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Rules of the CCJ – Part 2

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Last week I dealt with the Rules of the CCJ which came into force on June 14, 2005.

This week I will continue to highlight some of the procedural requirements of the Rules so as to give you some insights into the operations of the court.

To appeal to the CCJ on a judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal, leave must first be obtained from the Court of Appeal. The application for leave to appeal should be made within 30 days of the date of the judgment or within the time stipulated by an enactment. {{more}}If it is refused then leave must be obtained from the CCJ itself and the applicant has 21days after the refusal to do so.

A special leave to appeal as a poor person can be obtained from the CCJ but application must be done within 42 days of the date of the judgment. The applicant must in an affidavit show that his/her net worth is less than EC$5,000.00 and that he/she is unable to provide sureties. In addition he must have a certificate signed by his attorney-at-law showing that there are reasonable grounds for appeal. The recipient of this type of leave will not have to provide security for cost or pay the court’s fees.

After leave is granted an appellant must within 21 days file a Notice of Appeal in which among other things the grounds for appeal and the relief sought are set out. Documents could be filed at the Registry in Trinidad and Tobago in person or by post. It could also be done at the sub-registry in the states of the contracting parties. Provisions have been made in the Rules for internet filing but special arrangements have to be made for this service.

After the notice is filed the appellant must within 14 days serve copies of the document on the respondent. The respondent must acknowledge service within 14 days. Thereafter a record of appeal containing all the documents the parties wish to put before the judges is prepared by the appellant’s lawyer. Before submission it must be finally settled in the presence of both parties .The filing fee for a notice of appeal is ECD$162 while an affidavit of service is $27. No filing fees are payable in criminal appeals.

The case will then be assigned to a judge or judges of the CCJ who would thereafter conduct case management. A case management conference may be convened if necessary. This is similar to the case management done by a Master to prepare cases for our own High Court. The judges have the powers to make the case ready for hearing in order to achieve the overriding objective of the Rules. Directions and orders for the conduct of the case may be given. The date of the hearing will be posted on the Court’s website and in a newspaper in general circulation in the state of the contracting parties. After a hearing judgment will be given.

As with the other courts below the successful party is generally entitled to costs. This means that the unsuccessful party must pay costs to the successful party. The court can summarily assess the costs or give the party a chance to opt for the costs to be taxed or for the basic costs that are given by the Rules. According to these basic costs, a case from the notice of appeal to the first day of hearing costs ECD$54,000 and $5,400 for each additional day of hearing.

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