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A Brief History of Caricom

A Brief History of CARICOM Retrieved from: http://csmenetwork. com/2/caricom-cd/General%20CARICOM%20Info/history2. htm CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) The decision, in 1989, to establish the CSME was a move to deepen the integration movement to better respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by globalisation. Preparations for the establishment of the CSME included the negotiation of nine Protocols to amend the Treaty.

These nine Protocols were later combined to create a new version of the Treaty, called formally, The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas Establishing the Caribbean Community, including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy which was signed in 2001. The main objectives of the CSME are: full use of labour; full exploitation of the other factors of production; competitive production leading to greater variety; quality and quantity of goods and services, thereby providing greater capacity to trade with other countries.

On 1 January 2006, the Single Market component of the CSME came into being, involving Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. The other Member States except The Bahamas and Haiti, which had not signified their intention to participate in the CSME, and Montserrat – a British Dependency, which must await the necessary instrument of entrustment from the United Kingdom – became part of the Single Market in July 2006. The framework for the Single Economy component of the CSME is expected to be in place by 2008. Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) The idea of a Caribbean Supreme Court is not a new one.

From as early as the beginning of the 20th century, opinions were being expressed in support of such a court and at a meeting in 1947, West Indian governors reflected on the need for a West Indian Court of Appeal. Since then, at varying intervals suggestions were made for such a supreme court. At the 12th Inter-Sessional Meeting of The Conference in 2001, Bridgetown, Barbados, the Heads of Government signed the agreement for the establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), emphasising the central role of the Court in providing legal certainty to the operations of the CSME.

The CCJ is structured to have two jurisdictions – an original and an appellate. In its original jurisdiction, the Court is an international tribunal with compulsory and exclusive jurisdiction for the interpretation and application for the Revised Treaty. In this regard it is tasked with the responsibility to hear and deliver judgment on: •Disputes arising between Contracting Parties to the Agreement; •Disputes between contracting parties and the Community; •Disputes between community nationals, contracting parties, Community institutions, or between nationals themselves.

In the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, the CCJ considers and determine appeals in both civil and criminal matters from courts within the jurisdiction of Member States. The CCJ mission is “the Caribbean Court of Justice shall perform to the highest standards as the supreme judicial organ in the Caribbean Community. In its original jurisdiction it ensures uniform interpretation and application of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, thereby underpinning and advancing the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

As the final court of appeal for member states of the Caribbean Community it fosters the development of an indigenous Caribbean jurisprudence”. The Court was inaugurated on 16 April 2005 in Trinidad and Tobago where its headquarters is located. Charter of Civil Society Heads of Government at its Special Meeting in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in October 1992, adopted the recommendation of the West Indian Commission that a Charter of Civil Society be subscribed to by Member States of the Community.

In executing the directives from Heads of Government, the Inter-Governmental Task Force drafted a document that was refined by Ministers of Legal affairs and adopted by Heads of Government at their Eighth Inter-Sessional Meeting in 1997, St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda. Although member states are not legally bound by the provisions of the Charter, it sets out the principles that are intended to convert concepts such as good governance; fundamental human rights and freedoms and respect for cultural and religious diversity.

Consensus of Chaguaramas The 1999 Special Session of Heads of Government was held at Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago. The theme of this meeting was ‘Concluding the 20th Century/Commencing the 21st ‘ and its specific focus was ‘A Vision for the Community in the Early Twenty-first Century’ as well as ‘Strengthening the Community’s Institutions’. To help shape this vision Heads issued the Consensus of Chaguaramas – a document setting out initiatives critical for moving the Community purposefully into the new millennium.

They include: •Establishing a Quasi-Cabinet; •The introduction of a CARICOM passport; •Greater involvement of civil society in the integration process; •Involvement of opposition parties in the integration process; and •Review of the structure and functioning of community institutions. Quasi-Cabinet Heads agreed to constitute a quasi-cabinet with individual Heads having responsibility for critical portfolios. These are: •SERVICES (including Information Technology and Telecommunications) – Antigua and Barbuda TOURISM (including Land, Cruise, Suva Partnership Agreement provisions etc. – The Bahamas •SINGLE MARKET AND ECONOMY (Including Monetary Union) – Barbados •SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (including Environment and Disaster Management) and Water*) – Belize •LABOUR (including intra-community movement of skills) – Dominica •SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY – Grenada •AGRICULTURE, AGRICULTURAL DIVERSIFICATION AND FOOD SECURITY (including the Regional Transportation Programme for Agriculture (RTP)) – Guyana EXTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS – Jamaica •HEALTH (including HIV/AIDS) AND HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT – St. Kitts and Nevis •JUSTICE AND GOVERNANCE – Saint Lucia •BANANAS AND AIR TRANSPORTATION – St. Vincent and the Grenadines •COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND CULTURAL CO-OPERATION (including Culture, Gender, Youth and Sport) – Suriname •SECURITY (Drugs and Illicit Arms; and Energy) – Trinidad and Tobago *Montserrat will work closely with Belize given its special interest in Disaster Management.

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