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GBHRA: A great victory for transparency and human rights
By Grand Bahama Human Rights Association
Nov 12, 2015 - 4:05:50 PM

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(Statement) The 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.

For 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.

While 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.

In 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.

We 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 cases.


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