New York – Stating that it is time to change the country’s constitution in ensuring that it lives up to present day, Grenada says it is ready to join the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final court of appeal.
“We’re saying that it’s time for our own court to handle our destiny,” Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Elvin Nimrod, told a town hall meeting at Mahalia Jackson Intermediate School in Brooklyn on Sunday night, disclosing that the country’s Constitutional Reform Commission is expected to be “looking at the CCJ.”
“Some people say they’re afraid (about joining the CCJ),” added Nimrod, who is also deputy prime minister. He was flanked by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, Health Minister Dr. Clarice Modeste, and government advisor and former Foreign Affairs and Tourism Minister Peter David.
“The (British) Privy Council is telling us that it’s time for us to have our own wings to fly,” continued Nimrod, who was part of a Grenada delegation visiting New York on the first leg of a three-city tour of North America. The delegation, led by Mitchell, is also expected to visit Toronto and Montreal.
“We have an obligation for our own country to have the CCJ determine our own destiny,” Nimrod said.
He said that the incumbent New National Party (NNP) also wants the proposed Constitutional Reform Commission to insert “the name of Carriacou and Petit Martinique on our national passport.
“We have Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Great Britain and Ireland, what is the reason why we can’t accept Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique? Nimrod asked rhetorically.
Over the years, there has been intense debate in the region over allowing the CCJ as the final court of appeal.
The CCJ, which was established in 2001 in Port-of- Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, has two jurisdictions: An original jurisdiction and an appellate jurisdiction.
In its original jurisdiction, the CCJ is an international court with compulsory and exclusive jurisdiction in respect of interpretation and application of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
In its appellate jurisdiction, the CCJ hears appeals as the final court – both in civil and criminal matters.
Member states, which have acceded to it as their final court, as of 2011, are Barbados, Belize and Guyana.