CCJ draft legislation to be tabled in parliament
Two pieces of draft legislation that will allow for the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to be adopted in Antigua & Barbuda will be presented to Attorney General Steadroy Cutie Benjamin by next Wednesday.
Advisor of the Constitution Reform Committee for Antigua & Barbuda, Dr Francis Alexis QC said at least two of three legislative amendments will go before parliament for adoption.
“The Honourable Attorney General will have in his hand, not later than Wednesday next week, the first two, namely the Constitution Amendment Bill – to delete references in the Constitution and the Supreme Court Order to the Privy Council – Her Majesty in Council – and to substitute for them references to the CCJ; and the Constitutional Referendum Act.”
According to Dr Alexis, these two Bills, as well as the Representation of the People Act, are compulsory if Antigua & Barbuda is seeking to move forward with the referendum that will instruct whether government can replace the Privy Council in London with the CCJ.
The draft will seek to make the Constitutional Amendment Bill an Act, as well as modify the Representation of the People Act and the Referendum Act to suit the purposes of a referendum.
The constitutional expert explained that while there is a Referendum Act in the law books of Antigua & Barbuda, it is not appropriate to fit the needs of the Constitution.
He explained further that the Constitutional Amendment Bill has to be made an Act, in order to change the provisions and the Supreme Court Order, which provides for appeals from Antigua & Barbuda to reflect the CCJ Constitution.
At the same time, Dr Alexis made it clear that he is not here “to tell people what to do” but is simply sharing his experience.
Advisor of the Constitution Reform
Committee for Antigua & Barbuda, Dr Francis Alexis QC.