CCJ Rules Grenadian Family Has No Case Against Barbados Government

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Tuesday May 21, 2019 – Four members of a
Grenadian family who were seeking to sue Barbados for what they said was
restricting their freedom of movement when they were in the island almost three
years ago, yesterday had their application dismissed by the Caribbean Court of
Justice (CCJ).

Trinidad-based court dismissed the application for special leave that had been
filed by Tamika Gilbert, Lynnel Gilbert, Royston Gilbert, and Glennor Gilbert,
who had accused Barbados of violating their right to freedom of movement under
Article 45 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

The mother,
father and their two adult daughters visited Barbados for a day in October 2016
when they were arrested and detained for six and a half hours. While no charges
were laid against them, Tamika and Lynnel claimed that they were subjected to
degrading treatment by the police, and Tamika alleged that she was made to
remove a portion of her written statement recounting the degrading treatment
before the police would allow the family to leave.

The Gilberts
claimed that Barbados had violated their right to move freely within Barbados
and to depart Barbados without unnecessary harassment or impediment. Barbados
denied their claim and opposed the grant of leave, arguing that the applicants
had not fulfilled the requirements of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas needed
to commence legal action.

In handing
down its decision, the CCJ noted that the family was taken into police custody
for the purpose of police investigations and that freedom of movement did not
immunize CARICOM nationals from the operation of law enforcement agencies.

In addition, it
said that the family would have had to set up an arguable case of
discrimination based on nationality only, prohibited by Article 7 of the
Revised Treaty, in order to be granted special leave to bring their claim
against Barbados.

“They have
failed to make out an arguable case that they were prejudiced in respect of the
enjoyment of their right to free movement within the State of Barbados, and to
depart Barbados without impediment. They have therefore not satisfied Article
222 (b) and so special leave cannot be granted,” the CCJ ruled.

After dismissing the application, the court said each party would bear its own costs.

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