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Function of Law and Legal Systems in the Commonwealth Caribbean Upholding the System of Slavery and Colonisation

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The term Commonwealth Caribbean is used to refer to the independent English-speaking countries of the Caribbean region. Upon a country's full independence from the United Kingdom. The Caribbean is home to 18 British Commonwealth countries and territories. The independent countries are: Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. K3itts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago. Dependent Territories are UK dependencies, such as Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and Turks & Caicos Islands.

The commonwealth Caribbean is a feature of the British conquered or settled lands of the Caribbean. These lands comprise of both dependent and independent states. These states have attempted to fashion new identities since gaining individual independence. However, there legal expressions remain largely of the British rules of law. The law and legal systems of the Commonwealth Caribbean dependent territories must be considered separately from those of the independent territories. While these territories share a colonial heritage and social and economic circumstances with independent Commonwealth Caribbean countries, their law and legal systems do not have an identity of their own, except in a limited sense. A complex political and legal relationship exists between Britain and its remaining Caribbean territories.

The commonwealth Caribbean consist of two main types of legal systems. The common law in itself that is guided by case law and civil law that is guided by legislation, statute and codes; however, more recently the courts of the commonwealth and jurists have sought to resort to less English jurisprudence. The Caribbean legal systems can be said to be at boiling point. Perhaps there has been no other time in our history when every Caribbean man and woman has been aware of, and has had a stake in, the direction in which our laws and legal policies are going. Whether we are speaking about the retention of the death penalty, or the abolition of appeals to the English Privy Council, or the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, or changes in our offshore ļ¬nancial systems brought about by black listing attempts by the world community, which impacts directly on employment opportunities the Caribbean citizen can relate intimately with and participate directly in these developments and debates. Thus, the Commonwealth Caribbean stands poised at the crossroads of possibility, waiting to exhale.



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