The Barbados Coalition of Service Industries (BCSI) has hailed the Shanique Myrie ruling handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as a significant step forward for the freedom of movement within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Lisa Cummins, the executive director of the BCSI, noted that there has been a constant push for regional integration, and cautioned that CARICOM cannot appear "to be stepping away from that commitment".
"This judgment is a positive development against that background," Cummins said in a statement released yesterday.
"It tells us clearly where we are, and, simultaneously, sends a message to all CARICOM members to undertake that same level of introspection," she added.
Cummins said the BCSI is still going through the ruling to determine CCJ's interpretation of Barbados' obligations to CARICOM nationals under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
The BCSI said it recognises the importance of national and border-security measures, but said Barbados has "clear legal obligations with respect to its treatment of CARICOM nationals".
"But our preliminary review is that this is a significant judgment that in many respects has been long overdue," Cummins said.
She added that the judgment is also a strong statement in favour of the CCJ as the court of original jurisdiction on all matters related to the revised treaty.
"These issues, when ruled upon by the court [CCJ] create jurisprudence and precedence which, in turn, give rise to changes at the national level, she argued.