People call for a unified legal system in the Caribbean: Survey Report  

Locals across the Caribbean have now started being vocal about the judicial independence of the region, coupled with significant support for the role of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

People call for a unified legal system in the Caribbean: Survey Report  
People call for a unified legal system in the Caribbean: Survey Report  

Caribbean: Locals across the Caribbean have now started being vocal about the judicial independence of the region, coupled with significant support for the role of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). 

Recently, following a widespread dialogue, Associates Times carried out a special survey, interviewing the locals of Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia. As part of the findings, people said that there should be a unified legal system in the region. 

Notably, the legal system in the Caribbean region has been running through two primary aspects, some states rely upon the Caribbean Court of Justice, while some are still under the United Kingdom’s Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for their civil and criminal matters.  

 Saint Lucia made a landmark move, recognizing the Caribbean Court of Justice as its final appellate court in August 2023. The development received widespread commendation from locals, who are now urging other Caribbean countries to follow suit.  

The support reflects a growing sentiment for regional unity and judicial independence, reinforcing the CCJ’s role as a significant institution in the Caribbean’s legal landscape. The locals from Saint Lucia appreciated the government for their decision and cited that the independent court would enhance their judicial system.  

In the survey, locals voiced in favour of the centralized legal system of the Caribbean, arguing that the court would bring consistency and fairness across all the nations. They exhibited full confidence in the central court and said that it would strengthen the judicial framework of the region.  

Many expressed that the CCJ will play a crucial role in reinforcing regional unity and enhancing the rule of law throughout the region. The sense of unity, the worthiness of the independent judicial system, and the elimination of inconsistencies are major factors in driving the locals to showcase their support for the unified legal framework.  

The survey further outlined that the entire scenario has also led the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis to back the decision of Saint Lucia to adopt CCJ. A local shop owner from St Kitts and Nevis added that this will enhance the legal standards across the Caribbean region.  

A resident of Saint Lucia Nicholas Charles added, “The Caribbean Court of Justice will mark our regional unity and enhance the judicial system in the region. With this, we will become able to solve big cases timely and effectively, ensuring that all citizens get justice. We call upon the governments of sister islands including Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis and others to follow the w the foot steps of Saint Lucia and adopt CCJ as the final appellate court as it would foster the trust and authenticness about the judicial system among the public of the Caribbean region.”  

Another resident from Antigua and Barbuda- Anna Joseph also expressed full confidence in the CCJ. She said implementation of a unified legal system will efficiently help in eliminating discrepancies and inconsistencies region wide. 

Another from Antigua and Barbuda demanded that the government should also take steps to adopt the centralized system and said that the diverse legal system is full of chaos, but the unified system will work for fairness and foster the rule of law. He added that the trust in the judicial system will also be increased with the CCJ as it will offer equal treatment for all citizens, irrespective of their national origin.  

A local restauranteur named Joseph Macburd from St Kitts and Nevis noted that the Caribbean needs a court that truly understands the region’s culture and legal nuances and provides effective solutions to their problems. He said that people like him who are from the middle and small class trust the judiciary the most, so the court which is run independently by the region will provide them with a great solution.  

The result of the survey has backed the unified framework of the legal system in the Caribbean region which also appealed to other countries to officially join CCJ. The residents are urging their respective governments to join the court, reflecting a recognition of the benefits associated with a unified judicial system.  

Further, the locals from Saint Lucia also appreciated their government and said that the court will resolve disputes based on a shared understanding of Caribbean values and legal traditions. One added that now they won’t rely on external institutions anymore which is essential for the development of a robust legal system in the country.  

The voice of the locals in favour of judicial independence demonstrated a collective desire for great legal consistency, fairness, and unity across the Caribbean, as per the survey of Associates Times.