Barbados’ Shanique Myrie battle has just gotten bigger. The island will now have to mount a larger defence against charges its “border officials” assaulted, raped and unlawfully detained the Jamaica woman in March last year.
Barbados TODAY confirmed this evening that a three man Caribbean Court of Justice panel headed by President Sir Charles Byron today issued an order allowing the Jamaica Government to be an intervenor in the case.
But in an unexpected move, the CCJ has also granted member states and the Caribbean Community leave to indicate by the end of next month “whether they wish to make submissions on this matter”.
These latest developments in the controversial matter involving Myrie and Barbados came during a 10-minute sitting of the CCJ in Trinidad where Sir Charles, accompanied by Justices Adrian Saunders Justice Jacob Wit delivered the decision, but not the reasons.
In the order the CCJ granted the Jamaica Government “intervenor” status, and instructed its registrar to “serve on the state of Jamaica copies of the documents served on the parties to the current proceedings”.
“The state of Jamaica shall within 28 days of service upon it of the said documents file a statement specifying… the order which Jamaica wishes the court to make in the current proceedings,…any legal submissions on which Jamaica relies and…the nature of any evidence offered in support of Jamaica’s contentions, annexing any documents on which it is intended to rely,” Sir Charles told the court.
The CCJ also ordered that “the register do serve on the member states and the community copies of the documents referred to… above and leave is hereby granted to the said member states and the community to indicate by 31 October, 2012 whether they wish to make submissions on this matter”.
“A case management conference is scheduled for 6 December, 2012 for further consideration of this matter,” the CCJ head added.
Today, the head of Barbados’ defense team Roger Forde, QC, queried if the admission of the Jamaica government meant it would be allowed to lead evidence during the trial in court and if their representatives would be allowed cross examine witnesses during the proceedings.
In response, Sir Charles said, “Our order has not addressed those matters and order has not extended beyond the narrow terms of it. Matters with regard to the adducing of evidence will be addressed at the case management conference.”
At today’s hearing the Jamaica government was represented by Deputy Solicitor General, Dr. Kathy-Ann Brown, Crown Counsel in the Attorney General’s office, O’Neil Francis.
“Jamaica would simply like to thank you for granting leave and we will comply with the court’s orders as you have outlined,” Brown said after the order was read in court. Both Brown and Francis had said the application to be an intervenor was made to protect the interest of Jamaicans under the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
Barbados had objected to the Jamaican Government becoming a party to the Myrie suit, while Myrie’s lawyer Michelle Brown had supported her government’s petition.
At a sitting of the CCJ in Barbados on April 18 this year, Myrie was granted special leave to pursue a case against Barbados in the court’s Original Jurisdiction. (SC)