Come February, Dominica will be joining Belize, Guyana and Barbados in making the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) its final appellate court.
This means that the island will be cutting all ties with the London-based Privy Council.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, on state-owned DBS Radio on Monday evening.
He said presently there are some administrative matters being worked out as the move is being finalized.
“There are some administrative matters that we would have to take into consideration but we expect the court to come into full effect for Dominica by early February 2015,” Skerrit stated.
He said the move is a momentous opportunity for the country.
“Certainly, as we indicated last year, this is one of the historic opportunities for Dominica and it would mean that allowing our ordinary citizens to have greater access to the judiciary system,” he said. “So we are very keen on seeing the operationalization of the court in its final jurisdiction for the Commonwealth of Dominica.”
In January of 2014, Dominica received approval from Britain to leave the Privy Council and join the CCJ as its final court of appeal and the matter was ratified in Parliament on July 1.
Dominica is now the fourth country in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to sign on to both the appellate and original jurisdiction of the CCJ that was established in 2001.
The CCJ also acts as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that established the Caribbean Community.