Organizers see facilitating discussion on inter-country cooperation as their primary goal for symposium on proposed regional judicial tribunal

Washington, DC The International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI) announced plans today to partner with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to co-host a two-day symposium on the future of the Caribbean Court of Justice(CCJ). Justices, policymakers, Ministry of Justice officials from the Caribbean Community and members of the international development community will meet in Barbados on April 18th through 20th, 2004 to discuss the establishment, implementation and operation of this soon-to-be-inaugurated court.

The CCJ is the proposed regional judicial tribunal replacing the long-standing Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, headquartered in the United Kingdom. Acting as a hybrid institution, the CCJ will be both a regional court of final appeal and an international court with exclusive jurisdiction in interpreting and applying the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, the treaty establishing the single market of the Caribbean Community.

“IIPI is glad to play a role in shaping an institution we believe will be a tremendous asset to the Caribbean Community,” says IIPI President, Bruce A. Lehman. “IIPI and the USPTO are working together to deliver a symposium to CCJ members that addresses issues such as judicial training, technology implementation and intellectual property. Our goal is to facilitate a program that opens a dialogue on key issues among a diverse group of member states.”

Invited participants include: the Honorable Denis Byron, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States; Karen Turner, Mission Director for USAID/Jamaica-Caribbean and Justice Edward Damich, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

The CCJ was first formally proposed as a regional court of appeal in 1970, but financial concerns about funding the court and questions about sufficiently qualified judges slowed progress. The inauguration of the CCJ is expected to take place at the end of 2004 to give members more time to amend domestic legislation and secure financing by the Caribbean Development Bank.