AG not fazed by Opposition’s planned court action
Wed, 03/23/2016 - 12:00am
“The Opposition is free to take that to court!”
This was the response Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, gave to members of the media when questioned recently about his views on the matter of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party’s planned court action. The BLP plans to challenge the constitutionality of a fingerprinting measure, which is set come on stream in Barbados.
The hotly debated fingerprinting system was due to be introduced from April 1, where everyone entering or departing Barbados would have been required to be fingerprinted, except holders of diplomatic passports and children under the age of 16.
However, the Immigration Department recently announced that it will be deferring these plans to allow the department more time to re-examine some of the issues – especially the legal ones – raised in the public arena both orally and in writing. The Department also signalled its intention to increase public awareness about the initiative.
The BLP has suggested that the matter will still be taken to court as deferment is not enough. The Party wants the court to rule that the regulations are unconstitutional.
However, the Attorney General stated that Government will not be fazed by the Opposition or any other critics.
“I am not the minister responsible for Immigration, but certainly, if I remember what the minister responsible said, this is a national security issue, that’s one; and just this morning one of my friends called me and said to me, ‘You know Adriel, I just want to remind you that we don’t have any kind of database in the event that we have a mass causality for example, that in fact that we do need such a database. We are in hazard prone areas. Chances are that at some point in time, we are going to have a bad event and in fact, that is another use of the information.’ So we’ll see how it goes,” the AG remarked.
“But as I said, Government’s policy isn’t shaped by whether or not the Opposition, David Comissiong or anyone (else) wants to take us to court. We have to decide what’s best for the Government,” the Brathwaite declared.