CCJ Headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad

Both Antigua and Grenada are to hold referendums on November 6 to decide if they should join the Caribbean Court of Justice. While this is Grenada’s second referendum this will be Antigua’s first on the matter. Grenada rejected the option of joining the CCJ in its first referendum in 2016 in which other items were  also included on the ballot.

On November 6, Grenada and Antigua are likely to include only this one item, – to decide the final court of appeal for their respective countries.

The current final appeal court for these two countries and most of English-speaking Caribbean is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council based in London. Relying on the Privy Council as a final court of appeal has become something of a tradition among these states – a practice predating independence.

Since the establishment of the Trinidad based Caribbean Court of Justice in 2003 countries have slowly been adopting the court as their final appellate court. Dominica, Guyana, Belize and Barbados have already adopted the CCJ as their final court.

In order to do the same, Grenada and Antigua require a two-thirds majority from their referendums. This will allow for the necessary changes to be made to their constitutions.