Member States committed to rule of law

CARICOM Secretariat

Press Release

TURKEYEN, Greater Georgetown, Guyana (CARICOM) — The ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in the Shanique Myrie v the State of Barbados case “bristles with issues that would have implications for Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States” which are unequivocally committed to “doing what is required to be done”, Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Freundel Stuart said recently.

Addressing the implications of the ruling at the press conference that wrapped up the 25th Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government last Tuesday, Prime Minister Stuart said that since the judgement in October last year, many issues had arisen in terms of how Member States would carry out the court’s orders, and the institutional mechanisms that would have to be put in place to ensure that effect was given to the judgement of the court.

Among the issues that had to be considered were the responsibilities of immigration officers operating at borders given the fact that they must be astute to issues of national security, Prime Minister Stuart said.

“It is recognised that the judgement has implications for all Member States and how they do their business. When we were discussing this matter, it emerged … that the CARICOM Secretariat did present an opinion on the implications of the judgement, but that opinion was not intended to be complete. There are many issues; the judgement bristles with issues that would have implications for Member States. What we all agreed on is that Member States are committed to the rule of law, unmistakably and unequivocally, and that whatever is required to be done to give effect to the judgement of the CCJ, Member States are committed to doing it,” the Prime Minster said.

Member States were still in the process of itemizing the changes that would have to be made, he added.

In a landmark ruling, delivered at the CCJ’s Headquarters in Port of Spain on 4 October, 2013, the CCJ awarded Ms. Myrie, a Jamaican national, Bds$75,000 damages to be paid by the State of Barbados.

Ms. Myrie had instituted proceedings in May, 2012 alleging that Barbados had violated her right to free movement within CARICOM. She also claimed that she was subjected to discrimination on the ground of her nationality when Barbadian officials refused her entry into Barbados on March 14, 2011.

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