Grenada

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Legislation

The Constitution of Grenada (1973)

Gender discrimination

The Constitution of Grenada (1973) is the supreme law.  It guards the human rights of all persons within the country, including the right to life and security of the person.  Gender-based violence threatens women’s rights to life and security of the person.  Specifically, Chapter 1 of the Constitution, entitled “Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms,” defines discriminatory treatment and provides for fundamental rights and freedoms for all, regardless of sex, race, place of origin, political beliefs, color, or creed, subject only to the rights and freedoms of others, and the public interest.



Domestic Case Law

The Queen v. Baptiste Supreme Court of Grenada and the West Indies Associated States (2013)

Sexual violence and rape

The defendant pled guilty to rape and holding a woman at knifepoint until she was able to fight him off and escape.  The defendant was before the court for sentencing.  The court began by observing that “over the past few years the courts have been disposed to sentence persons convicted of rape to terms of imprisonment of between 7-10 years.”  Here, the only mitigating factor was the defendant’s guilty plea.  The aggravating factors included physical and psychological harm, use of a weapon and violence, and prior convictions.  Considering these factors, the court sentenced the defendant to a term of eight years imprisonment.



Between S.A.J. and S.P.J. Supreme Court of Grenada and the West Indies Associated States (2014)

Divorce and dissolution of marriage, Domestic and intimate partner violence, Sexual violence and rape

In a pending divorce case, the trial court entered an order for the parties to “refrain from molesting, harassing, besetting, intimidating and/or threatening and carrying out physical or other abuse of the other.”  The wife subsequently accused the husband of sexual molestation and violating the court’s order.  The court explained that “an allegation of sexual molestation in any form is very serious and the onus is on the wife to prove to the Court beyond a reasonable doubt that the husband breached the Order by committing the acts of sexual molestation as alleged.”  The court held that the “wife has failed to discharge this burden” because:  (i) there was no evidence from any corroborating witness; (ii) there was no corroborating evidence from the doctor who examined the wife; (iii) both parties chose not to cross-examine the deponents who swore to the affidavits in the committal application; and (iv) “the husband’s version of the events on 5th March is equally plausible as the wife’s” version of events.



Thomas v. D. D. Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in the Court of Appeal (2016)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

This was a domestic violence case where the male appellant was in a long-term relationship with the female respondent.  The appellant allegedly physically assaulted the respondent’s sister, accosted a second person, and threatened the lives of the members of the household with a cutlass.  The appellant denied these allegations.  The appellate issue was whether to overturn the trial judge’s injunction against the appellant, requiring him to refrain “from committing any acts of violence.”  The appellate court upheld the injunction, explaining that the injunction was “sensible” and “a person cannot complain of prejudice or inconvenience because he is restrained from committing acts of violence.” 



Regina v. Cadoo Supreme Court of Grenada and the West Indies Associated States (2017)

Statutory rape or defilement

The defendant pled guilty to rape and was before the court for sentencing.  Both victims were young girls between the ages of 14 and 15 at the time of the offense.  The defendant raped the victims multiple times, and one of the victims became pregnant as a result.  In sentencing the defendant, the court observed that there were several aggravating factors:  the victims were minors and the defendant was 16 years their senior; the defendant was a relative and a person of trust; after one of the victims became pregnant, she sought help from the defendant but defendant again sexually assaulted her; and the offense occurred while the defendant was on bail.  The only mitigating factor was the defendant’s guilty plea.  Accordingly, the court sentenced defendant to 10 years imprisonment.



Regina v. Richards Supreme Court of Grenada and the West Indies Associated States (2017)

Gender-based violence in general, Statutory rape or defilement

The defendant pled guilty to wounding and causing grievous harm to an adult female after dragging her into the bushes and attacking her with a piece of wood and cutlass, leaving deep lacerations and abrasions.  The defendant also pled guilty to the rape and robbery of a 16-year-old female, which occurred just two days later.  The defendant was before the court for sentencing.  Analyzing the aggravating factors, the court observed that defendant had a criminal history, was not remorseful, preferred violence, and presented a danger to the community.  The court also recognized that the victims were not only physically hurt, but had “been severely traumatized by their experiences.” The only mitigating factor was the guilty plea.  Accordingly, the court sentenced the defendant to 14 years and three months imprisonment.