The examination that this book seeks to undertake relates to the manner in which the judicial evolution throughout various parts of the Commonwealth has been occurring over time. It will investigate the concomitant political independence of former British colonies and, in particular, the imperatives that were given expression through the establishment of a final appellate court on their own soil. Further, along with independence, there emerged the awareness of these states to look beyond colonial associations as component entities of regions - regions that often have the legacies of notjust the British, but other colonial imperialists as well. Global trends had added to the dictates of seeking regional integration to enable countries to, at the very least, exert more leverage and, at the extreme, survive. This regionalism has heralded the formation of regional court establishment, yet another expression - and a more advanced one - of political and judicial independence.
From 2003 through to 2007, the Commonwealth Secretariat hosted a series of meetings. These meetings emanated from a 2002 mandate of the Commonwealth Law Ministers, which requested that the Secretariat:
* examine the manner in which Commonwealth jurisdictions proposing to sever relations with the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) could effect a smooth transition from the jurisdiction of that court;
* ensure that the high standards set by the JCPC were maintained after severance by such other courts as might replace the Privy Council; and
* make such recommendations as are deemed appropriate and report thereon to the law ministers.
Commencing in 2002, the Commonwealth Secretariat's Law Development Section (LDS), pioneered by its head and adviser, Cheryl Thompson-Barrow of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division (LCAD) and the author of this book, pursued a set of activities, synchronising these with the fortuitous and significant developments which were occurring to the jurisprudential landscape in member countries. These activities were as follows:
In June 2003, an expert group was convened at the Secretariat offices at Marlborough House in London, which culminated in a report setting out detailed conclusions and recommendations. These included:
* The continuation of information sharing amongst final appellate courts as they removed jurisdiction from the JCPC;
* That the exchange of information with 'older courts' of the Commonwealth, such as the...