Bringing Justice Home

The Road to Final Appellate and Regional Court Establishment

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Until recent times many smaller Commonwealth jurisdictions have turned to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London as their final court of appeal. Now more and more countries have amended their constitutional arrangements to bring the final court of appeal closer to home.

Cheryl Thompson-Barrow charts the experience of a number of countries and looks at the different ways in which alternative appeals processes have been set up, comparing the approach taken by countries like Australia and New Zealand with that taken in parts of the Caribbean. She makes recommendations for future good practice in the establishment and administration of final courts of appeal, based on discussions by Commonwealth law ministers and senior officials over the period 2003 to 2007.




I owe a deep gratitude to the distinguished attorneys-general, ministers of justice, justices and registrars and senior court officials who participated in the meetings on final appellate and regional courts, spanning a period of four years. Their composite expertise and belief in the project of the Commonwealth Secretariat infused the discussions and findings with the utmost level of expertise and insight available. This is indeed most commendable. To all, I give my outmost thanks. In particular, I wish to acknowledge the delegations of the regional courts of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ); the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); the Supreme Courts of Canada, New Zealand, the Eastern Caribbean, Barbados and Jamaica; the High Court of Australia; and the Court of Appeal of Guyana. The use of the work emanating from the several meetings has made this text possible, along with the generous use of papers presented by these judges, registrars and senior officials.


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