Saturday, May 26th, 2007…5:11 am
Barbados Guide To Judicial Conduct “Not Available To Ordinary Public” – But It Doesn’t Matter, It Doesn’t Really Exist Anyway
We Discover That Barbados Has No Rules Governing The Conduct Of Judges
About a year ago the Judicial Council of Barbados announced with much fanfare that it had approved and published a Guide To Judicial Conduct. With that little bit of publicity successfully taken care of – what do you think the Judicial Council did for their next step?
It seems that BFP and BU are on the same song sheet regarding the transparency which must become evident in the Judiciary in Barbados. We have intimated in a previous post that it is our intention to do a piece on some of the dysfunctional activities which occur almost on a daily basis, but it it will call for developing our sources some more. It appears that Barbadians are often prepared to speak on almost any issue, EXCEPT the Judiciary. I remember well a few years ago when sittings in the High Courts were delayed for three hours because the Judges were in Chambers drinking their bottles of cherry after the pomp and ceremony of the opening of the Assizes. BU is also aware of another occasion where it was whispered that the now retired Judge Leroy Innis, Alair Shepherd to name an example were “brothers” and therefore opened the obvious issues of …well we will not go there yet.
There is so much we can write about the Judiciary in Barbados and maybe at the top of the list is the opportunity for the Politicos to appoint the Chief Justice. BU has a healthy respect for the incumbent; it is not his fault that the system allows for his selection, but the times are changing and the Judiciary must move away from the age old practice of managing based on convention and tradition. To give an example the Chief Justice has been infusing the bench with some much need young blood. We can question why the more experience lawyers are not enticed to sit on the Bench given the 7 Series BMW and the like offered, but again this is a topic for another time. We recently have had the appointment of Madame Cornelius at a relatively young age, and this is good! In recent times BU understands that the learned Madame Justice has been attending to her Court late or canceling cases because of being “ill”. BU further understands that Madame Justice is in “family way” and we congratulate her. The current configuration of the Court does not ensure that the Registry can easily reschedule case loads. This predicament has spelled stress of the highest order for ordinary Barbadians waiting to have justice dispensed. Does any one care? This is the downside to appointing young bright females to the Bench in the arcane system which currently exist. Previously the female appointees all seem to be pass child bearing age. Another convention?
To the BFP post we say that we support the thrust of your argument and we hope that public discussion can help to bring more openness to a dark side of our system of justice.
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