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Thursday, January 17th 2008

16:55

Establishment of the CARICOM Competition Commission

Dr. Trevor Farrell takes the limelight again, this time as one of seven newly appointed members of the CARICOM Competition Commission.  According to a report in the Barbados Advocate, the inauguration and swearing in ceremony will be held in Suriname on January 18, 2008.

Under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas seven (7) members are to be appointed by the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission (RJLSC) and a Chairman is to be selected from amongst them.

Dr. Kusha Haraksingh of Trinidad & Tobago has been appointed Chairman of the Commission and will serve in this capacity for five years.  Members of the Commission are appointed to serve a five year term and their appointments may be renewed for up to a further five years.

Under Article 171 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, a Community Competition Commission shall be established for the purpose of implementing the Community Competition Policy.  In summary, the goal of the Competition Policy is to ensure that the benefits expected from the establishment of the CSME are not frustrated by anti-competitive business conduct.  Its overall objectives are

  • the promotion and maintenance of competition and enhancement of economic efficiency in production, trade and commerce.
  • subject to the Treaty, the prohibition of anti-competitive business conduct which prevents, restricts or distorts competition or which constitutes the abuse of a dominant position in the market, and
  • the promotion of consumer welfare and protection of consumer interests. (Source Article 169, Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas)

The designated role of the Commission under Article 173 is to

  • apply the rules of competition in respect of anti competitive cross-border business conduct and
  • promote and protect competition in the Community and coordinate the implementation of the Community Competition Policy.

In this context, we wish to suggest as a matter of urgency the Commission evaluate the efficacy of the legislative framework governing “integrity in corporate speech" which may further hinder the advancement of ICT within the region and act as a deterrent to engaging in cross-border online transactions.

The composition of the Commission comprise notable figures from the region which include

  • Dr. Kusha Haraksingh (Trinidad & Tobago) Chairman
  • Mr. Patterson Keith Herman Cheltenham Q.C. (Barbados)
  • Dr. Trevor Farrell (Trinidad & Tobago)
  • Mr. Hans Rudolf Lim A Po (Suriname)
  • Dr. Maureen Paul (Dominica)
  • Dr. Barton Umax Adolphus Scotland (Guyana)
  • Ambassador A. B. Stewart Stephenson (Jamaica)
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