Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court

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The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is a superior court of record for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS),[1] including six independent states: Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and three British Overseas Territories (Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, and Montserrat). It has unlimited jurisdiction in each member State.

History[edit]

The ECSC was established in 1967 by the West Indies Associated States Supreme Court Order No. 223 of 1967. In relation to Grenada, the Court is styled "the Supreme Court of Grenada and the West Indies Associated States". See section 105 of the Grenada Constitution.

Functions[edit]

The functions of the ECSC are as follows:

  • To interpret and apply the laws of the various member states of the OECS;
  • To decide cases of both civil and criminal matters;
  • To hear appeals.

Composition[edit]

Judges[edit]

To be a judge or master of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, a person must have served as a judge in a Commonwealth jurisdiction or be qualified to act as a lawyer in a Commonwealth jurisdiction. An appointee does not need to be a national, judge, or lawyer of a country within the jurisdiction of the Court. Judges are appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission of the Caribbean Community.

High Court Judges and Masters are assigned to reside in and hear cases from a specific member state. It is common for judges to be asked to work in countries other than their home state. Judges are only occasionally assigned to reside in Montserrat and Anguilla—because of the small population of these countries, judges from the other jurisdictions hear cases that arise from these two jurisdictions. The Court of Appeal is itinerant and travels to the various countries to hear appeals.

Judges have life tenure but Justices of Appeal must retire when they are 65 and High Court Judges must retire when they are 62. Extensions of up to three years may be granted by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission only if all of the states agree to such an extension.

Current composition[edit]

Name Assigned state Home state Position Appointed to current position
Janice Pereira Court of Appeal: All states  British Virgin Islands Chief Justice 2012
Davidson Baptiste Court of Appeal: All states  Dominica Justice of Appeal 2009
Don Mitchell Court of Appeal: All states  Saint Kitts and Nevis Justice of Appeal 2011
Louise Blenman Court of Appeal: All states  Guyana Justice of Appeal 2012
Mario Michel Court of Appeal: All states  Saint Lucia Justice of Appeal 2012
Frederick Victor Bruce-Lyle  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  Ghana /  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines High Court Judge 1999
Francis Belle  Saint Lucia  Barbados High Court Judge 2004
Clare Henry  Grenada  Antigua and Barbuda High Court Judge 2004
Gertel Thom  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  Guyana High Court Judge 2005
Ianthea Leigertwood-Octave  Saint Kitts and Nevis  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines High Court Judge 2007
Brian Cottle  Dominica  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines High Court Judge 2007
Francis Mortimer Cumberbatch  Saint Lucia  Guyana High Court Judge 2007
Albert Redhead  British Virgin Islands  Grenada High Court Judge 2007
Jennifer Remy  Antigua and Barbuda  Saint Lucia High Court Judge 2007
Ephraim Francis Georges  Saint Lucia  Dominica High Court Judge 2008
Edward Bannister  British Virgin Islands  England High Court Judge 2009
M. E. Birnie Stephenson-Brooks  Dominica  Guyana High Court Judge 2009
Margaret Price Finlay  Grenada  Trinidad and Tobago High Court Judge 2009
Errol Thomas  Saint Kitts and Nevis  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines High Court Judge 2009
Rosalyn E. Wilkinson  Saint Lucia  Grenada High Court Judge 2009
Vicki Ann Ellis  British Virgin Islands  Saint Lucia High Court Judge 2012
Keith Thom  Antigua and Barbuda  Guyana High Court Judge 2012
Cheryl Mathurin  Antigua and Barbuda  England Master 2002
Pearletta Lanns  Saint Kitts and Nevis  Saint Kitts and Nevis Master 2007
Vivian Georgis Esterlina Taylor-Alexander  Saint Lucia  Saint Lucia Master 2007

Chief Justices[edit]

Name Home state Dates
Allen Montgomery Lewis  West Indies Federation (1967–1968)
 Saint Lucia (1968–1972)
1967–1972
P. Cecil Lewis (acting) 1972–1975
Maurice Davis  Saint Lucia 1975–1980
Neville Peterkin  Grenada 1981–1983
Neville Berridge (acting)  Saint Kitts and Nevis 1983–1984
Lascelles Robotham  Jamaica 1984–1991
Vincent Floissac  Saint Lucia 1991–1996
Charles Michael Dennis Byron  Saint Kitts and Nevis 1996–2004
Adrian Saunders (acting)  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2004–2005
Brian George Keith Alleyne (acting)  Dominica 2005–2008
Hugh Anthony Rawlins  Saint Kitts and Nevis 2008–2012
Janice Pereira  British Virgin Islands 2012–

Location[edit]

The Headquarters of the ECSC is in Castries, Saint Lucia, where it is located on the second floor of the Heraldine Rock Building, Block B, on the Waterfront. The building houses the Justices of Appeal’s chambers, the Court of Appeal Registry, the Judicial Education Institute, Library, and the Administrative Services.

In addition, there are Court Offices in the nine Member States, which house the chambers of the High Court Judges and the offices of the High Court Registry. Each High Court Registry is headed by a legally trained Registrar who provides the necessary administrative and legal support for the functioning of the High Court.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Hatchard (ed.) Directory of Commonwealth Law Schools 2003-2004. Cavendish Publishing. 2003. ISBN 1-85941-758-2; page 122.

External links[edit]