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- Legal System
The legal system of Antigua and Barbuda is based on English Common Law. The judiciary, consisting of inferior and superior courts, holds the responsibility for decisions over cases. The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, with headquarters in St Lucia, is responsible for the administration of justice in its member states, which includes Antigua and Barbuda.
The High Court has 16 judges, two of whom are permanently resident in the country and sit in the court of summary jurisdiction. The magistrates’ court has control over less serious cases. The Court of Appeal is itinerant. The High Court’s jurisdiction includes fundamental rights and freedoms, and constitutional issues. In terms of the judiciary, the final appellate jurisdiction is currently the UK Privy Council; however there are plans to enable the Caribbean Court of Justice to fulfil this role.
The legal profession within the country is divided between barristers and solicitors, with a number of firms practicing in the centres of St. John’s and St. Mary’s. Antigua and Barbuda is amongst the governments that have signed an agreement establishing a Council of Legal Education which sets common education and training standards for their jurisdictions.
The Council of Legal Education is responsible for setting the education and training standards for people with a law degree from the University of the West Indies or from institutions in common law countries. Additionally it operates three regional law schools, located in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and the Bahamas, which provide certificates of legal education. The countries subscribing to the Council of Legal Education recognise that someone with a Certificate of Legal Education has the appropriate education and training to work in the profession in that country.
Admission to the bar, discipline, and continuing legal education are the responsibility of the bar association, the Antigua Bar Association. The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Bar Association is the organisation of legal practitioners and representative Bar Associations all functioning within the jurisdiction of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.
Not included in the World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report (2012-2013).
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|Dwight C.R. Gardiner||