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The Global Gender Equality Constitutional Database is a repository of gender equality related provisions in 194 constitutions from around the world. The Database was updated in partnership with the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and with support from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Government of Japan. Experience its wealth and depth of information by starting your search now.

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Public Institutions and Services

Barbados, English


Now, therefore, the people of Barbados

(d) resolve that the operation of the economic system shall promote the general welfare by the equitable distribution of the material resources of the community, by the human conditions under which all men shall labour and by the undeviating recognition of ability, integrity and merit;
… (Preamble)

Public Institutions and Services

Barbados, English

(1) Subject to the provisions of section 104, the law applicable to the grant and payment to any officer, or to his widow, children, dependants or personal representatives, of any pension, compensation, gratuity or other like allowance (in this section and section 104 referred to as an “ award “) in respect of the service of that officer in a public office shall be that in force on the relevant date or any later law that is not less favourable to that person.
… (Sec. 103)

Public Institutions and Services

Barbados, English

(1) The power to grant any award under any pensions law for the time being in force in Barbados (other than an award to which, under that law, the person to whom it is payable is entitled as of right) and, in accordance with any provisions in that behalf contained in any such law, to withhold, reduce in amount or suspend any award payable under any such law is hereby vested in the Governor-General.

(7) In this section “pensions law” means any law relating to the grant to any person or to the widow, children, dependants or personal representatives of that person, of an award of any pension, compensation, gratuity or other like allowance in respect of the service of that person in a public office. (Sec. 104)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

Barbados, English

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section—
(a) no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect;

(2) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed, whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not afforded to persons of another such description.
(3) Subsection (1)(a) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision—

(c) whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (2) may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable;
… (Sec. 23)

Status of International Law

Barbados, English

(1) The Attorney-General may, in the case of any offence to which this section applies, give general or special directions to the Director of Public Prosecutions as to the exercise of the powers conferred upon the Director of Public Prosecutions by section 79, and the Director of Public Prosecutions shall act in accordance with those directions.
(2) This section applies to-

(b) any offence under an enactment relating to any right or obligation of Barbados under international law. (Sec. 79A)

Status of International Law

Barbados, English

(1) The Caribbean Court of Justice
(a) shall have exclusive and compulsory jurisdiction in
(i) disputes between Contracting Parties to the Agreement;
(ii) disputes between any Contracting Parties to the Agreement and the Community;
(iii) referrals from national courts or tribunals of Contracting Parties to the Agreement;
(iv) concerning the interpretation and application of the Treaty;
(b) shall have exclusive jurisdiction
(i) to deliver advisory opinions concerning the interpretation and application of the Treaty upon the request of Contracting Parties or the Community;
(ii) where there is a dispute as to whether the Court has jurisdiction in a matter, to decide whether the Court has such jurisdiction; and
(c) shall be the final Court of Appeal from any decision given by the Court of Appeal.
(2) Where a court or tribunal is seised of an issue whose resolution involves a question concerning the interpretation or application of the Treaty, the court or tribunal shall, if it considers that a decision on the question is necessary to enable it to deliver judgment, before delivering judgment, refer the question to the Court for determination.
(3) The Court shall be a superior court of record and, save as otherwise provided by Parliament, shall have all the powers of such a court.
(4) A decision of the Court concerning Barbados shall be enforced in Barbados in like manner as if it were a decision of the High Court. (Sec. 79D)

Status of International Law

Barbados, English

For the purposes of this Chapter6,
"Agreement" means the Agreement establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice, to which Barbados is a party, and which was signed at Bridgetown, Barbados on 14th February, 2002;
"Court" means the Caribbean Court of Justice;

"Treaty" means the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas establishing the Caribbean Community, including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy,
(a) which was signed in the Bahamas on 5th July, 2001; and
(b) to which Barbados is a party. (Sec. 79B)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

Barbados, English

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section—
(a) no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect; and
(b) no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(2) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed, whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not afforded to persons of another such description.
(3) Subsection (1)(a) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision—

(b) with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
(c) whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (2) may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable;
(cc) for the transfer between Barbados and other countries, in accordance with international arrangements entered into by Barbados, of persons detained in prisons, hospitals or other institutions by virtue of orders made in the course of the exercise by courts or tribunals of their criminal jurisdiction;
(d) for authorising the taking during a period of public emergency of measures that are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists during that period of public emergency;

(4) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1)(a) to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to race, place of origin, political opinion, colour or creed) to be required of any person who is appointed to any office in the public service, any office in a disciplined force, or any office in the service of a local government authority or of a body corporate established by any law for public purposes.
(5) Subsection (1)(b) shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (3) or (4).
(6) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (2) may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by sections 17, 19, 20, 21 and 22, being such a restriction as is authorised by subsection (2) of section 17, subsection (6) of section 19, subsection (2) of section 20, subsection (2) of section 21 or subsection (3) of section 22, as the case may be.
(7) Subsection (1)(b) shall not affect any discretion relation to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by this Constitution or any other law. (Sec. 23)

Citizenship and Nationality

Barbados, English

Every person born in Barbados after 29th November 1966 shall become a citizen of Barbados at the date of his birth: Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Barbados by virtue of this section if at the time of his birth—
(a) his father possesses such immunity from suit and legal process as is accorded to an envoy of a foreign sovereign State accredited to Her Majesty in right of Her Government in Barbados and neither of his parents is a citizen of Barbados; or
(b) his father is an enemy alien and the birth occurs in a place then under occupation by the enemy. (Sec. 4)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

Barbados, English

Whereas every person in Barbados is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

(c) the protection of the law;
… (Sec. 11)