Supreme Court’s decision to open the files on the controversial new immigration
policy is a great victory for transparency and human rights in The Bahamas.
far too long in this country, the inner workings of government have been
carried on behind a veil of secrecy, their rationale and ultimate ends remaining
obscure. The time has now come to shed light on what is done in the public’s
name and we applaud the court for leading the way in this regard.
praising this ruling as just, fair and in the service of the public interest,
we must pause and lament the fact that the government found itself unable to
act in an open and humane manner on its own, without the help of the court.
any event, we feel the decision sets a great precedent for future cases and
sends a clear message that government business should be conducted neither in
the dark, nor in violation of the fundamental rights and protections enshrined
in our constitution.
look forward to the government’s prompt and full compliance with the ruling,
and expect that a great deal of information will be presented to the court as a
result. At the outset, the GBHRA had been of the view that the new immigration
policy was the brainchild of a single minister, however we were told repeatedly
that it is a creation of the cabinet as a whole. The court’s order, therefore,
should turn up numerous reports, internal memorandums and other correspondence
that will shed light on how this policy came to be, and which will be of use to
both local and international human rights defenders in this and many similar