Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is a superior court of record for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS),[1] including six independent states: Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and three British Overseas Territories (Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, and Montserrat). It has unlimited jurisdiction in each member State.

History

The ECSC was established in 1967 by the West Indies Associated States Supreme Court Order No. 223 of 1967. In relation to Grenada, the Court is styled "the Supreme Court of Grenada and the West Indies Associated States". See section 105 of the Grenada Constitution.

Functions

The functions of the ECSC are as follows:

  • To interpret and apply the laws of the various member states of the OECS;
  • To decide cases of both civil and criminal matters;
  • To hear appeals.

Appeals from the ECSC

Appeals from the ECSC can be lodged in defined cases to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in the United Kingdom (in cases from Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines , Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, and Montserrat) or the Caribbean Court of Justice in Trinidad and Tobago (for cases from Dominica).

Composition

Judges

To be a judge or master of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, a person must have served as a judge in a Commonwealth jurisdiction or be qualified to act as a lawyer in a Commonwealth jurisdiction. An appointee does not need to be a national, judge, or lawyer of a country within the jurisdiction of the Court. The Chief Justice is appointed by the Queen by Letters Patent. Other judges are appointed on behalf of the Queen by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission.

High Court Judges and Masters are assigned to reside in and hear cases from a specific member state. It is common for judges to be asked to work in countries other than their home state. Judges are only occasionally assigned to reside in Montserrat and Anguilla—because of the small population of these countries, judges from the other jurisdictions hear cases that arise from these two jurisdictions. The Court of Appeal is itinerant and travels to the various countries to hear appeals.

Judges have life tenure but Justices of Appeal must retire when they are 65 and High Court Judges must retire when they are 62. Extensions of up to three years may be granted by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission only if all of the states agree to such an extension.

Current composition

NameAssigned stateHome statePositionAppointed to current position
Janice PereiraCourt of Appeal: All states British Virgin IslandsChief Justice2012
Davidson BaptisteCourt of Appeal: All states DominicaJustice of Appeal2009
Don MitchellCourt of Appeal: All states Saint Kitts and NevisJustice of Appeal2011
Louise BlenmanCourt of Appeal: All states GuyanaJustice of Appeal2012
Mario MichelCourt of Appeal: All states Saint LuciaJustice of Appeal2012
Frederick Victor Bruce-Lyle Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ghana /  Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesHigh Court Judge1999
Francis Belle Saint Lucia BarbadosHigh Court Judge2004
Clare Henry Grenada Antigua and BarbudaHigh Court Judge2004
Gertel Thom Saint Vincent and the Grenadines GuyanaHigh Court Judge2005
Ianthea Leigertwood-Octave Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesHigh Court Judge2007
Brian Cottle Dominica Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesHigh Court Judge2007
Francis Mortimer Cumberbatch Saint Lucia GuyanaHigh Court Judge2007
Albert Redhead British Virgin Islands GrenadaHigh Court Judge2007
Jennifer Remy Antigua and Barbuda Saint LuciaHigh Court Judge2007
Ephraim Francis Georges Saint Lucia DominicaHigh Court Judge2008
Barry Leon British Virgin Islands CanadaHigh Court Judge2015
M. E. Birnie Stephenson-Brooks Dominica GuyanaHigh Court Judge2009
Margaret Price Finlay Grenada Trinidad and TobagoHigh Court Judge2009
Errol Thomas Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesHigh Court Judge2009
Rosalyn E. Wilkinson Saint Lucia GrenadaHigh Court Judge2009
Vicki Ann Ellis British Virgin Islands Saint LuciaHigh Court Judge2012
Keith Thom Antigua and Barbuda GuyanaHigh Court Judge2012
Iain Morley QC Montserrat EnglandHigh Court Judge2016
Cheryl Mathurin Antigua and Barbuda EnglandMaster2002
Pearletta Lanns Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and NevisMaster2007
Vivian Georgis Esterlina Taylor-Alexander Saint Lucia Saint LuciaMaster2011

Chief Justices

NameHome stateDates
Allen Montgomery Lewis Saint Lucia1967–72
P. Cecil Lewis (acting)1972–75
Maurice Davis Saint Kitts and Nevis1975–80
Neville Peterkin Grenada1981–83
Neville Berridge (acting) Saint Kitts and Nevis1983–84
Lascelles Robotham Jamaica1984–91
Vincent Floissac Saint Lucia1991–96
Charles Michael Dennis Byron Saint Kitts and Nevis1996–2004 (acting 1996–99)
Adrian Saunders (acting) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines2004–05
Brian George Keith Alleyne (acting) Dominica2005–08
Hugh Anthony Rawlins Saint Kitts and Nevis2008–12
Janice Pereira British Virgin Islands2012–

Location

The Headquarters of the ECSC is in Castries, Saint Lucia, where it is located on the second floor of the Heraldine Rock Building, Block B, on the Waterfront. The building houses the Justices of Appeal’s chambers, the Court of Appeal Registry, the Judicial Education Institute, Library, and the Administrative Services.

In addition, there are Court Offices in the nine Member States, which house the chambers of the High Court Judges and the offices of the High Court Registry. Each High Court Registry is headed by a legally trained Registrar who provides the necessary administrative and legal support for the functioning of the High Court.

See also

References

  1. John Hatchard (ed.) Directory of Commonwealth Law Schools 2003-2004. Cavendish Publishing. 2003. ISBN 1-85941-758-2; page 122.


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