CCJ Updates Its OJ And AJ Procedural Rules

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Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago – On Friday, 24th May 2024, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) updated its 2024 Procedural Appellate Jurisdiction (AJ) and Original Jurisdiction (OJ) Rules. This latest revision was facilitated by the CCJ Rules Committee, which was chaired by the Hon. Mr Justice Denys Barrow in the stead of the late the Hon. Mr Justice Jacob Wit.

The Committee comprised Judges and staff from various Units and Departments across the Court, the Rules Committee completed the review of the CCJ Court Rules 2021 after a process, which was initiated in April 2023. Since the last Rules review, members of the Registry Unit documented issues that would have surfaced in the administration of hearings in both the original and appellate jurisdictions to bring to the consultation process. These submissions originated from internal and external sources and were integral to the realisation of the review.

In both sets of Rules, the Court confirmed changes to Practice Direction 2 of 2024 for online hearings to reflect circumstances outside of the COVID-19 pandemic and inserted new Practice Directions 3-5 of 2024. In both sets of Rules, the Court recognised the importance of having Rules which reflected gender neutral language. Other major amendments included clarification of the ‘clear day’ rule in Part 6.2 and further specification of case management powers for Judges and a single judge.

Specifically for the AJ Rules, there was an amendment to guide the filing of speaking notes and the tables to account for Saint Lucia’s accession to the AJ.

The submissions from all stakeholders contributed to a comprehensive review of both the Appellate and Original Jurisdiction Rules. The new Rules ensure that as the number of cases filed increases, the Court will continue to fulfil its overriding objective to be accessible, fair, and efficient and that unnecessary disputes over procedural matters are discouraged.

The 2024 AJ and OJ Rules are available at https://ccj.org/rules/.

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