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'It's all talk and no action'

Shanique Myrie heads back to CCJ; wants Barbados to honour court ruling

BY KARYL WALKER Editor -- Crime/Court Desk walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, June 14, 2014    

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FRUSTRATED by the failure of the Barbadian government to comply with a Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruling in her favour, Shanique Myrie says she intends to file a complaint before the court on the matter.

Myrie had earlier this week complained that she was becoming impatient with the Barbadian state's flagrant disregard for the ruling that she be paid US$38,620 in pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages for being subjected to an illegal cavity search, detention in a cold, filthy room and subsequent deportation.

An aggrieved Myrie said she is now prepared to up the ante.

"I am prepared to go that route. It cannot be that the Barbadians just sit back and seem to be laughing at me and by extension Jamaica. I will not rest until they comply with the order of the court. I have waited patiently and it seems as if it is being delayed

out of spite," Myrie told the Jamaica Observer.

Myrie's declaration came minutes after Foreign Minister AJ Nicholson declared in the Senate that the ball was in Myrie's court to lodge a complaint to the CCJ about Barbados' lack of compliance despite a promise by the country's Prime Minister three months ago that payment would be made.

"Based on the court's directive concerning the manner for securing compliance, it is for the party, Miss Myrie, through her attorneys, and not the intervener (Jamaica), to notify the court of Barbados' lack of compliance.

It is, therefore, the duty of the party to file any necessary report or application to the Court with a view to securing compliance by Barbados," he said.

However, Nicholson pointed out that the CCJ had no real powers to enforce its judgements but had instructed that individuals who have been wronged should file a complaint.

"The court has now made it clear that the parties to a case, where judgement has been given and orders made, are at liberty to, and ought to, apply to the Court in relation to concerns they may have in relation to compliance," he said.

He also promised that the Government would make representation on Myrie's behalf, but warned that it should not be seen as the primary responsibility of the State to secure compliance.

"The Government of Jamaica will continue to make political representation on the issue to the Government of Barbados. Indeed, at the last meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in February, I raised the matter personally with the Prime Minister of Barbados and it may be recalled that he issued a statement confirming the intention of the Government of Barbados to comply with the Court's ruling and I reported to this Honourable Senate accordingly," he said.

But that held little water with Myrie, who described as empty an explanation from Barbados' Prime Minister Freundel J Stuart that the only reason why the monies were not paid was because outstanding legal costs were still being discussed.

"That was three months ago. Have they contacted me or my lawyer? It's all talk and no action," Myrie said.

Efforts to contact Myrie's attorney, Michelle Brown, were unsuccessful as calls to her cellular phone went unanswered.

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