REPORT Nº 7/08
ADMISSIBILITY
PETITION 1460-06
TYRONE DACOSTA CADOGAN
BARBADOS
March 4, 2008

I.

SUMMARY

1. On December 29, 2006, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter
“Commission”) received a petition filed on behalf of Tyrone DaCosta Cadogan, a prisoner on
death row in Her Majesty’s Prison in Barbados. The petition alleges a violation of his right to
fair trial under Article 8 of the American Convention on Human Rights (the “American
Convention”).
2. The Petitioner, Tariq Khan, of the Inn Chambers law firm, claims that Mr. Cadogan was
convicted of murder and sentenced to death by hanging by the Supreme Court of Barbados on
May 18, 2005 pursuant to section 2 of the State’s Offences Against the Person Act of 1994,
which stipulates the mandatory application of the death penalty for the crime of murder. Mr.
Cadogan applied to the Court of Appeal of Barbados to challenge the murder conviction, which
affirmed the lower court’s decision on May 31, 2006. Subsequently on July 24, 2006, Mr.
Cadogan applied for special leave to appeal, which was later joined by an application for
special leave to appeal as a poor person to the Caribbean Court of Justice, both of which were
dismissed on December 4, 2006.
3. The Petitioner alleges that Mr. Cadogan’s right to a fair trial was not respected for the
following reasons: (1) the diminished responsibility defense was not adequately raised by the
appointed judge before the jury in his trial; (2) he was not provided with independent
psychiatric expertise; and (3) the legal help provided to him by the State was insufficient, and
(4) his attorney was ineffective. The petitioner also believes that the importance of these
protections for the presumed victim should have been measured according to the gravity of
the penalty.
4. To this date, the Commission has not received a response from the State.
5. After analyzing the facts presented here, the Commission declares the petition admissible
with respect to the alleged violation of Article 8. Given it’s jurisprudence on the application of
the mandatory death penalty and in keeping with the principle of iura curia novit, the
Commission will examine the possible application of Articles 4(1), 4(2), 5(1), 5(2) in relation
with Articles 1(1) and 2 of the American Convention in the merits stage. As such, it decides to
transmit this report to the parties, to continue with the analysis of the merits of the case, and
to publish this report and include it in its Annual Report to the General Assembly of the
Organization of the American States.
II.

PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION

6. On January 3, 2007, the Commission acknowledged receipt of the petition and assigned it
petition number 1460-06.
7. In a note of January 23, 2007, the Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of the
petition to the Government of Barbados in conformity with Article 30(3) of its Regulations,
requesting a response within two months. In the same communication, the Commission
addressed the State, pursuant to Article 29 of its Regulations, requesting the adoption of
precautionary measures to stay the execution of Mr. Cadogan until such time as it could fully
investigate the petition. On the same date, the petitioners were informed of the request made
to the State.
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