Comissiong takes aim at Gollop over fingerprinting comment

Attorney-at-law and social activist David Comissiong has hit back at fellow lawyer Hal Gollop, QC, who last week rejected out of hand the Supreme Court ruling in the fingerprinting case brought by Comissiong against the Freundel Stuart administration.

After Justice Pamela Beckles ruled last Thursday that the Immigration Biometrics (Regulations) 2015 were null and void, Gollop told Barbados TODAY on Friday that the judge had acted prematurely.

He argued that the legal judgment was an absolute nonsense, contending that that Immigration (Biometrics) Regulations 2015 were still at the “idea” stage and were yet to become law, therefore there was no legal victory to boast about.

“It is not a law, so you cannot act under it. Consequently, you cannot be sued under it,” Gollop said.

However, Comissiong today dismissed Gollop, stopping just short of saying the senior attorney had spoken from a position of ignorance.

The social activist told Barbados TODAY Gollop should have read the court documents before offering a public comment on the ruling.

Comissiong stressed the absence of a defence by the Solicitor General’s office, claiming Government simply had no defence.

“On the very face of the claim form it was clear that the Constitution had been breached; the Immigration Act had been breached; the Interpretation Act that outlines the correct procedure for enacting statutory instruments had been breached and that the action of the Chief Immigration Officer to act upon the regulations was null and void. These things were so clear that the Crown did not even attempt to defend the claim,” he said.

Comissiong, who had sued Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and Chief Immigration Officer Wayne Marshall over the proposed plan to fingerprint Barbadians leaving and entering the country, repeated his argument that the Immigration Biometrics (Regulations) 2015 were not properly and lawfully enacted in accordance with the law.

Comissiong told Barbados TODAY that Beckles granted two orders: one to quash the directive made by Griffith to have every Barbadian entering and leaving Barbados fingerprinted and the Immigration (Biometrics) Regulations 2015 because they were illegal.

The longstanding attorney pointed out that not only was the correct procedure not followed in publishing the regulations in the Official Gazette, but added that the effect of the regulations constitutes a breach of the statutory and constitutional rights of Barbadians.

Comissiong also contended that where the regulations purported to restrict the entry of Barbadians who refuse to be fingerprinted, they conflicted with Section 22 of the Constitution of Barbados as well as with Section 4 of the Immigration Act of Barbados.

The Immigration Act and the Constitution say collectively that it is an absolute right of a citizen to return to his native land unfettered and unrestricted, the activist insisted.

nevilleclarke@barbadostoday.bb

13 Responses to Comissiong takes aim at Gollop over fingerprinting comment

  1. dave July 5, 2016 at 6:23 am

    There are many more things that they are doing wrong. The act of not appointing people in the Public Service where everybody seems to be acting breaches everything that you can of think of ethically morally and legally . Somebody needs to take the Government to Court

    Reply
    • Carson C Cadogan July 5, 2016 at 5:52 pm

      Can you tell us when these acting positions were started?

      Last week? last Month? When?

      Enlighten my darkness.

      Reply
  2. dave July 5, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Comissiong also contended that where the regulations purported to restrict the entry of Barbadians who refuse to be fingerprinted, they conflicted with Section 22 of the Constitution of Barbados as well as with Section 4 of the Immigration Act of Barbados.

    True and correct

    Reply
  3. dave July 5, 2016 at 6:27 am

    The Immigration Act and the Constitution say collectively that it is an absolute right of a citizen to return to his native land unfettered and unrestricted, the activist insisted.

    Reply
  4. Green Giant July 5, 2016 at 7:31 am

    We as a nation needs to revisit this piece of legislation. We have seen in the past persons of all classes and nationalities moving in and out of this country after being restricted by the courts in this and other jurisdictions.

    This legislation will improve security at our points of entry and bring us to a level required to be a major player with Interpol.

    We really need not politicize this as any new government coming to power will have to address this issue. This is a step in the right direction, that’s why the objectors should be more focused on getting it right than preventing it.

    Reply
    • Leroy July 5, 2016 at 7:43 am

      But you cannot allow it in its current form then try to ammend it.

      Reply
  5. Alex Alleyne July 5, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Fingerprinting is a must . It will return to the front burner and pass with flying colours. The idea and process should have been put to the public first and then go about in putting things in place. The WORLD know It is needed and will come to the Island of Barbados …..Like it or not.
    If you don’t comply you will deny entry after it is sign into LAW.

    Reply
  6. ricardo July 5, 2016 at 11:04 am

    How is it posible to restrict bajans from entering its not a law if they refuse to be fingerprinted

    Reply
  7. Alex Alleyne July 5, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    All Bajans must be put into a data base via a passport , drivers license or ID card. The air and sea port will have their info. right before them , and they will not be fingerprinted. I am not saying the BAJANS must be fingerprinted , I am saying that all visiting BARBADOS will be, as requested by the WORLD leader(s) who set the tone for “freedom of movement”, and making sure Barbados fall in line. Its a safety issue.
    Anyone who has travel before 9/11 and after will notice a vast change in how things are done going and leaving air ports world wide.
    The change will come …believe me.

    Reply
  8. eddy murray July 5, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    All the bombing that taking place are my people that are well known, and fringer printed too.

    Reply
  9. eddy murray July 5, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Are by people that are known by the CIA, FBI and the whole lot.

    Reply
  10. BaJan boy July 5, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    @ Green giant your grammar says how stupid you are but you talk about Interpol and the Bio metrics legislation you are sure dumber than we thought. This government has a number of semi iliterate people making the decisions and they are all just feeling their after 8 years of poor management .

    Reply
  11. Tony Waterman July 6, 2016 at 2:52 am

    @Alex Alleyne!!!! NO you are Wrong, The Constitution of Barbados,the Piece of Paper that we Repatriated from Britain on Nov.30.1966, (The no 1 LAW of the LAND) States that “” it is an absolute RIGHT of a citizen to return to his native land unfettered and unrestricted”” so unless the Constitution is AMENDED, YES you can refuse to be fingerprinted, and there is NOT a Damm Thing that anypne can do to you, they cannot Deport you because by that Same Constitution you qualify as a Citizen of Barbados.
    The way forward is to Have ALL Caricom Countries Institute Biometric Passports(Barbados is in the process of doing that as we write/Speak) then allyou have to do is Install Passport readers at the Airport, and enter all the Info that was collected when the Passport was issued, then there would be NO NEED to fingerprint anyone.
    when i travel from Canada to the USA they just put my Passport in a Reader and as long as there are no abnormalities i am through and gone.
    ALL persons Travelling to the USA have their Passports Read right there at GAIA before the can Board the Aircraft, if you are ytravelling to the USA without a Biometric Passport, you MUST Have your VISA with you. again NO FINGERPRINTING.

    Reply

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