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Workshop on the CCJ Planned for Journalists and Broadcasters

3rd March 2016

As part of its nationwide public education and sensitization campaign on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and the Privy Council, the National Coordinating Committee (NCC) is organizing a one-day workshop for media practitioners in Antigua and Barbuda.

NCC chairman, Ambassador Dr. Clarence Henry, said the workshop will explore a number of topics that will equip journalists to better report or comment on matters related to the CCJ or the Privy Council. He disclosed that the Port of Spain-based CCJ is also offering some assistance with organizing the workshop.

Dr. Henry said that the workshop will cater for approximately 40 local journalists. In addition, Grenada has also expressed a desire to migrate away from the Privy Council and accede to the CCJ in its appellate jurisdiction, and will therefore, send at least five journalists to participate in the workshop.

The Ambassador asserted that: "The objectives of the workshop are to equip journalists to understanding and reporting on the work of the CCJ and to allow them to represent the court for what it is, its necessity in a community of sovereign states that is CARICOM." He furthermore indicated that the workshop will "allow the journalists to be able to ask tough questions in a forum that facilitates reasoned discussion, while providing content for future features and stories." Dr. Henry instructively suggests that the workshop experience will serve to "upskill our journalists and Broadcasters in an issue that is of value."

The topics to be emphasized will cover, among other things, the role and function of the CCJ with an explanation of the Appellate and Original Jurisdictions; the role of the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Committee and the Trust Fund; and the usage of technology in the Court.

The workshop will take place on March 12, 2016, at the Rex Halcyon Cove Resort. It is expected that a senior government official will officiate at the opening ceremony. Antigua and Barbuda, and Grenada have indicated that they will hold referenda on the CCJ matter sometime within 2016.