Why can’t the Member States of CARICOM agree to have the Treaty of Chaguaramas interpreted and applied in some way other than the CCJ? The Treaty of Chaguaramas has existed for more than twenty-five years without a Court. What is all this fuss now about the need for a Caribbean Court to interpret and apply the Treaty?

The old Treaty of Chaguaramas provided for arbitration in the event of disputes concerning the interpretation and application of the Treaty. Unfortunately, however, the arbitral procedure was never used and serious disputes were never settled, thereby causing the integration movement to be hampered. Moreover, the rights and obligations created by the CSME are so important and extensive, relating to the establishment of economic enterprises, the provision of professional services, the movement of capital, the acquisition of land for the operation of businesses, that there is a clear need to have a permanent, central, regional, institution to authoritatively and definitively pronounce on those rights obligations. The Caribbean Court of Justice is that authoritative institution.

Arbitration tribunals reach decisions which are binding only on the parties to a dispute. However, the decisions of the CCJ will create legally binding norms for all Member States which are parties to the Agreement establishing the CCJ.

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