COVID-19 update and press conference – February 4, 2021. (PMO)

Attorney General Dale Marshall has sounded the warning that parents who flout the court-ordered visitation ruling during the lockdown can be cited for contempt and the punishment could include imprisonment.

He made this clear during a televised COVID-19 update and press conference, this evening.

The Attorney General explained that there is a hierarchy of laws in our jurisprudence and court orders are matters of the “gravest consequence”.

“So, if a person does not comply with a court order, he or she can be cited for contempt, and the punishment for contempt can include imprisonment. This is not a contest between our directives and the court order. If the court orders that a parent is to see his or her child at given times, then that court order must be complied with,” Mr. Marshall stressed.

He further noted: “To say that there is a COVID directive that says you are not to leave your home is really to engage in an exercise in sophistry. Parents are relied on to be responsible, and quite frankly, if a person relies on Directive No.3 as a reason to refuse to follow a directive, then I will be extremely concerned because it would mean that they are not taking an order of the High Court seriously. Take the High Court Judges orders seriously. The court has mechanisms where you can apply for a variation order if for some reason you are not able to comply.”

The Attorney General urged parents to comply with court orders in a way that made sense for all involved.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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