Antigua prepares for CCJ referendum

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Antiguans & Barbudans will vote in a referendum to determine whether the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), should replace the London-based Privy Council as the country’s final court of appeal, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has announced.

Browne, who took over the chairmanship of CARICOM on Tuesday, gave the commitment while delivering his maiden speech at the start of the Thirty-Fifth Regular Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community.

“We can never be truly independent in the region while our final appellate court is the court of our former colonial masters,” Browne told the gathering at Sandals Grande Antigua resort in Dickenson Bay.

The chairman said while government was happy for the role played by the Privy Council over the years, he would move to hold “as soon as practicable” a referendum as mandated by the constitution.

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