Shanique Myrie could be smiling all the way to the bank this week
The very public frustration of Jamaican Shanique Myrie over Barbados’ delay to deliver US$38,620 (nearly JAM$4 million) in damages could very well turn into a smile in a matter of days.
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite today gave his word that Barbados would this week honour the order by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to pay Myrie who successfully sued the Government after being denied entry in the island back in March, 2011.
“She will be paid this week once the money is released from the Treasury. I’ve committed that I will speak to the Central Bank and have the money remitted to her attorney’s account, and my word is my bond. It will be done this week,” Brathwaite said while speaking on local radio today.
It’s almost eight months, since the Trinidad-based regional court handed down its judgment, and as recent as last week Myrie lamented that Barbadian authorities appeared to be deliberately holding up the payment of the award.
“It cannot be that the Barbadians just sits back and seems to be laughing at me and by extension Jamaica. I will not rest until they comply with the order of the court. I have waited patiently and it seems as if it is being delayed out of spite,” Myrie told the Jamaica Gleaner in an interview.
She threatened to return to the CCJ to file a claim to force Barbados to pay the compensation.
When Barbados TODAY contacted Myrie’s lawyer Michelle Brown, she declared she had not received any word from Barbadian authorities about the promised payment.
Brown also suggested she would not be buying into the AG’s commitment until the money lands in the bank.
“No, I have not and in fact we have had a promise that she would be paid by a particular deadline and she has not been paid any money yet and no payment has been made.”
She however declined comment on whether her client had issued instructions to return to the CCJ to get the outstanding money.
“I saw something of that nature in the newspaper. We will not speak to that as yet. We’re hoping that the Government of Barbados will honour its obligations to the court and to Ms Myrie.”
Attorney General Brathwaite however insisted that the Barbados Government always intended to pay Myrie because it fully supports the CCJ and will abide by its rulings.
Back in March, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart had also given a commitment that Myrie would be paid even though he had pointed out then that there was no legal mechanisms to force Barbados to pay her.
The same point has been made in recent weeks by the Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Attorney General A.J. Nicholson, in response to calls for the Myrie matter to be settled.
In a commentary, the Jamaican Gleaner said the CCJ ruling clearly established the minimum standards states must meet when regional citizens enter their borders and the potential consequences for failure.
“These obligations are binding on member states and, in that sense, become part of national law,” the paper stated before suggesting that Myrie “ might apply to the local courts to have a bailiff seize any property asset owned in Jamaica, or anywhere else in CARICOM, from the Barbados Government”.