ABEC begins preparations for referendum on CCJ

Chairman of the National Coordinating Committee Dr Clarence Henry (NAO photo)
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The Antigua & Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) said it is making preparations to facilitate the vote which will determine whether or not the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) replaces the Privy Council as the nation’s final court of appeal.

To replace the Privy Council with the CCJ, however, would require a constitutional change, which would have to be approved by voters in a referendum.

Said referendum is expected to be conducted later this year.

Chairman of ABEC, Nathaniel Paddy James said a constitutional expert from Grenada is currently drafting the rules for the referendum which will be conducted similarly to a general election.

“There is a provision in the Referendum Act which allows for the making of rules by the minister, which is the prime minister,” James said. “They are being drafted and will be looked at and will eventually go to Parliament for ratification.”

James said this is expected to be done in “short order”.

In the meantime, the National Coordinating Committee (NCC) will spearhead a public education campaign aimed at sensitising residents about the Trinidad-based CCJ.

(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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