Caribbean News Roundup

Caribbean News Roundup


Attorneys still not paid in landmark CCJ case
The Jamaican Observer has reported that the lawyers who successfully represented Jamaica’s Shanique Myrie in her case against Barbados before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) have not been paid.
The case ended two years ago when Myrie was awarded damages totaling US$38,000 by the CCJ. Myrie received her money eight months later.
Myrie was the subject of a much publicized CCJ trial after she complained about being subjected to a dehumanizing cavity search at the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados in 2011 and was subsequently sent back to Jamaica the following day.
According to the Jamaican Observer, the Barbadian government remains unmoved and there is no indication as to when the payments will be made. Legal experts in the Caribbean have noted that the Barbadian government’s failure to pay Myrie’s lawyers can have major implication for the CCJ.

One such expert noted that: “If word gets around that lawyers are not paid for CCJ cases, the representation before the court will dwindle.”

Canadian company-Jamaica sign $M ganja deal
Timeless Herbal Care Limited (THC), a Canadian based Pharmaceutical company that produces medical marijuana products, has announced a US$100-million deal to develop medical marijuana products in Jamaica for distribution to the international market.
The announcement comes a mere seven months after the Jamaican parliament gave final legislative approval to an act decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana and establishing a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical marijuana industry.
Courtney Betty, the Jamaican born Canadian based lawyer who heads THC, was optimistic that the deal will create job opportunities in Jamaica and will open the gateways to a slew of other Marijuana related investments on the island that will aid in bolstering the country’s economy.
In a speech delivered at the Association of Consultants and Physicians of Jamaica (ACPJ) Reception and Banquet, Betty was adamant that “ This (the newly announced deal) is not about smoking marijuana, but it is about developing medical products that will be able to help patients.”


St. Lucian minister chairs climate-change discussions in Paris

James Fletcher, the St. Lucian minister responsible  for Sustainable Development, will  chair a discussion about adaptation to and loss and damages as a result of climate change in Paris.
The discussion, which forms part of the second informal ministerial meeting on climate change, also deals with strategy implementation, technological support and capacity building geared towards dealing with issues that arise as a result of climate change.
Loss and damage refers to the irreversible impacts of climate change from extreme weather events and slow onset events, such as sea level rise and ocean acidification.
The Small Island Developing States (SIDS), a group of low lying coastal countries of which most Caribbean countries fall into, have consistently made a case for official recognition to loss and damage in climate change decisions.
SIDS is lobbying for a legally binding climate deal that will keep global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius at the 21st Conference of the parties (COP21) in December in Paris.


EU-Cuba Talks moves forward
The head of the European Union’s (EU) delegation to Cuba, Christian Leffler, says there has been “substantial progress” in talks with Cuban authorities on normalizing ties between the EU and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean country.
According to EU business, the EU suspended relations with Cuba in 2003 over a crackdown on journalists and activists by the Cuban Government.
The EU and Cuba have moved to accelerate the process since Havana and Washington announced an historic rapprochement in December and reopened embassies in July.
Cuba is demanding that the EU scrap its nearly 20-year “common position,” which makes restoring European ties with the island contingent on democratic reforms. In turn, the 28-member EU bloc is pressing Cuba to sign a slate of international human rights treaties.