CCJ to deliver judgment in Myrie case against Barbados on October 4

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Tuesday July 30, 2013 – The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) says it will deliver its judgement in the case in which a Jamaican national has accused immigration officials in Barbados of sexually assaulting her more than a year ago.

A brief statement from the CCJ said that the ruling will be delivered on October 4 at 10:00am (Trinidad and Tobago time) via video conference.

Myrie claimed that she was sexually assaulted and subjected to derogatory remarks by a Barbadian Immigration officer at the Grantley Adams International Airport on March 14 last year. 

She has asked the CCJ to determine the minimum standard of treatment applicable to CARICOM citizens moving around the region.

The CCJ, established in 2001 to replace the London-based Privy Council, also serves as an international tribunal interpreting the treaty as well as deciding disputes between CARICOM nationals and regional countries concerning issues with which the treaty deals, including the free movement of nationals within the grouping.

Back in April, the CCJ granted Myrie special leave to bring her case against Barbados. The Barbados government had earlier objected to the Jamaica government becoming a party to the lawsuit brought by Myrie.

The CCJ held historic sittings in both Barbados and Jamaica hearing the matter.

Meanwhile, The CCJ has declined to enforce an arbitral Award made by The London Court of International Arbitration.

The award had ordered the Belize government to pay to two Belizean companies damages and costs totalling approximately US$44 million with interest at 3.38 percent compounded annually.

The award arose out of an agreement between the government and the companies that was recorded in a Deed executed by representatives of the Companies on the one hand and the Prime Minister, as Minister of Finance and the Attorney General of Belize on the other. 

The companies were seeking to have the award enforced in Belize under the 1980 Arbitration Act.

The CCJ rejected the Attorney General’s submissions that the Arbitration Act was unconstitutional but the Court upheld the argument that the award was illegal, void and contrary to public policy. 

The Court stated that the Deed purported to alter and regulate taxation and under the Belize Constitution and statutes this could only validly be done by parliament.

The Court stated that to allow the Minister of Finance to assume essential law-making functions beyond his constitutional or legislative authority would put democracy at peril.

The CCJ ruled that Caribbean courts therefore have an obligation to strike down executive action that undermines the authority of the legislature.

In deciding the issue of costs, the Court found that given the government’s refusal to participate in the arbitration proceedings, as well as the companies’ success on the arguments raised on the constitutionality of the Arbitration Ordinance each party should bear its own costs.(CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)