The Caribbean Court OF Justice- Belize’s Final Court of Appeal
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) was established in 2001 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. It has two jurisdictions: An original jurisdiction and an appellate jurisdiction. In its original jurisdiction, the CCJ is an international court with compulsory and exclusive jurisdiction in respect of interpretation and application of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas in its appellate. Jurisdiction, the CCJ hears appeals as the final court both in Civil and Criminal matters. Member states who have acceded to it as their final court as of 2011 are Barbados, Belize and Guyana( Prior to the CCJ, Belize’s final court was the British Privy Council)
In 2009, a constitutional amendment was introduced in the Legislature of Belize providing for its accession to the appellate jurisdiction of the CCJ with effect from June 1, 2010.
This legislation is the Caribbean Court of Justice Act No 5 of 2010 which sets out the guidelines and procedures of the Court as it pertains to Belize as our final court.
In concluding permission to appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice is required and this is sought for from the Belize Court of Appeal. Some appeals are as of right and the legislation stipulates the determination of these. In the granting of leave to appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice there are certain conditions which are required to be met and the Court stipulates these in accordance with the legislation.