Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, is appealing to Dominicans to put aside political concerns and embrace the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
On Friday Dominica will officially mark its ascension to the CCJ as it final appellate court at a ceremony to be held at the State House.
It will replace the London-based Privy Council.
“I think that we have to set aside our political considerations,” the Prime Minister said. “We have to set aside this view that we in the Caribbean and our own people do not have the maturity, the intellect, the knowledge, the competence to do things for ourselves.”
Skerrit is also questioning the reason why many think that “people who do not know us” serve the Caribbean better.
“Why is it that we always believe that we are better served by people who do not know us and do not understand our society?” he asked. “The Privy Council has itself said to us that they are elongated with matters from their own jurisdiction, the United Kingdom, and they have been encouraging us to create our courts and this is what we sought to do, and this is what we have done.”
He noted that, among advantages, there will be greate access to the court by ordinary citizens and they will get the feeling that justice was served.
He said many people would like to go to the Privy Council but have been unable to do so, unlike the CCJ which based in Trinidad.
“It has made it very, very easy for any Dominican to have access to the courts which would give them some kind of finality in respect to justice and justice being served,” the Prime Minister said.
The CCJ was established in 2001 and has two jurisdictions.
The first one, the original jurisdiction, gives the CCJ the exclusive right to interpret the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which established CARICOM.
The other, the appellate jurisdiction, serves as a last resort for criminal and civil matters.
Most Caribbean countries have signed up to the original jurisdiction but only four, Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Dominica have signed up to the appellate jurisdiction.
Dominica approved the bill to make the CCJ its final appellate court in July 2014.