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Contact: Rose Marie Harris

Monday, February 17, 2003 - Significant strides have been made in the establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank has approved the creation of a trust fund of US$100 million for the operation of the Court. US $96 million dollars will be raised on the capital market to establish a trust fund and the remaining US $4 million will be sourced from the bank’s Special Resources.

Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony says once financing arrangements are in place, it will become necessary to move to other initiatives to operationalise the court. In that regard, the 14th Intercessional CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting, approved measures to implement the critical components of the agreement. One of those components is the establishment of the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission.

“The conference approved measures leading to the establishment of that commission and in addition to that approved the establishment of a task force, to commence work on the inauguration of the Court. The conference reaffirmed that that inauguration of the court takes place no later than the second half of two thousand and three. If all goes well therefore, the court should come to life by the end of 2003” said Anthony.

Dominica and St. Vincent both signed the agreement establishing the CCJ at the last CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting. This brings to thirteen the number of countries which have signed the agreement.

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