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Debate on CCJ Bills Begins December 3

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Debate on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Bills will begin in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, December 3.

This was disclosed by Leader of Government Business in the Lower House and Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, during Tuesday’s (November 26) sitting of the House. The Government is seeking to adopt the CCJ as Jamaica’s final appellate court.

The Bills to be debated are: An Act to Amend the Judicature (Appellate Jurisdiction) Act, which seeks to amend the Judicature (Appellate Jurisdiction) Act, to repeal provisions for appeals to the Privy Council, and exclude any appeals to the Privy Council instituted prior to implementation of the CCJ; An Act to Amend the Constitution of Jamaica, to amend section 110 of the Constitution to repeal provisions relating to appeals to the Privy Council and replace them with provisions establishing the CCJ as Jamaica’s final court; and An Act to make provisions for the implementation of the agreement establishing the CCJ as both a court of original jurisdiction, to determine cases involving the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and International treaties, as well as a superior court of record with appellate jurisdiction.

After the Bills have been debated in the Lower House, there is a time period of three months before a vote can be taken.

Addressing members of the media after the sitting of the Senate on October 4, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator A.J. Nicholson, said the Opposition’s support is needed to pass the Bills. The Government needs two-thirds majority vote in both Houses of Parliament.

“It means that we have to attempt to and hope to succeed in convincing some of the Opposition Senators that this is the way to go. It would be very good if all Senators and all members of the Lower House vote in favour,” he stated.

The Opposition has been calling for a referendum to determine Jamaica’s full accession to the CCJ.

By Latonya Linton

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