Legal Responsibility

The RJLSC has certain specific functions under the Agreement. Article V (3) (1) identifies some of these as:

(a) Making appointments to the office of Judge of the Court, other than that of President;

(b) Making appointments of those officials and employees referred to in Article XXVII and for determining the salaries and allowances to be paid to such officials and employees;

(c) The determination of the terms and conditions of service of officials and employees; and

(d) The termination of appointments in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement.

Current activities

The RJLSC held its first meeting in Port-of-Spain on 21st August 2003 where Sir David Simmons, was elected Chairman (pro tempore). The Commission has met several times and is vigorously executing its duties under the Agreement so that the Court can be inaugurated in a timely manner. The critical tasks engaging the Commission include:

(a) Settling the terms and conditions of service of the President and Judges of the Court;

(b) Identifying a suitable candidate to be appointed as the first President of the Court. The President is not only head of the Court, but also the Chairman of the RJLSC. As such the President is expected to play a critical role in selecting the other Judges of the Court. Advertisements for Judges of the Court will be issued during February 2004;

(c) Settling the Commission’s Regulations which will govern its decision making procedures, including those relating to appointment and disciplinary action of judicial officials and staff;

(d) Administrative matters such as appointing staff and establishing temporary offices as provided by the Host Country;

(e) Liaising with the Host Country to obtain provisional application of the Privileges and Immunities assured to the Commission;

(f) Considering financial matters including:

  • Arrangements with the Board of Trustees and the Caribbean Development Bank for advancing funding of its work programme pending the constitution of the Trust Fund under the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice Trust Fund;
  • Reviewing the budget for the first six months of operations;
  • Refining budget estimates for the Court’s first five years;
  • Coordinating administrative arrangements between itself and the Board of Trustees for the transfer of funds;

(g) Facilitating the development of Court systems before the Court takes over for itself. The structure of the Court requires that the senior functionaries of the Court (the President, first Judges and Registrar) be available to participate in the development of the essential Court which have been identified as:

  • Rules of Court – Appellate and Original Jurisdiction
  • Work Flows
  • Monitoring Systems
  • Court Registry
  • Information Technology Systems
  • Document Flow
  • Security
  • Human Resource Management
  • Accounting
  • Records Management
  • Enforcement
  • Recording
  • Library Services
  • Planning and Development


The RJLSC continues to work closely with the Contracting Parties, the Court, the Board of Trustees and the CARICOM Secretariat to ensure that the Caribbean Court of Justice, the region’s supreme judicial institution, meets and fully satisfies the expectations and needs of the people it serves.