Caribbean islanders to vote on court system


AFPST. JOHN’S (AFP-Jiji) — Voters in two Caribbean countries long independent from Britain will wrestle with thorny issues of fairness and sovereignty on Tuesday as they go to the polls to decide whether to keep a London-based body as their final court of appeals or embrace a court much closer to home.

Although the sun set long ago on British rule across most of the region, many English-speaking islands retain the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC), which traces its roots to the Middle Ages, as the final word in the administration of justice.

The upcoming constitutional referendums in Antigua and Barbuda and in Grenada will gauge public consensus on officially adopting the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) instead. They require a two-thirds majority to pass.

The…

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