This article examines the progress of the CARICOM dispute settlement mechanism from its originally diplomatic procedures to its enhanced legalistic system. A standing judicial institution in CARICOM is a coming of age for this region, and its jurisprudence is now referred to as CARICOM law. These significant legal advances raise many normative questions about the adequacy of the dispute settlement institutions and whether the rules and processes are clearly defined to enable nascent CARICOM law to be the primary tool by which there can be effective regulation of CARICOM integration. In order to answer these questions, this article reviews some of the theories on dispute settlement and also draws on the experiences of similar regional bodies, and concludes that a combination of ideas and mechanisms of dispute resolution is more suited to the Caribbean situation than a uni-lineal or a transplanted regime.
Opened for signature 30 October194755UNTS 187 (entered into force provisionally 1 January 1948) (‘GATT 1947’). The original GATT acted as a check on governmental interference in international trade in goods in that it aimed to limit the barriers to trade available to domestic governments. Further the GATT was focused on promoting non-discrimination and where a domestic industry was deserving of protection it advocated the use of tariffs instead of quantitative restrictions. The GATT agreement did not demand the establishment of free trade but it operated in such a way as to create a framework for the reciprocal negotiated reduction of tariffs over time. The GATT agreement was replete with exemptions that were gradually incorporated into it.
From as early as1947at a Meeting of West Indian Governors the call for a West Indian Court of Appeal was made. However April 1970 at the Sixth Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community in Kingston Jamaica is said to mark the time when Caribbean Community leaders were actively agitating for their own Caribbean Court.
David Simmons‘The Caribbean Court of Justice: A Unique Institution of Caribbean Creativity’Nova Law Review29(2) (2005) 169 at 178.
Smith‘The Politics of Dispute Settlement Design’ (n 54) at 141. See also Martin Lukas, ‘The Role of Private Parties in the Enforcement of the Uruguay Round Agreements’Journal of World Trade29(5) (1995) 181.
European Commission2001cited in Tallberg ‘Paths to Compliance’ (n 89) at 633.
C. Morgan and A. Miers‘When Threats Succeed: A Formal Model of the Threat and Use of Economic Sanctions’, 95th Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Atlanta, Georgia, cited in Stine Andersen, ‘A Durable Procedural Framework for Imposing Pecuniary Sanctions on States’ (n 166) at 8. See generally Dean Lacy and Emerson M.S. Niou, ‘A Theory of Economic Sanctions and Issue Linkage: The Roles of Preferences, Information, and Threats’Journal of Politics66(1) (2004) 25. Lacy and Niou write that ‘Sanctions that are likely to succeed will do so at the mere threat of sanctions’ and that ‘despite the unlikely success of sanctions coercers must sometimes impose sanctions even after the threat of sanctions has failed to change the target’s behaviour’.