BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
ALL IS in place for today's sitting of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Barbados to hear evidence in the case of Shanique Myrie, the Jamaican woman who took the government of Barbados to court on allegations that she was assaulted by an immigration officer in 2011.
The CCJ will hear from immigration department officials who came into contact with Myrie when she landed at the Grantley Adams International Airport in March 2011.
During the sitting of the court, the legal team representing the government of Barbados will seek to prove that there was no cavity search of Myrie when she landed in Barbados just over two years ago.
"We will lead evidence to show there was no cavity search at all. That will be the most important testimony when the court is here in Barbados," lead attorney Roger Forde told The Nation newspaper on Saturday.
Alicia Jordan, an immigration officer at Grantley Adams International Airport when Myrie arrived from Jamaica, is expected to provide pivotal testimony in the case against the Barbados government.
Forde said he was satisfied with how the case has gone so far and is convinced that the two days of testimony in Barbados would go a long way in vindicating the defendants.
Shanique Myrie, 25, who was granted leave by the CCJ to file the action, alleges that when she travelled to Barbados on March 14, 2011, she was discriminated against because of her nationality, subjected to a body cavity search, detained overnight in a cell and deported to Jamaica the following day.
Standard of treatment
Myrie also claimed she was subjected to derogatory remarks by a Barbadian immigration officer and asked the CCJ to determine the minimum standard of treatment applicable to CARICOM citizens moving around the region.
On September 27 last year, Jamaica was granted leave to intervene in the matter.
Earlier this month, the CCJ heard just under a week of testimony from witnesses as it sat in Jamaica.
The CCJ was established in 2011 to replace the London-based Privy Council as the region's final court of appeal. It has both an original and appellate jurisdiction and also serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping, including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy that allows for free movement within the grouping.