Our Readers' Opinions
June 17, 2014
Judgments of the CCJ not honoured

Tue Jun 17, 2014


It seems as if judgments of the highest court of the region, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) are not readily honoured by governments.

The Barbados Government was ordered to pay a total of $77,240 to a young Jamaican woman Shanique Myrie, after she was harassed at the Grantley Adams Airport in Barbados.{{more}} The order was made after the CCJ, sitting in its original jurisdiction, found that the authorities have breached Article 45 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC) when they harassed a Caricom national.

Shortly after the judgment was given, one of the CCJ judges told broadcasters that the judgment cannot be enforced because the CCJ lacks the mechanism to do so. Is this for real? This is unbelievable and one would have thought that the drafters of the Treaty would have included enforcement of court orders. Moreover, one would have expected that Barbados, which is an independent state since 1966, would have honoured an order of the Court, especiallly since it is an order from the highest court of the land and especially since the Bajan administration accepted the CCJ as the final court in its appellate jurisdiction.

A few days ago Myrie complained that she has not yet been paid. This is not only unfortunate, but a slap in the face of the Barbados Government and to a lesser extent the entire CARICOM.

Last month the CCJ ruled that a Suriname company, Rudisa Beverages, be repaid US$6,047,244.47, which had been collected by the Guyana Government as environmental tax that contravenes the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. So far, the Donald Ramotar administration has not honoured the court order. One would expect that the Co-operative Republic, which is the first of the three countries to join the region’s appellate court, would comply with the CCJ order, which was made while the court sat in its original jurisdiction.

Oscar Ramjeet