Consolidating Supranational Authority: A Commentary on the Caribbean Court of Justice's Decisions in the Tomlinson Cases
Forthcoming in 110 American Journal of International Law n.3, July 2016
iCourts Working Paper Series, No. 76
14 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2016 Last revised: 26 Sep 2019
Date Written: October 20, 2016
This article is a commentary on two of the latest decisions of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Tomlinson v. Belize, and Tomlinson v. Trinidad and Tobago. In these two cases, the CCJ was called to rule over the legality under the Treaty of Chaguaramas of the Immigration Acts of Belize and Trinidad and Tobago, both of which contain express provisions banning the entry of homosexuals into those two countries. The CCJ rejected the two cases by claiming that the two Immigration Acts had in fact not been applied by Belize and Trinidad and Tobago. At the same time, the Court ruled that CARICOM law requires member states to admit homosexuals from other CARICOM states, and that Belize and Trinidad and Tobago may therefore not indefinitely retain legislation that appears to conflict with their obligations under Community law. In these two cases, the CCJ also touched upon important legal issues, such as freedom of movement in the CARICOM and indirect and direct effect of Community Law. We argue that these two rulings are important new step for the CCJ with regard to consolidating its position as an authoritative supranational court.
Keywords: Caribbean Community, Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, Freedom of Movement Un-Der Community Law, Indirect and Direct Effect of International Law, LGBT Rights
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