Caribbean Court of Justice (Headquarters)

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Act

6 of 2008

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

CARIBBEAN COURT OF JUSTICE

(HEADQUARTERS) ACT

CHAPTER 6:05

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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Note on Subsidiary Legislation

This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

2 Chap. 6:05 Caribbean Court of Justice (Headquarters)

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L.R.O.

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CHAPTER 6:05

CARIBBEAN COURT OF JUSTICE
(HEADQUARTERS) ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

3. Financial provisions for giving effect to the Headquarters

Agreement.

4. Headquarters Agreement given the force of law in Trinidad and

Tobago.

5. Amendment of Schedule.

SCHEDULE.

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6 of 2008.

Commencement.

Short title.

Interpretation.

CHAPTER 6:05

CARIBBEAN COURT OF JUSTICE

(HEADQUARTERS) ACT

An Act to provide for the implementation by the

Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago of

the Agreement Establishing the Seat of the Caribbean

Court of Justice and the Offices of the Regional Judicial

and Legal Services Commission between the

Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean

Court of Justice and the Regional Judicial and Legal

Services Commission.

[27TH MAy 2008]

1. This Act may be cited as the Caribbean Court of Justice

(Headquarters) Act.

2. In this Act—

“Agreement” means the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean

Court of Justice, signed at Bridgetown, Barbados on the

14th day of February, 2001 as amended by the Protocol to

the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice

Relating to the Judicial Personality and Legal Capacity of

the Court, signed at Montego Bay, Jamaica on the 4th day of

July, 2003 and the Protocol to the Agreement Establishing

the Caribbean Court of Justice Relating to the Tenure of

Judges, Rules of Court, Financial Arrangements and

Withdrawal from Agreement as well as the relationship

between Provisions on the Original Jurisdiction of the

Caribbean Court of Justice and the Constitutions of States

Parties done at Paramaribo, Suriname on the 17th day of

February, 2005;

“Court” means the Caribbean Court of Justice established by

Article III of the Agreement;

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“Government” means the Government of the Republic of

Trinidad and Tobago;

“Headquarters Agreement” means the Agreement Establishing

the Seat of the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Offices of

the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission

between the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the

Caribbean Court of Justice and the Regional Judicial and

Legal Services Commission signed by the Government and

the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Regional Judicial and

Legal Services Commission on the 23rd day of February,

2005 the text of which is set out in the Schedule;

“Offices of the Commission” has the meaning assigned to it in

Article I of the Headquarters Agreement;

“Minister” means the Minister to whom responsibility for

Caribbean Community Affairs has been assigned; and

“Seat of the Court” has the meaning assigned to it in Article I of

the Headquarters Agreement.

3. (1) All sums required to be paid by the Government of

Trinidad and Tobago for the purpose of meeting the obligations

of Trinidad and Tobago under the Headquarters Agreement shall

be a charge on the Consolidated Fund.

(2) Any sums received by the Government of Trinidad

and Tobago from the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Regional

Judicial and Legal Services Commission shall be paid into the

Consolidated Fund.

4. Notwithstanding any other written law, the Agreement

shall have the force of law in Trinidad and Tobago.

5. The Minister may, by Order, amend the Schedule for the

purpose of bringing the Headquarters Agreement into accord

with any amendments made thereto under Article XIV:2.

Schedule.

Financial
provisions for
giving effect to
the
Headquarters
Agreement.

Headquarters
Agreement
given the force
of law in
Trinidad and
Tobago.

Amendment of
Schedule.

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SCHEDULE

AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING THE SEAT OF THE CARIBBEAN

COURT OF JUSTICE AND THE OFFICES OF THE

REGIONAL JUDICIAL AND LEGAL SERVICES

COMMISSION BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO AND THE CARIBBEAN COURT

OF JUSTICE AND THE REGIONAL JUDICIAL AND LEGAL

SERVICES COMMISSION

PREAMBLE

WHEREAS paragraph 3 of Article III of the Agreement Establishing the

Caribbean Court of Justice (hereinafter called “The Agreement”) provides that

the Seat of the Court shall be in the territory of a Contracting Party as

determined from time to time by a qualified majority of the Contracting

Parties

Whereas paragraph 4 of Article III of the Agreement provides inter alia that

the Contracting Party in whose territory the Seat of the Court is situated shall

conclude with the Court and the Commission an agreement relating to the Seat

of the Court and the offices of the Commission and

Whereas the Contracting Parties to the Agreement have determined that the

Seat of the Court shall be in Trinidad and Tobago

The Parties hereto have agreed as follows:

ARTICLE I

USE OF TERMS

In this Agreement, unless the context otherwise requires:

“Archives of the Court or Commission” includes the records, correspondence,

documents, manuscripts, photographs, slides, films, sound recordings and

electronic storage devices belonging to or held by the Court or

Commission;

“Commission” means the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission

established by Article V of the Agreement;

“Competent Authorities” means national, regional or local authorities of

Trinidad and Tobago as may be appropriate in the context and in the laws

of Trinidad and Tobago;

“Conference” means the Conference of Heads of Government of Member

States of the Caribbean Community;

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(Section 2).

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“Counsel” means a person qualified to appear in proceedings before the Court

on behalf of another;

“Court” means the Caribbean Court of Justice established by Article III of the

Agreement;

“the Government” means the Government of Trinidad and Tobago;

“offices of the Commission” means the offices provided by the Government

in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article III of the Agreement and

occupied by the Commission for its official use;

“officers of the Court” means the Court Executive Administrator, the Registrar

and Deputy Registrar and such other officials of the Court as may be

designated from time to time by the President;

“President” means the President of the Court;

“Property” means all forms of property including funds and assets belonging

to or held or administered by the Court or the Commission and all income

accruing to the Court or the Commission;

“Seat of the Court” means the premises provided by the Government in

accordance with paragraph 4 of Article III of the Agreement and occupied

by the Court for its official use.

ARTICLE II

STATUS OF THE COURT AND COMMISSION

1. The Court and the Commission shall possess full juridical personality

and, in particular, full capacity to:

(a) contract;

(b) acquire and dispose of immovable and movable property;

(c) institute legal proceedings.

2. In all legal proceedings, the Court and the Commission shall be

represented by the Registrar.

ARTICLE III

THE SEAT OF THE COURT AND OFFICES OF THE COMMISSION

1. The Seat of the Court and offices of the Commission shall be the

premises defined in Article I of this Agreement.

2. The President shall have the power to make regulations operative

within the Seat of the Court and offices of the Commission for the purpose of

establishing therein conditions necessary for the full execution of their

functions which shall be carried out through the Court Executive

Administrator and the Registrar.

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3. The Seat of the Court and offices of the Commission shall be

inviolable and shall be under the authority of the President as provided for in

this Agreement.

4. Officials of the Government, whether administrative, judicial,

military or police, shall not enter the Seat of the Court or the offices of the

Commission to perform any official duties therein except with the consent of

and under conditions agreed by either the Court Executive Administrator or

the Registrar. However, in the case of fire or other emergency requiring

prompt protective action, or in the event that officials of the Government have

reasonable cause to believe that such an emergency has occurred, the consent

of the Court Executive Administrator or the Registrar to entry in the Seat of

the Court and offices of the Commission by the officials of the Government

shall be presumed if neither the Court Executive Administrator nor the

Registrar can be reached in time.

5. The service of legal process, including the seizure of private property,

may take place within the Seat of the Court or the offices of the Commission

only with the consent of and under the conditions approved by the Registrar.

6. The President shall not permit the Seat of the Court or the offices of

the Commission to become a refuge either for fugitives from justice or for

persons who are endeavouring to avoid service of legal process or judicial

proceedings under the laws of Trinidad and Tobago or against whom an order

of extradition or deportation has been made by the competent authorities.

7. The Court Executive Administrator may expel or exclude

persons from the Seat of the Court or the offices of the Commission for

violation of its regulations or for any other reasonable cause.

ARTICLE IV

PROPERTy, FUNDS AND ASSETS OF THE COURT AND COMMISSION

1. The Court, Commission and their property, wherever located and by

whomsoever held, shall enjoy immunity from every form of legal process

except in so far as in any particular case the President has expressly waived

their immunity. No waiver of immunity shall extend to any measure of

execution.

2. Save as otherwise provided in paragraph 1 of this Article, the

property of the Court and the Commission, wherever located or by

whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, acquisition,

confiscation, expropriation and any other form of interference, whether by

legislative, executive, administrative or judicial action.

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3. Nothing in this Article shall be construed as preventing the

Government from taking appropriate action in connection with the

investigation into accidents involving motor vehicles belonging to or operated

on behalf of the Court or the Commission.

ARTICLE V

ARCHIVES OF THE COURT AND COMMISSION

The archives of the Court and the Commission and in general all

documents held by them shall be inviolable wherever located.

ARTICLE VI

EXEMPTION FROM FOREIGN EXCHANGE CONTROLS

1. Without being restricted by financial controls, regulations or

moratoria of any kind, the Court and the Commission shall be entitled for its

official use only:

(a) to purchase from authorised dealers, hold and make use of
negotiable currencies, operate foreign currency and external

accounts and purchase through authorised dealers, hold and

make use of funds and securities;

(b) freely transfer its funds, securities and foreign currencies to
or from Trinidad and Tobago or within Trinidad and Tobago

and to convert any currency held by it into other currency.

2. The Court and the Commission in executing their respective rights

under paragraph 1 of this Article, shall pay due regard to any representation

made by the Government and shall give effect to such representation to the

extent that such representation may be taken into account without detriment to

the interests of the Court or the Commission as the case may be.

ARTICLE VII

EXEMPTION FROM TAXES, CUSTOMS DUTIES AND IMPORT OR

EXPORT DUTIES

1. The property of the Court and the Commission shall be exempt from:

(a) any form of direct or indirect taxation but the Court and the

Commission will not claim exemption from taxes which are,

in fact, no more than charges for public utility services;

(b) customs duties and prohibitions and restrictions on imports

and exports in respect of articles imported or exported for

their official use, subject to the condition that articles

imported under such exemption shall not be sold within

Trinidad and Tobago except under conditions agreed to

between the President and the Government;

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(c) customs duties and other levies and prohibitions and

restrictions in respect of the import, sale and export of their

publications.

2. For the purpose of this Article, indirect taxation includes airport

departure tax or travel tax, travel ticket tax, hotel and restaurant tax, customs

and excise duties, consumption tax, stamp duties, withholding tax on interest,

value added tax, finance charges and imposts with equivalent effect.

ARTICLE VIII

FACILITIES IN RESPECT OF COMMUNICATIONS

1. The Court and Commission shall enjoy in the territory of Trinidad

and Tobago, freedom of communication for their official communications.

2. The official correspondence and all other forms of official

communications of the Court and Commission shall be inviolable.

3. The Court and Commission shall have the right to use codes and to

dispatch and receive correspondence by courier in sealed bags, which shall not

be searched or detained unless the competent authorities have serious reason

to believe that the sealed bags contain something other than correspondence,

documents or articles for the official use of the Court or the Commission

exclusively, in which case the bag shall be opened only in the presence of an

officer of the Court.

4. Nothing in this Article shall be construed so as to preclude the

adoption of measures necessary to protect the security of Trinidad and Tobago.

ARTICLE IX

JUDGES AND OFFICERS OF THE COURT

1. Judges and officers of the Court and members of the Commission,

when engaged on the business of the Court or Commission, as the case may

be, in Trinidad and Tobago, shall enjoy:

(a) immunity from legal process in respect of words spoken or

written and all acts done by them in their official capacity,

such immunity shall continue notwithstanding that the

persons concerned have ceased to exercise their functions

with the Court or the Commission;

(b) immunity from personal arrest or detention in relation to acts

performed by them in their official capacity;

(c) inviolability of all papers, documents and materials related to

the work of the Court or the Commission;

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(d) exemption from immigration restrictions, alien registration

requirements and national service obligations;

(e) the same protection and repatriation facilities in times of

international crisis as are accorded representatives of foreign

governments of comparable rank;

(f) the right, for the purpose of all communications with the

Court or the Commission, to use codes to dispatch or receive

papers, correspondence or other official material by courier

or in sealed bags;

(g) the same privileges and facilities in respect of currency and

exchange restrictions as are accorded to representatives of

foreign governments of comparable rank;

(h) immunity from inspection and seizure of personal and

official baggage, except in cases of flagrante delicto. In such

cases, the competent authorities shall immediately inform the

Court Executive Administrator. Inspection of personal

baggage shall be conducted in the presence of the person

concerned or his authorised representative and, in the case of

official baggage, in the presence of a duly authorised

representative of the Court Executive Administrator;

(i) exemption from any form of direct taxation of salaries,

remuneration and allowances paid by the Court or the

Commission and from customs duties on imports in respect

of articles imported for personal use, subject to the condition

that articles imported under such exemption shall not be sold

within Trinidad and Tobago except under conditions

determined by the Government.

2. The privileges, immunities and exemptions mentioned in

subparagraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (g), (h) and (i) of paragraph 1 of this

Article shall also be enjoyed by such senior employees of the Court or

Commission as may be designated from time to time by the President in

writing to the Government when such officers are engaged on the business of

the Court or Commission as the case may be in Trinidad and Tobago.

3. All employees of the Court or Commission shall enjoy

exemption from income tax in respect of salaries, remuneration and

allowances paid to them by the Court or Commission as the case may be.

ARTICLE X

COUNSEL APPEARING IN PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COURT

1. Counsel appearing in proceedings before the Court while present in

Trinidad and Tobago shall, in the performance of their functions connected

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with such proceedings, enjoy:

(a) inviolability of all papers, documents and materials relating

to the proceedings before the Court;

(b) immunity from personal arrest or detention in relation to

words spoken or written or acts performed by them in

relation to proceedings before the Court;

(c) exemption from immigration restrictions, alien registration

requirements and national service obligations;

(d) the same privileges and facilities in respect of currency and

exchange restrictions in relation to their appearance in

proceedings before the Court as are accorded to

representatives of Government on temporary official

missions.

2. Counsel mentioned in paragraph 1 of this Article shall enjoy, in

respect of words written or spoken and all acts done by them in the conduct of

proceedings before the Court, immunity from legal process. The immunity

shall continue although the person entitled is no longer conducting

proceedings before the Court.

3. The privileges, immunities and facilities mentioned in this Article are

only intended to assist counsel in the efficient representation of clients in

proceedings before the Court and shall not be employed to circumvent

applicable laws and regulations of Trinidad and Tobago.

ARTICLE XI

CO-OPERATION WITH COMPETENT AUTHORITIES

1. Privileges and immunities are recognised and granted by this

Agreement in the interest of the Court and Commission and not for the

personal benefit of persons entitled thereto. The Conference, in the case of the

President, and the President, in the case of other persons entitled thereto, shall

have the right to waive such privileges and immunities whenever in their

opinion the enjoyment of the privileges and immunities would impede the

course of justice and could be waived without prejudice to the interests of the

Court or Commission.

2. The President, the Court Executive Administrator and the Registrar,

as the case may be, shall co-operate at all times with the competent authorities

in order to facilitate the proper administration of justice, secure the observance

of the laws and regulations of Trinidad and Tobago and avoid the occurrence

of any abuse in connection with the privileges, immunities and facilities

recognised and granted by this Agreement.

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3. Without prejudice to the privileges and immunities recognised and

granted by this Agreement, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such

privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of Trinidad and

Tobago.

4. If the Government considers that an abuse has occurred in the

enjoyment of any privilege or immunity conferred by this Agreement, the

Court Executive Administrator shall, at the request of the Government, consult

with the competent authorities to determine whether such an abuse has

occurred. If such consultations fail to achieve results satisfactory to the Court

Executive Administrator and the Government, the issues shall be settled in

accordance with the procedure laid down in Article XIII.

ARTICLE XII

FACILITATION OF TRAVEL

1. Subject to the laws or regulations restricting entry or movement for

reasons of national security, the Government shall extend all facilities for the

uninterrupted passage within Trinidad and Tobago as well as for the entry and

departure therefrom of the categories of persons indicated below:

(a) judges of the Court and members of their families forming

part of their household;

(b) members of the Commission;

(c) officers of the Court and members of their families forming

part of their household;

(d) parties to and applicants in proceedings before the Court and

counsel appearing representing them in such proceedings;

(e) persons other than officers of the Court performing missions

for the Court and members of their families forming part of

their household; and

(f) other persons invited to the Seat of the Court or offices of the

Commission on official business.

2. The Court Executive Administrator shall communicate to the

Government the names of the persons mentioned in paragraph 1 of this Article.

3. This Article shall not be applicable in case of a general

interruption of transportation and shall not impede the effective application of

laws in force nor waive reasonable application of quarantine and health

regulations.

4. Visas required by persons referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article

shall be granted expeditiously and free of charge.

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ARTICLE XIII

SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES

1. The President shall make appropriate provisions for the

settlement of:

(a) disputes arising out of contracts and other disputes of a

private law character to which the Court or Commission

is a party;

(b) disputes involving any judge or officer of the Court or

Counsel conducting proceedings before the Court enjoying

immunity if such immunity has not been waived by the

persons empowered in that behalf.

2. Any difference between the Government and the Court or the

Commission arising out of the interpretation or application of this Agreement

and which is not settled by negotiation or other agreed mode of settlement

shall be referred for final decision to a Tribunal of three arbitrators at the

instance of either party: one to be appointed by the Government, one to be

appointed by the President, and the third, who shall be the Chairman of the

Tribunal, to be chosen by the first two arbitrators. If either of the parties fails

to appoint an arbitrator within six weeks of the decision to resort to arbitration,

an arbitrator or arbitrators, as the case may be, shall be appointed for such

purposes by the Secretary General of the Caribbean Community. If the first

two arbitrators within three weeks of their appointment fail to agree upon the

third, the Government or the President shall request the Secretary General to

choose the third arbitrator. The arbitral Tribunal shall make a determination

within six months from the date of its constitution. A majority vote of the

arbitrators shall be sufficient to reach a decision, which shall be final and

binding. The Chairman shall be empowered to settle all questions of procedure

in any case where there is disagreement between the other arbitrators in

respect thereto.

ARTICLE XIV

ENTRy INTO FORCE

1. This Agreement and any agreement supplementary thereto shall enter

into force immediately upon signature.

2. Consultations in respect of any amendment to this Agreement may be

initiated by either the Government or the President.

3. The Government shall take such action as is necessary for the

purpose of incorporating the provisions of this Agreement in the law of

Trinidad and Tobago and shall inform the President of the action taken.

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14 Chap. 6:05 Caribbean Court of Justice (Headquarters)

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ARTICLE XV

TERMINATION

This Agreement and any amendment thereof shall cease to have effect five

years after either of the Parties hereto has given notice in writing to the other

of its decision to terminate this Agreement.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the representative of the Government and the

President of the Caribbean Court of Justice and Chairman of the Regional

Judicial and Legal Services Commission being duly authorised in that behalf

have executed this Agreement.

Done at Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on the 23rd day of

February, 2005.

For the Government of Trinidad and Tobago

Knowlson Gift

Minister of Foreign Affairs

For the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Regional Judicial and Legal

Services Commission

Michael de La Bastide

President of the Caribbean Court of Justice and

Chairman of the Regional Judicial and Legal

Services Commission

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