Shanique Myrie’s judgment has “far reaching” implications – Caricom head
By Latoya Giles
Almost one month after the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), ruled in favour of Jamaican Shanique Myrie, Caricom’s Secretary-General LaRocque, yesterday, said that the judgment has far-reaching implications for decision-making and implementation.
LaRocque was at the time addressing Trade Ministers from around the region yesterday at a Special
Session held at the Princess Hotel, Georgetown. The judgment, Ambassador LaRocque added, would engender confidence in Community arrangements.
According to LaRocque, each and every member state party to the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas has agreed to certain rights and obligations, and if the Community is to deepen its integration process, each country has a responsibility to ensure that they meet their obligations to each other.
However, LaRocque stressed that they must be equally aware of the constraints which may hinder member states from fulfilling those obligations and responsibilities.
He said that in recognition of the challenges and limitations with which member states are faced, there is the need to collectively endeavour to put all Member States on a sound footing to tackle the hard economic realities. For the Community, LaRocque said, enhancing competitiveness and expanding trade were crucial elements to propel growth and improve the welfare of the Region.
The time was also opportune, the Secretary-General said, for a review of the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and whether the approach to it was adequate to address the immediate concerns of Member States.
“Just as we have agreed that the Revised Treaty must now be reviewed in order to advance our integration arrangements, we have to examine the role of the CSME in addressing the economic challenges of Member States. I remain convinced, however, that the CSME is our best option for addressing our economic challenges,” Ambassador LaRocque said.
In a ruling issued on October 4, the CCJ awarded Myrie a total of Bds$75,000 or J$3.6 million after it found that the Barbados Government had breached her right to enter the country under Article 5 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
Myrie took the Barbados Government to the CCJ, alleging that she was discriminated against because of her nationality when she arrived in Barbados on March 14, 2011. The 25-year-old also said she was subjected to a dehumanising body-cavity search and placed in an unsanitary cell before being deported the next day to Jamaica.
The Barbados Government denied the claims and argued at the trial that Myrie had been untruthful to Immigration officials.
Myrie wanted the CCJ to determine the minimum standard of treatment for Caricom citizens moving within the region under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. She asked the CCJ to award her almost US$500,000 in punitive damages for the treatment she received on her visit to Barbados. She also wanted the regional court to award costs and special damages.