Two Caribbean countries vote on a colonial court

IN THE IMPERIAL-ERA splendour of Middlesex Guildhall, near Britain’s Parliament, five judges sitting as the judicial committee of Her Majesty’s Privy Council will hear a case this month involving a traffic accident in Antigua in 2011. Antigua & Barbuda is one of eight Caribbean countries that still use the Privy Council as their highest court of appeal, as do overseas territories like the Cayman Islands, crown dependencies such as Jersey and the ecclesiastical Arches Court of Canterbury.

The traffic case, Meyer v Baynes, may be one of the last from Antigua to be heard by the Privy Council. On November 6th voters in Antigua & Barbuda and in Grenada will decide whether to adopt as their supreme court the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), a 13-year-old tribunal housed in a glass edifice in…

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