April 22, 2005
Big gala for CCJ opening

The Caribbean Court of Justice CCJ’s would be paying TT$2.5 million (US$398,000) to cover the cost of the lavish inauguration ceremony held last Saturday in Trinidad and Tobago.

The expenses for the event which was held at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s not only welcomed a mammoth crowd but also a bill for the ten prime ministers and hundreds of guests who attended. {{more}}The cost of the inauguration ceremony was revealed by Chief Justice of Barbados Sir David Simmons, during a media conference at the CCJ temporary headquarters at the UTC building, Port-of-Spain. He said the bill would be charged to the CCJ account, but pointed out that individual states funded their delegations to the ceremony.

Sir David noted that money was allocated for rental of the Queen’s Hall, for equipment, furniture, security, food, drinks, decorations, transportation, hotel accommodation, artistes, and labour. The former Attorney General of Barbados, said there is a US$100 million trust fund to run the CCJ.

The board of trustees comprise Caribbean persons in finance, business, labour, academia, law and judiciary. He said the Caribbean Development Bank raised the US$100 million, but this was only handed over to the trustees the week before the event. But another huge bill was presented when President George Maxwell Richards and First Lady Dr Jean Ramjohn-Richards hosted “a black tie affair” at President’s House which saw hundreds of guests in attendance.

Vincentian, Justice Adrian Saunders, was also sworn in at the inauguration.

The CCJ will be located in a building on Henry Street.