There may be no legal mechanisms to force Barbados to pay Shanique Myrie, but Government would not use that as an escape route, says Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.
He has committed to paying the almost $78,000 in damages which the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ordered after the Jamaican woman successfully sued the Barbados Government for being refused entry into the island in 2011.
Stuart said the implications of the ruling were discussed “at length” at the 25th Caribbean Community (CARIOM) Inter-Sessional Meeting in St Vincent and the Grenadines and he told reporters last night at the end of summit news conference that Barbados is “committed to complying” with the ruling of the court.
Making reference to a recent statement by a CCJ judge that there are no established legal mechanisms for the enforcement of the judgment in the Myrie case, Stuart said: “That does not mean, of course, that Barbados walks away from the case without any obligations.
“The Government of Barbados is not viewing that as any escape route. The Government of Barbados is committed to complying with the provisions of the judgement in the Shanique Myrie case and as I understand it on my last inquiry, the only reason the damages have not been paid over – and I have explained it to the Jamaican officials at this conference – was that there were still issues outstanding in relation to legal costs.”
Stuart said usually in these matters “when you are settling matters, you don’t settle the damages and then haggle over the legal costs. You try to settle all these matters at the same time so when you close it, it is closed”.
“So . . . even though there may be no legal mechanisms available to Miss Myrie or available to a claimant or an applicant under the treaty for an enforcement of a judgment of the CCJ, given the commitment of member states to the rule of law, member states will comply with the decisions of the CCJ,” he added.
Meanwhile, Stuart pointed out that the ruling would also have implications for the responsibilities of immigration officers.
“So, it is recognised that the judgment has implications for all member states on how they do their business,” he said.
The Barbadian leader sought to make it clear that all member states are committed to the rule of law “unmistakably, unequivocally and that whatever is required to be done to give effect to the judgement of the CCJ member states are prepared to do it”.