Gonsalves: CCJ ruling brings clarity
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) – St Vincent and the Grenadines says it welcomes the ruling by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) that the Barbados government breached the right of a Jamaican national to enter the country under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
The CCJ awarded Shanique Myrie, BDS$75 000 in compensation after she was denied entry into Barbados on March 14, 2011.
Myrie claimed that she had been discriminated against because of her nationality and was also subjected to a body-cavity search in unsanitary and demeaning conditions before being detained and deported the next day to Jamaica.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves told a news conference that his government welcomes the decision of the CCJ handed down on October 4.
“It clarifies a wide range of issues regarding the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas 2001 and decision of the Heads of State and Government of 2007, regarding the hassle free travel for CARICOM nationals and the automatic six-month stay,” said Gonsalves, a lawyer.
He said that having read the judgement, he has advised the permanent secretary in the Ministry of National Security, which includes immigration, the Chief Immigration Officer, and the Attorney General.
Gonsalves said the judgement is “sound” and “the court has not said anything which we have not agreed to as governments, as leaders.
He said CARICOM nationals have an automatic right of entry to other CARICOM states, subject to the rights of the respective states to deny entry on the ground of undesirability or that a person is likely to be a charge on the public purse.