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CCJ to rule on Myrie case tomorrow

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

CCJ to rule on Myrie case tomorrow

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THE EAGERLY-AWAITED ruling in the landmark case involving Shanique Myrie is to be delivered today by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
Myrie, a Jamaican national, has accused Barbadian immigration officers of sexually assaulting and verbally abusing her at the Grantley Adams International Airport on March 14, 2011. Her lawyers have asked the court to award her up to a $1 million dollars in damages.
The announcement will be done via video link-up with the Justices of the regional court in Port-of-Spain. Myrie and her lawyers will hear the reserved judgment in Kingston while Barbados government attorneys will be informed of the court’s ruling here simultaneously.
It is also likely that the CCJ ruling will set out a minimum standard of treatment applicable to CARICOM citizens moving around the region.
The CCJ heard the case in its original jurisdiction as a tribunal interpreting the CARICOM treaty as well as deciding disputes between CARICOM nationals and regional member countries concerning issues with which the treaty deals, including the movement of nationals.
Myrie, 25, alleged that when she travelled to Barbados she was subjected to a body cavity search, detained overnight in a cell and deported the following day to her homeland.
The issue had raised some debate in both Bridgetown and Kingston. Barbadian authorities were adamant following their investigations that Myrie was not subjected to the treatment she alleged. In Jamaica, a number of nationals came out publicly to claim that they too had been ill-treated by authorities at Grantley Adams International.
In hearing the case, the CCJ went to Jamaica before moving to Barbados to hear from several witnesses and then returned to its headquarters where attorneys made their submissions before the panel deliberated over a three-month period in the lead up to today’s public announcement.