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On guard!

The union representing Immigration officers has warned

them to be on their guard, following last week’s landmark

judgment, handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice

in response to an action filed by Jamaican Shanique Myrie

against the Barbados Government.

The aspect of the judgment that has most concerned

the Immigration officers’ bargaining body the National

Union of Public Workers relates to new guidelines laid

down by the court regarding the treatment of CARICOM

nationals who come to Barbados.

For example, all CARICOM nationals are now

entitled to an automatic six-month stay in each other’s

country. Where a Community citizen is refused entry

on a legitimate ground, that national should be given the

opportunity to consult an attorney-at-law, a consular

official of his or her country, or to contact a

family member.

Using the accountability principle, Barbados and other

regional states that refuse entry of a Caribbean national

are now required to promptly, and in writing, inform that

person not only of the reasons for denied entry, but also

of his or her right to challenge that decision.

In this regard, the CCJ indicated that it expected

Barbados to interpret and apply its local laws liberally, so

as to harmonize them with Community law, or, if this is

not possible, to change them.

The regional panel of judges also ruled that, where

freedom of movement within CARICOM was concerned,

local courts or tribunals would be guided by the CCJ as it

sets out the relevant Community law.

If, in the course of a local proceeding, new issues arise

that have not been addressed by the CCJ, local courts

and tribunals are required to refer these new matters

to the regional court of justice for determination before

delivering judgment.

NUPW general secretary Denis Clarke told Barbados

TODAY the ruling had “serious” implications for

Immigration officers.

“We have not met yet to deal with the ramifications

of the decision, but from its face value, we would want

them [Immigration officers] to be cautious in what they are

doing. We would have to get together to deal with this,”

Clarke suggested.

“There must be some amendments to our Immigration

laws to deal with the CCJ judgment,” the trade union

leader insisted.

In her case, Myrie claimed that when she arrived at

the Grantley Adams International Airport on March 14,

2011, she was made to undergo a painful and humiliating

body cavity search by a Barbadian border official, that

her detention cell was insanitary, and that this and other

treatment to which she was subjected amounted to a

serious breach of her right to free movement and also a

violation of her fundamental human rights and freedoms.

The Jamaican woman also claimed an entitlement to a

right to free movement within the Caribbean Community,

specifically a right of entry without any form of harassment,

based on the combined effect of Article 45 of the

Revised Treaty Of Chaguaramas and a decision of

the Conference of Heads of Government in 2007.

Myrie had also alleged that Barbados breached her

rights to non-discrimination on the grounds of nationality

only, and to treatment that was no less favourable than

that accorded to nationals of other CARICOM states.


One Response to On guard!

  1. jimmy D October 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Because of this stupid treaty were unable to imposed visa restrictions on these people. Thanks alot Owen. She can keep. The $38dollars and make sure to tell the others not to come. All hands on deck please. Immigration continue your great work. Go to st Vincent or Antigua for vacation.The ccj haven’t A clue the trouble Jamaicans are,it is impossible to discipline adults. Who where never discipline as kids.


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