St. Lucia: A Strategic Plan has been put in place for the realization of the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening Project geared at the Harmonization of the Magistracy Project for the OECS countries.
The meeting in St. Lucia on 18th January 2016, brought together Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines Attorneys General, the Hon. Steadroy Cutie Benjamin and Hon. Judith Stephanie Jones-Morgan, President of the Caribbean Court of Justice Sir. Dennis Byran, Director General of the OECS Didacus Jules and Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Dame Janice Pereira.
Members discussed the way forward as they plan to formulate a model under which each member state can become harmonized under the magistracy and jurisdiction of the Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. They all agreed that a plan of activities will be developed and circulated among members for review and discussion followed by a subsequent approval during their next meeting.
So far Antigua and Barbuda along with St. Vincent and the Grenadines are the only two islands that have signed on to the ratification of the Eastern Caribbean Magistrates Agreement and both countries will be used as models for other islands to emulate.
Both leading countries will be given the additional financial support through sponsorship to further develop the whole concept of integrating the magistracy in the region.
The formulation of the Judicial Legal Service Commission was also discussed at the one day meeting in St. Lucia. This would see the removal of all magistrates and court staff from the public service commission.
The overall aim of the meeting was to outline plans and set deadlines by which all countries within the OECS can be governed under one legal regime.
Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda the Hon. Steadroy Cutie Benjamin said the process is very important for the integration of magistracy under the control of the supreme court with overall direction by the chief justice.
In Minister Benjamin’s view it will further enhance, judicial protection and conduct in a unified manner in the sub region, which is mostly welcomed by Antigua and Barbuda.