The Honourable Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders, a national of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, has been installed as the third President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
He took the oath of office at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in Jamaica yesterday evening, ahead of the opening ceremony of the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, before host Governor General Sir Patrick Allen.
The ceremony was attended by this country’s Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, other Prime Ministers, Presidents and Premiers from throughout the region.
Justice Saunders took over from Sir Dennis Byron, who spoke at the inauguration ceremony and described his successor as being fully prepared and fit for the job.
Addressing the audience that also included a delegation from the CCJ, the court’s new president expressed disappointment that the vast majority of the 15 CARICOM member countries have struck with the Privy Council as their final court of appeal, instead of signing on to the Trinidad-based CCJ’s appellate jurisdiction.
He will serve as President for no longer than the statutory period of seven years.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who addressed yesterday’s inauguration, said he may make another effort for his country to make the CCJ its final court. A referendum on the issue in 2009 failed to get the support his government was seeking.