On January 18 2018 an historical admission was made and reliably reported upon in a leading Bahamian daily. It was an historic admission with legal implications with little equal. Neil Hartnell, Tribune Business Editor, quoted the Lead negotiator for the Bahamas’ WTO (World Trade organization) negotiating team as asserting that the Government’s ability to protect Bahamian companies from foreign competition was “long gone.’ It was a stark admission having regard for and its source and its constitutional, legal, social and political implications. The Lead negotiator, by way of a detailed interview, further admonished businesses to think bigger for survival. Businesses were put on notice to take a more” global look at how you do business”. Look beyond this nations borders they were told and “sell to the world “.
We have seen a great debate unfold in the United States over the last few months as to the rights of working women on the job. The movement is not gender specific nor is it limited to the dominant campaign which has been led by American women. The movement was started by Alyssa Milano, the “Charmed “actress. She fashioned the hash tag metoo and since, it has become a social media sensation. The purpose of the hash tag was to inform the public how pervasive the problem of sexual harassment is .Today it is a platform for working men and women to tell their stories of sexual violation and harassment in the workplace. Started by an actress, the # Metoo movement raises very important issues as to workplace safety and the rights of working women and men to work in a “sexual harassment free “environment. It has been characterized as a campaign which was started to expose the alleged sexual abuses of Hollywood powerful media mogul Harvey Weinstein. It has now morphed into a “heat seeking missile” exposing serial sexual abuse in the workplace. Since the Weinstein story broke the United States has witnessed an explosion of similar complaints across America. What about the Bahamas..?
The Pilot of the Aztec aircraft that crashed, killing himself and five other people did not have a Pilot’s License to carry passengers. These are the reports coming from a preliminary investigation of the fatal crash of the Piper Aztec plane in Andros Island in the Bahamas. The facts seem to suggest, per crash investigator, Mr. Delvin Major, that Mr. Darren Clarke who was piloting the aircraft was a licensed Private Pilot but purportedly not a licensed Commercial Pilot. Why is this important and is this a distinction with an important difference?
Marital Rape is defined as the act of “sexual intercourse” with one’s spouse without the spouse’s consent. Generally speaking it is viewed as a form of domestic violence and /or abuse. In the Bahamas there is no law which criminalizes non consensual sexual intercourse between married persons. Single women and men thus enjoy a legislative protection which is not enjoyed by married women or for that matter married men. Outside the boundaries of recognized permissible grounds for making a complaint against a spouse for non sexual violence (e.g. Batteries and Assaults) the Law provides no such protection, in the Matrimonial Union, for non consensual sexual intercourse. Thus a woman is not competent to give evidence against her husband for an allegation of rape. Alternatively, she is competent for an allegation made of physical violence.
In this modern age, the Internet has become an essential tool of work and social communication and functioning.
In 2015, the World Internet Usage & Population Statistics found that 293,875 persons or 90.5 % of the Bahamian population uses the Internet. The growing awareness of the social, economic, and political impact of the Internet on Bahamian society has brought the question of governing the Internet and individual Internet activity as a whole into sharper focus. In fact an article published on the 4th August 2017 the Nassau Guardian discussed the increase of cyber crimes within the nation over the last two years. The article noted the rise of cyber attacks on companies within the financial services industry. Of particular concern was the fact that the Global Cyber security Index 2017 listed the Bahamas as having one of the worst cyber security structures in the world.
“Haves and Have Nots”
By Nerissa Greene (Partner)
Like Professional women around the globe, women in the Bahamas have come a long way since the suffrage movement and gaining the right to vote. In decades gone by, societal norms instructed and encouraged men to devalue the contributions of women. In today’s globalized environment however, individual women have assumed roles of leadership alongside of, and ahead of their male counterparts and as a collective, women have continued to play significant roles from medicine, politics and yes even the once exclusively male legal fraternity.