$75,000 damages to Myrie


PORT OF SPAIN In a landmark judgment, delivered at the Caribbean Court of Justice’s headquarters in Trinidad at 10 a.m. today, Jamaican national Shanique Myrie was awarded BDS$75,000 in damages to be paid by the State of Barbados. The CCJ found that Myrie had been wrongfully denied entry into Barbados, subjected to a humiliating cavity search and unlawfully detained overnight in a cell and expelled from Barbados.

Myrie had instituted proceedings in May, 2012, alleging that Barbados had violated her right to free movement within CARICOM. She also claimed that she was subjected to discrimination on the ground of her nationality when Barbadian officials refused her entry into Barbados on March 14, 2011. The State of Jamaica intervened in the proceedings and at the trial supported the claims of Myrie.

Myrie claimed that in the course of being refused entry into Barbados, she was subjected to a body cavity search and to deplorable detention conditions. She gave evidence, which was corroborated by Jamaican medical practitioners, that the treatment she received continues to cause her post-traumatic stress.

The court rejected Myrie’s claim that she was discriminated against on account of her nationality, but found for her on the other claims. In the course of its judgment the CCJ held that CARICOM nationals are entitled to enter CARICOM member states without harassment or the imposition of impediment, and to stay for up to six months. This right, the court stated, was derived from the Revised Treaty Of Chaguaramas (RTC) and a 2007 CARICOM Decision made at the 28th meeting of the Heads of Government of CARICOM.

The right requires member states to give the refused person written reasons for the refusal and also to advise them of their entitlement to access meaningful judicial review. The right may be denied only where the receiving state establishes that the visitor is an undesirable person or one likely to become a charge on public funds.

The court defined “undesirable” as a person who “poses or can reasonably be expected to pose a genuine present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society”.

The court also ordered Barbados to refund Myrie her medical expenses, her airline ticket and her reasonable legal expenses.

The court was presided over by President Sir Dennis Byron, along with Justices Nelson, Saunders, Bernard, Wit, Hayton and Anderson.

Michelle Brown and Nancy Anderson appeared for Myrie; Roger Forde, QC, Patterson Cheltenham, QC, Donna Brathwaite, QC, Dr David Berry and Nargis Hardyal for Barbados; and Dr Kathy-Ann Brown, Lisa White and O’Neil Francis appeared for the intervener Jamaica.

Gladys Young, Dr Chantal Ononaiwu and Safiya Ali appeared for the CARICOM Community.

6 Responses to $75,000 damages to Myrie

  1. lynda October 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    oh how i love this article and its outcome. justice at last.public officers need training on how to treat humans. i went to immigration with a friend of mine in march of this year to apply for her status, after living here for ten years…they treated that woman like a hardened criminal..(send her downstairs to investigation)…she had to return the following day, made her pay $900 for extension, paid for work permit and kept her passport..they sent a letter to the person who applied for her work permit..saying she have 2weeks to leave barbados…

  2. lynda October 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    because im speaking out on what a factual incident, my comment have to get moderation…or muzzling

  3. lynda October 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    this is a democratic society, no wonder we are in this position, too much is swept under the carpet, public officers are representative of their country and not of themselves. they are now on the world map

  4. carolyn October 6, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    i love little Barbados ,spent most of my holidays there,my second home.i followed the Myrie case on caribbeancourtofjustice.org daily at work on my laptop ,it was like a soccer game to us in the office.we all love your island but i think you made a mistake there .where did you get that pair of crappy police officers? how the heck can they overrule immigration ? ………Love you Bim

  5. Concerned Bajan October 7, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I really hope the Govt of Barbados will appeal this decision – there is no way that this is right!!!! She came into my country to do wrong and in the end she gets paid by my tax dollars!! What does this tell the criminals who bring drugs all parts of their body – that I have no right to search them…. Really this totally absurb. If I had made a claim like this against Jamaica or Trinidad I would have been laughed out of their countries – but only in Barbados – we are too decent for our own good

  6. t October 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    She did not bring drugs in the country.Tax payer or tax payer not,she won.I think u should tell yr country people to treat people better and let them know it is not every woman come to take we man.


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