The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), in its Appellate Jurisdiction, serves as a final court of appeal for Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Guyana. In its Original Jurisdiction, it protects the rights of citizens of the 12 CARICOM states under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. The CCJ welcomes visitors to the Court for tours and to view hearings in our courtroom. We have developed a few guidelines to help you to make the most of your visit to the Court.
Visiting the Court
- Hearings and the delivery of judgments are normally open to the public. The Court also arranges tours for individuals or groups. Bookings can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Visitors are asked to remain quiet during tours and at hearings so that there is no disruption to the operations of the Court.
- There will be a mandatory security screening when you enter the building. Most screenings last 2-5 minutes.
- Before you enter the courtroom, visitors are required to switch off all mobile devices as they may disrupt the proceedings. Visitors must enter and leave the courtroom quietly.
- A Court Security Officer will be at the entrance to the courtroom to direct you to your seat.
- It is customary, as a sign of courtesy to the Bench and the proceedings, for attorneys and members of the public to bow to the Judges upon taking or leaving their seats. The judges in turn bow to the attorneys and the public upon entering or leaving the courtroom.
- Visitors are not allowed to address the Court.
- Video screens are located throughout the Courtroom to allow for easier viewing of the proceedings as well as any materials that the presenting attorney may wish to bring to the attention of the Court.
- You may leave the courtroom at any time during the hearing.
Guidelines for Attire
We ask that visitors dress in a manner which is appropriate to the serious nature of the business being conducted in court and demonstrates respect for the Court and its officers. Business attire is the most appropriate type of clothing to be worn when visiting the CCJ and sombre colours are preferred.
Business attire does not include:
- Clothing that exposes the shoulder, chest, torso, midriff, back, buttocks, upper thigh or undergarments.
- Clothing with an emblem or wording that promotes illegal or inappropriate activity including those promoting violence, sex acts, illegal drug use or with profanity.
- Flip flops.
- Ripped or torn jeans.
- Each person entering the building passes through a metal detector and there is also a hand-held detector if the initial screening indicates that there is a need for further screening. Items that you may have with you, e.g. bags or parcels, also pass through a metal detector.
- In rare instances, security officers may request a further screening of items or persons. For your privacy, there is a room near the security post where those examinations are done.
- No forms of identification are required to enter the building.
- Smoking and pets, with the exception of service animals, are not permitted inside the Court.
- Photography and filming inside the Courtroom are prohibited. However, you may take photographs in other areas of the building and outside the building.
- We do not store belongings for visitors of the Court.
- There are no food options in the building, however, there are restaurants, coffee shops and fast food locations on neighbouring Park and Frederick Streets.
- Food and drink are not permitted in the courtroom.