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CCJ ISSUES RECORD NUMBER OF JUDGMENTS IN 2018

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Caption: The full bench of the CCJ sat at the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda for the special sitting in honour of retiring President, the Rt Hon Sir Dennis Byron. The President-Designate of the CCJ lauded the retiring President saying that the region benefitted from, “Sir Dennis’ boundless enthusiasm and indefatigable zeal, his visioning and careful planning, his bold leadership, his rapid absorption of new ideas and international best practices, and the adoption by him of creative and effective methods of overcoming formidable obstacles”.

 

 

Port of Spain, Trinidad. During 2018, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) issued 34 judgments

and reasons for decision, its highest number of judgments delivered in a calendar year since it

began its operations in 2005. Throughout that period, the CCJ also heard 28 new matters in both

its Original and its Appellate Jurisdictions. This court term ends on Monday, the 17th of December

and the Court’s last hearing for the year was a case from Barbados, heard on December 5th. This

matter was the appeal of Mr. Renaldo Alleyne who was convicted of manslaughter after 6 young

women died when the Campus Trendz Mall was firebombed during a robbery in 2010. Mr. Alleyne

had been sentenced to six concurrent life sentences. The hearing was broadcast live, as are all the

hearings from the Court.

Although the Court will be on hiatus, this does not mean the judges and staff are without work.

During this period, the judicial officers prepare for upcoming cases and hold case management

conferences on current matters. Judicial reform work also continues during this period. The CCJ

Academy for Law, for example, will be staging its 5th Biennial Conference, in partnership with

the General Legal Council, from December 13 to 15, 2018 in Kingston Jamaica.

The Conference is being presented with the support of the Judicial Reform and Institutional

Strengthening (JURIST) Project, the Caribbean Development Bank, CaribExport and Scotiabank

Jamaica and will feature over 50 international and local speakers. The President of the Court, the

Hon. Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders is giving a keynote address and the Hon. Mr. Justice Denys

Barrow is presenting a paper on ‘Judicial Delay as Misbehaviour’. Other judges and staff of the

CCJ are on the organising committee of the 3-day event. Information on the Conference can be

accessed at ccjacademy.org.

During the Conference, the Jurist Project will be launching a Criminal Bench Book for Magistrates

and Parish Court Judges. The Bench Book provides guidelines, based on best practices gleaned

from courts and judicial officers throughout the region. The Bench Book will be an excellent

resource document for judges and magistrates and will provide a template for judiciaries to adapt

for their unique situations.

Additionally, the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers, UN Women and the JURIST Project

collaborated earlier this year to launch a Gender Protocol template which the Judicial Education

Institute of Trinidad and Tobago (JEITT) has developed for use by Judicial Officers in Trinidad

and Tobago. The JEITT launched the Trinidad and Tobago Gender Protocol on 27 November

2018.

The CCJ is also preparing to launch its second Strategic Plan early next year. The new Plan will

cover the period 2019-2023. The Plan will include updated vision and mission statements as well

as new core values for the 13-year-old organisation. The Court’s units are currently preparing work

plans, which will be broken down to work plans for each CCJ employee, to align with the Court’s

overall strategic plan.

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