The National Coordinating Committee (NCC) responsible for the public education and sensitization on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has been invited to formally visit the regional court’s Headquarters in Trinidad.
The visit is part of the NCC’s efforts to gather all relevant information and facts surrounding the CCJ, given its mandate ahead of the planned Referendum hopefully later this year,
Team-leader, Chairman Ambassador, Dr. Clarence Henry, describes the ‘fact-finding mission’ as crucial in the strategic planning of the NCC in order to execute a flawless campaign.
“We feel that as part of our remit that we must, ourselves, have a full appreciation of the CCJ as a regional institution in all its dimensions; how it functions, systems, senior management and the justices that sit on the Court. Visiting the headquarters will afford us that critical opportunity especially at this time,” Dr Henry explained.
According to Dr Henry while in Trinidad and Tobago there are also plans to produce a video documentary related to the different services and facilities of the Court. “There is much value to this exercise since the people of Antigua and Barbuda will see for themselves what the Court is like”, he said.
Currently, the NCC is holding a series of focus-group consultations involving various stakeholders. The latest group was the Antiguan and Barbuda Union of Teachers. Last week, consultations were held with the clergy, the Antigua Trades and Labour Union and the NCC participated in the panel discussion by the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union. The NCC Head explained that the Committee is getting ready to intensify the public education and sensitisation campaign, which will include other meetings with Antigua and Barbuda Evangelical Alliance, The Kentish Pentecostal Church, the service clubs, professional organisations (nurses, doctors, accountants, engineers, architects, Contractors), vendors, bus and taxi associations, the police and the military.
Meanwhile, Dr Henry has announced that following consultations with the Attorney General, Hon. Steadroy Benjamin, there has been an extension of the time that stakeholders have to make submissions pertaining to the draft bills for the Referendum. The draft bills were circulated by the NCC for review on 29 March, 2016.
Accordingly, the NCC Chairman is once again urging all stakeholders to utilise the extra time and peruse the draft bills and make their submissions highlighting their observations and or concerns to the Office situated on Dickenson Bay Street, or via email BarbaraN.Williams@ab.gov.ag.
He announced that the new date for the submission of views is May 20, 2016.