of national legal systems … “contribute to forming that philosophical, political and legal substratum common to the Member States from which through case law an unwritten Community law emerges, one of the essential aims of which is precisely to ensure the respect for the fundamental rights of the individual.”

General principles of law may be derived also from international law. The general principle of good faith has been held by the Court of First Instance of the ECJ (now Grand Court of the EU) to give rise to legitimate expectations in Community law: see Opel Austria v Council [1997] ECR II – 39. Further, the very doctrine of direct effect is based on an exception to the principle that states are the proper subjects of international law: see the Advisory Opinion in the Danzig Railway Officials case (1928) PCIJ, Ser B. No. 15 pp 17-18.

The judges of the ECJ filled gaps in the EC Treaty by having regard to principles of law taken from the Member States. In Cases 7/56 and 37/57 Algera et al v Assembly [1957-58] ECR 39, the European Court referred to the need to fill gaps by recourse to national laws especially rules applicable in the law of individual Member States on the issues it had to decide. Professor Hartley summarizes the position as follows:

“When the European Court creates new rules of Community law, it purports to do so on the basis of “general principles of law.” In theory, these are principles found in all or most legal systems. …The principles thus “discovered” by the court are not always found in a majority or even any of the legal systems of the Member States. When it wants to create a new legal rule, the European Court certainly looks at the legal systems of the Member States. However, it does not regard itself as bound to adopt the majority view. Once it has informed itself of possible solutions, it considers itself free to fashion the rule it regards as most appropriate to the needs of the Community.”

The Caribbean Court of Justice arrived at broadly similar conclusions in the special leave application of TCL v Caribbean Community (No. 1) (2009) 74 WIR 319; [2009] CCJ 2(OJ) at [41].

“[41] …This Court may take into account the principles and concepts common to the laws of Member States. The search is for general principles of law common to Member States. It is sufficient if the general principle is widely accepted: see the opinion of Advocate General Sir Gordon Slynn in AM & S Europe Ltd. v Commission and of the ECJ. If the general principle is widely accepted throughout the Community and relevant it may become part of Community law. These are tests that will have to be applied if this Court is asked to strike down the decisions authorizing suspension of the CET on grounds that derive from the domestic law applicable to judicial review in common law jurisdictions”.

In this way national law might be introduced and made into a Community blend.

In the area of remedies two judge-made principles are apparent: the principle of effectiveness and the right to protection of Community rights. In TCL and TCL Guyana Incorporated v Guyana [2009] CCJ 5 (OJ), the Caribbean Court accepted the doctrine of State liability for breach of Community obligations based on these two principles.

The Court has recognized the rule that general principles of law drawn from national legal systems or deriving from the provisions of the Treaty will apply in Community law. It has not used all the ammunition potentially at its disposal since the opportunity has not arisen, but a trend has begun.

Outlook

1. Although the CCJ is anxious to carry out its mandate, questions have been raised in academic circles about the propriety of a court approaching cases before it with a

preconceived mission or agenda that it must provide an answer that promotes regional integration. Does that affect the impartiality and independence of the CCJ? A good antecedent for having just such an agenda is the European Court of Justice: see Van Gend en Loos (supra) and Costa v Enel (supra).

2. I am concerned that the concept of the CSME of which the CCJ is an essential part has been virtually mothballed. CARICOM has a net food import bill of U.S.$ 4.75 billion. The Jamaica number is US$1 billion; the Trinidad and Tobago number is US$950 million. Yet I know of no plan to pool the resources of Guyana, Suriname and Belize, with their large expanse of fertile land and fresh water resources and to enable CARICOM to be at least self-sufficient in food. One cannot assume that because no cases have come to the Court on food security for the Caribbean that there is none in place.

The trend of cases before the Court is increasingly towards international human rights law and away from the grand economic design of the CSME.

3. Article 214 empowers national courts to refer matters concerning the interpretation and application of the Revised Treaty, but it seems unlikely that either counsel or judges would assert jurisdiction over such a matter because those very matters are within the compulsory and exclusive jurisdiction of the Court and there is no national provision that gives the domestic court such jurisdiction. Section 214 therefore needs to be re-considered. The same for Article 222.

4. There still is no supranational Commission like the one in the EU to bring cases to court and to police and enforce the Revised Treaty. In any event, many Constitutions say that their Constitution is supreme. Does that mean superior to Community law? Further, “decisions of competent organs” still are “subject to the relevant constitutional procedures of Member States before creating legally binding rights and obligations for nationals of such States”: see Article 240 and Myrie v Barbados (No. 2) (2013) 81 WIR 104 at [52] – [55] where the CCJ wrestled with this difficult Article.

5. Of even more concern is the Protocol to the Revised Treaty of 2005. It requires the following insertion in the Revised Treaty Article 222 (bis):

“The provisions regarding the original jurisdiction set out in this Chapter shall not be construed to require a Contracting Party to enact legislation that is inconsistent with its constitutional structure or the nature of its legal systems”

These provisions raise issues of direct effect and the relationship between national law and Community law. Such problems can easily be resolved by amending the Revised Treaty.

 

6. Yet there is hope.

Kirkham reminds us that:

“… for many writers it was not the Commission that was the real driving force behind the EEC in its formative years but the Court of Justice of the European Community.”

It is hoped that the Caribbean Court of Justice would achieve similar success in building and strengthening Caribbean economic integration.

 

 

Rolston F. Nelson

June 22, 2015

Presentation for the CARICOM Forum

Antigua

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