Barbados Coalition of Services Industries (BCSI) reacts to the CCJ Ruling on Shanique Myrie

The Ruling of the CCJ in the Shanique Myrie case is a significant step forward for the CARICOM Freedom of Movement Regime. The BCSI is still to go through in more detail the full ruling of the court and its interpretation of Barbados’ obligations to CARICOM nationals under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas but our preliminary review is that this is a significant judgment that in many respects has been long overdue.

"While we recognize the importance of national security and border security measures, Barbados has clear legal obligations with respect to its treatment of CARICOM nationals and this ruling should force both our obligations, as well as the rights of CARICOM Nationals into the prominence in the national and regional discourse," said BCSI Executive Director Lisa Cummins.

While we recognize the importance of national security and border security measures, Barbados has clear legal obligations with respect to its treatment of CARICOM nationals and this ruling should force both our obligations, as well as the rights of CARICOM Nationals into the prominence in the national and regional discourse,” said BCSI Executive Director Lisa Cummins.

Barbados has to be seen to be playing a leadership role in these matters particularly given its responsibility at the level of Heads of Government for CSME Implementation and this ruling should cause us to have a long hard look at what we are doing, how we can improve and what our overall vision is for the regional project. She went on to say that “There has always been an imperative to integrate and to allow for free circulation within the Community and we cannot continue to be seen to be stepping away from that commitment. This judgment is a positive development against that background because it tells us clearly where we are, and simultaneously sends a message to all CARICOM members to undertake that same level of introspection.”

The judgment is also a strong statement in favour of the CCJ as the Court of Original Jurisdiction on all Treaty related matters. The BCSI looks forward to even more cases being raised in the CCJ particularly with respect to many of the intractable trade disputes that keep being raised solely at technical and political levels, but the genuine long term resolution of which perhaps rests more suitably in the CCJ. These issues, when ruled upon by the Court create jurisprudence and precedence which in turn give rise to changes at the national level. All round this is a positive day for CARICOM integration.

The BCSI was designated in 2006 as the National Competent Authority for the Registration of Service Providers in the CSME.

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