CCJ draft leg­is­la­tion to be tabled in par­lia­ment

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

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.

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