by Linda Straker
- PM Mitchell confirms second referendum for Grenada to make the Caribbean Court of Justice its final appellate court
- At present, the process is being spearheaded by Attorney General Dr Lawrence Joseph
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell has confirmed that Grenada will hold a second referendum before the end of 2018 to get the approval of the citizens for Grenada to make the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) its final appellate court.
The CCJ and Other Justice related matters Bill was among 7 which failed to receive the adequate number of votes in the 27 November 2016 referendum. Grenadians voted against the CCJ by a margin of 9,492 in favour with 12,434 against.
Dr Mitchell said then that he regretted the defeat for the CCJ, noting that he should have done more to encourage voters to accept the CCJ as the island deepens its political independence from Britain.
In his first news conference since winning the 13 March General Elections, Dr Mitchell said that his cabinet has decided to re-open the discussion on Grenada joining the CCJ because it’s an important regional institution impacting on the lives people in the region.
“The CCJ is not just about Grenada alone, it’s about the Caribbean man and woman, and we felt it defines us as a people more than any other bill on the table. The other was more specific to Grenada, and Grenada is part of a wider family, the Caribbean family and it makes sense that the wider family must get its act together, and therefore we felt that the CCJ must be the first one to bring back before the people,” he said.
He believes that 2016 referendum had too many bills and this might have confused the people.
A chairman for the committee is yet to be decided on, but at present, the process is being spearheaded by Attorney General Dr Lawrence Joseph. Dr Mitchell said that in the coming weeks a chairman and the committee would be named. The former committee was headed by Dr Francis Alexis, constitutional lawyer and a former attorney general.
Dr Mitchell further indicated that the timeframe he is the last quarter of 2018.