A Jamaican woman, Shanique Myrie who claimed that she was sexually violated, verbally abused, locked up and thrown out of Barbados by immigration officials last March has filed an action in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
The law firm of Hylton Brown, in a press release said this is the first case of its kind that will be filed in the CCJ in its original jurisdiction.
“The critical issue for determination is: What is the minimum standard of treatment to be given to CARICOM nationals moving within the region under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and its goal of hassle-free travel?” the release said.
Before seeking leave from the government of Jamaica to file this action, the firm said it allowed sufficient time for both the Jamaican and the Barbadian governments to attempt to settle the matter.
“After obtaining leave of the government of Jamaica, this firm also attempted to engage the Barbadian government in discussions, but to no avail. Ms Myrie was therefore left with no recourse but to bring an action before the CCJ to have important issues raised adjudicated,” the release said.
This matter will set the precedent for how persons move throughout the region, the firm said.
“This case is also important in that it will build awareness among Jamaican and CARICOM citizens of the obligation of member states of the CARICOM community to provide a minimum assurance of free movement or hassle-free travel. It is also a unique opportunity for Hylton Brown, as a law firm, to contribute to our vision of building community law and thereby providing the guidance needed for ordinary citizens and persons doing business in the region,” the release stated.
Myrie, who said she was traumatized by the incident, is seeking redress, including monetary damages, since she believes she should be compensated for the harm caused by the Barbadian government who acted in their official capacities as either immigration, customs or police officers.