CCJ’s landmark ruling
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) today made a landmark ruling regarding the admissibility of evidence before restarting hearings into the discrimination case brought by Jamaican Shanique Myrie.
CCJ President Sir Dennis Byron revealed the court had received final written submissions and applications and had deliberated on the matter before coming up with the ruling.
The ruling had become necessary because Myrie’s counsel Nancy Anderson had attempted to introduce the statements of two persons interviewed by Barbadian police Sergeant Vernon Farrell who was part of the team investigating Myrie’s claims.
Lead attorney for Barbados, Roger Forde, QC, had strenuously objected to the statements being introduced, claiming it would break legal rules of procedure.But the CCJ saw otherwise, allowing the statements to be admitted for identification and as exhibits of the court.
“We do not consider this application controversial,” Sir Dennis said in the ruling. “It is consistent with standard practice as the court would routinely allow the use of any statement that has been disclosed by a party to be used in the cross-examination of any witnesses.”
He added that under such circumstances the court would admit the statements for identification at this stage, and allow all statements in them to be used in the cross-examination of witnesses.
“We should add for clarity that we will also allow any of the statements disclosed by the defendant (Barbados) to be used for this purpose as well,” Sir Dennis said. (BA)