The CCJ has two jurisdictions, pursuant to the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice – Original and Appellate. In the Original Jurisdiction, the CCJ functions as the Court identified in Chapter Nine of the Revised Treaty i.e. as the only Court with the compulsory jurisdiction to interpret the Revised Treaty. When the Court sits in this jurisdiction it is an international court, with a treaty-based jurisdiction, applying principles of international law.
As an Appellate Court, it is the final court of appeal for those countries which have enabled this jurisdiction in their national legislation – Barbados, Dominica, Guyana and Belize. Although the judges are currently drawn from the same pool, when they sit in the Appellate Jurisdiction, they constitute a national court for the relevant country. There is no overlap or relationship between the two jurisdictions. The Court cannot, in its Appellate Jurisdiction take any decisions regarding the Revised Treaty, or compliance by a Member State with its Community obligations. Accordingly, the obligation to comply with a judgment of the CCJ in its Original Jurisdiction does not differ whether or not a Member State is a party to the Appellate Jurisdiction.