Attorney General responds to article on curfew law
Attorney General Dale Marshall has responded to an article carried on the Front Page of the Daily Nation of April 23, where Magistrate Graveney Bannister described Barbados’ COVID-19 curfew law as badly drafted.
Following is the full statement from the Attorney General:
“In an article in one section of the Barbados press today, Magistrate Graveney Bannister was reported as having commented negatively on the enforceability of the Curfew Directive No. 3.
“While judicial officers are called on to interpret our statutes and apply them, this duty only arises in the context of a matter over which they are presiding. It is, therefore, most unfortunate that he has chosen to step beyond his responsibility as a judicial officer, and to trespass on matters that are for the executive or the legislature.
“It is also regrettable that his commentary is likely to lead Barbadians to doubt the validity of the Directive and its force in law.
“As Attorney General, I am satisfied that the Directive is fully enforceable in law and I caution Barbadians against testing the legal system based on the magistrate’s expressed view. There are several specific provisions in the Directive that speak clearly and unequivocally to the fundamental rule that Barbadians are simply not to leave their residences except they are engaged in permissible activity and during the times allowed.
“Be assured that the members of the Royal Barbados Police Force will continue to apply the terms of the Directive strictly for as long as this curfew remains in effect.” (BGIS)
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