PORT OF SPAIN – Earlier today the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) dismissed an application by four Grenadian nationals against Barbados.
The family of four Tamika Gilbert, Lynnel Gilbert, Royston Gilbert, Glennor Gilbert, accused Barbados of violating their right to freedom of movement under Article 45 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and under a Conference Decision made by the Heads of Government in 2007.
They visited Barbados for a day in October 2016 when they were arrested and detained for six and a half hours. While no charges were laid against them, Tamika and Lynnel claimed that they were subjected to degrading treatment by the police, and Tamika alleged that she was made to remove a portion of her written statement recounting the degrading treatment before the police would allow the family to leave.
The Gilberts claimed that Barbados had violated their right to move freely within Barbados and to depart Barbados without unnecessary harassment or impediment. Barbados denied their claim and opposed the grant of leave, arguing that the applicants had not fulfilled the requirements of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas needed to commence legal action.
The CCJ however noted that the family was taken into police custody for the purpose of police investigations and that freedom of movement did not immunise CARICOM nationals from the operation of law enforcement agencies.
In addition, the CCJ said that the family would have had to set up an arguable case of discrimination based on nationality only, prohibited by Article 7 of the Revised Treaty, in order to be granted special leave to bring their claim against Barbados. Since they failed to do this, the application was dismissed. (PR)