The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will sit in Jamaica for the first time from Monday, March 4 to Friday, March 8, to hear evidence in the case of Shanique Myrie versus the state of Barbados.
The sitting, which is open to the public, will be held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. each day.
Addressing journalists at the Ministry of Justice in Kingston on March 1, via a video link media conference from the CCJ headquarters in Trinidad and Tobago, CCJ Registrar, Paula Pierre, said the court will hear evidence from 10 witnesses in total, six for the claimant, Ms. Myrie, and four for Jamaica, the intervener.
All seven judges of the CCJ, including President, the Rt. Hon. Sir Dennis Byron, will preside over the hearing. The other six judges are: Hon. Justice Rolston Nelson; Hon. Justice Adrian Saunders; Hon. Justice Desiree Bernard; Hon. Justice Jacob Wit; Hon. Justice David Hayton; and Hon. Justice Winston Anderson.
Ms. Pierre advised that while the media will be allowed to attend the sitting, journalists are not allowed to record the proceedings.
“No videography or photography will be allowed. No pictures are to be taken in the court room whether the court is sitting or otherwise,” she said.
Members of the media are advised that audio transcripts of the proceedings are available on request at a cost of US$8.
Reporters are also asked to refrain from conducting interviews within the area of the Jamaica Conference Centre designed as the court.
“We are aware that the sitting of the CCJ judges in Jamaica is an historic event but we ask that the media understand that it is a court and ask therefore that the judges be allowed to move through the area unimpeded and without being asked questions or having their photographs taken,” Ms. Pierre said.
She advised that requests for the interview of judges must be forwarded by email to the media contact of the CCJ, Seanna Annisette via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CCJ will also sit from March 18 to 22 in Barbados to hear evidence from witnesses of the defendant, the Government of Barbados. The lawyers representing the parties will make oral submissions in Trinidad and Tobago from April 8 to 9.
All costs associated with the CCJ’s sitting in Jamaica, including airfare and accommodation, will be paid by the Court. The Government of Jamaica will provide the venue, ground transportation and security for the proceedings.
Ms. Myrie, a Jamaican, has taken the Barbadian Government to the CCJ on allegations that she was assaulted by an immigration officer when she travelled to that country in March 2011.
She alleges that 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.
In September last year, the state of Jamaica was granted leave to intervene in the matter. The Government said this decision in effort to protect the interest of Jamaicans.