Manipulating The Law To Accommodate Marston Gibson

Submitted by Thomas A. Harper


Chief Justice Designate Marston Gibson

There is much speculation as to whether the criteria that determines the eligibility of a person to serve as Chief Justice of Barbados will be manipulated to accommodate the appointment of the candidate favoured to fill that post.

To suggest that such a blatant act of self-serving connivance could even be contemplated by a government of Barbados regardless of party, would give rise to the frightening prospect that the end of democracy as was enjoyed under past regimes is now under serious threat.

Is it inconceivable that the integrity of our country could be irreparable tarnished simply to lend credence to a decision reached without the benefit of due diligence?

And is it conceivable that a person favoured to head our judiciary would endorse such a reckless disregard for established the accepted protocol, “that justice must not only be done, but seen to be done” by acceptance of the post in the face of such questionable contrivance?

Regardless of our political allegiance, we must concede that Barbados has been blessed with successive governments that in spite of varying degrees of aptness have maintained the integrity that has gained our country international respect.

Any government that squanders that hard earned integrity in order facilitate the appointment of a Chief Justice who turns a blind eye to such a display of legal skulduggery must be driven by a sinister ulterior motive the nature of which when revealed as it eventually must may be more catastrophic that we may want to contemplate.

0 thoughts on “Manipulating The Law To Accommodate Marston Gibson

  1. If this government goes ahead and appoint this guy as C.J. demorcacy in this country, is doomed and the respect of law will be tarnished . As far as I can see this guy is a brilliant native barbadian but the rules that disqualify’s him should have been changed before any attempt to appoint him is taken, it looks as though the cart is leading the horse and not the other way around. Am I to believe that any law then can be changed at any one person’s whims and fancies? What kind of business are we running? If the government wants to convict me of an offence they can trump up one and change the law to make me guilty? Then we talk about the dictators in Africa, are we not pratising the same here, once this foolishness starts where will it in? I have no respect for thisguy if he accepts this post after all this controversy. Even the radical new president of the Bar Association is against it. There is already a divine between the COP and his deputy, now we are creating a divide in the judiciary, this country is heading for civil unrest and multiple murders because the drug lords will seize the opportunity and invade Barbados like they have invaded St.Lucia. We must not be allowing partisan politics to ruin this country. Is it because the DLP was in the wilderness for so long that they are showing their power now?

  2. I have never read such garbage in my life. A BLP party political blog. The same BLP that would make the judiciary and justice system submit to them by the appointment of one of their own ministers straight from attorney general to chief justice. Now, they will do all in their power to try to block the appointment of an independent chief justice. Why? Because he is young enough that he will still be in office if ever they regain the reins of government in the distant future and their plot to make the justice system subject to their whim cannot prevail. Then too, Marston Gibson will have put in place (and Bajans will have got used to) a working, living justice system – and they will not be prepared for one second to submit themselves to a repro of the David Simmons administration. They get it so wrong! Bajans are fed up NOW! Justice is being denied to them NOW! We want Marston Gibson NOW! As I have said before, Marston Gibson is qualified under the law to be Chief Justice NOW! If the government wishes to excessively err on the side of caution, then they must go ahead, but in my view no block exists to the appointment of Marston Gibson NOW!

    So, enough of this procrastination, Mr Prime Minister! Make the appointment of Marston Gibson and, if you feel you have to in order to provide more backside-padding, change the word “Commonwealth” for the words “common law” and do it NOW! Or be branded a coward by all! Of course there are some who will object – like the author of this blog – so let them object as much as they like, while Bajans enjoy a proper and effective justice system for the next 20 years or so. The objectors will be the voice crying in the wilderness, except it will not be preparing the way of the Lord, but rather attempting to perpetuate the policies of Owen Arthur and David Simmons.

  3. This article takes the cake for the ultimate in idiocy.

    To suggest that the opportunity to benefit from the services of an obviously good, qualified, respected, competent Barbadian should be lost because of a poorly written piece of legislation put together 40 years ago in a completely different world- speaks a lot about the intelligence of the writer.

    Is it any wonder that as a people we continue to sell our assets and our asses?

  4. Amused
    Talk about being political partisan, you are the bomb.You write ” Marston Gibson is qualified under the law to be Chief Justice,” my question to you is “which law?” “who’s law?” You also state that “no block exist to the appointment of Marston Gibson NOW.” You obviously have no respect for the law and that is the problem, when people can be so blinded by partisan politics that they put party before law and order in a country, you are looking for chaos. Marston Gibson IS academically quailtied but the qualifications that are asked for in the application, he falls short. Maybe, if he was so brilliant that he was “the chosen” then the law should have been change before he was selected. Now trying to tinker with the law just to satisfy one man’s ego is playing with fire. Yes, you are right, the BLP administration was WRONG in the appointment of David Simmons as C.J but the DLP came into office with the promise to the public that things will change. How then can they be doing things worse than the BLP and we must accept it? Is it that things have changed for the worse? That was not the change anticipated and this is not the change we will accept. There is no comparison between what the BLP did and what the DLP is proposing, the simple thing is David Simmons’ appointment was MORALLY wrong, Marston Gibson appointment is LEGALLY wrong; the LAW takes precedence over MORALS, unless you want to change that LAW too.

  5. By changing the law .Would it not open the door for brilliant Barbadian minds ? Isn’t it what our country needs the brightest and the best. Why let ONE WORD deny our country a brilliant and productive future. We must not let change become an hindrance but let it be the building block on which our country stand. It is not a matter of tinkering with the Law but a Change that would eventually benefit our country and its people.
    Let us be rationale and take of our political hats off and as a people we would eventually see clearly only thinking about what’s best for the country and not what is best politically. Change at timesisnecessary ONLY when it is rightfully done in the best interest of the COUNTRY and itsPEOPLE. I think this is change is necessary.

    • Have we truly become educated fools?

      The President of the Trinidad Law Society has spoken publicly to the  local Bar about how our Court system has become paralyzed by case load. The problem according to him is Caribbean wide. We have had prominent local lawyers and even past presidents of the local Bar opine that our system needs a revamp. More importantly in all of this is the reality that ordinary Barbadians have been denied justice because of the long time it sometimes take to get many matters heard. Haven’t we had negative comments about the judiciary which they serve from sitting justices Kentish and Randall in recent times?

      Given the above some Barbadian, many driven by politically motivated positions and others by their bent to maintain the status quo, would so easily deny an educated Barbadian – many of those who oppose to his appointment agree he is a qualified person – because of an archaic law?

      Have we become to impotent not to appreciate that if we are given the options to change the law or continue the status quo of appointing a person from the old boys club what the choice should be? Is this the first time we have had to change the law to accommodate a policy position taken necessitated by the current reality?

      It was amusing to listen to Ralph Thorne QC of late who seems to have become very vocal of late on these matters. He suggested that he is against removing the authority of appointing the CJ from the Prime Minister. This is contrary to the position of incoming President of the Bar Andrew Pilgrim who suggests some kind of independent panel of persons. Ralph Thorne’s position is that the PM is accountable to the people and therefore  decisions taken by him will eventually be given a verdict by the people. Mr. Thorne can’t we apply the same logic to the decision to change the law to ensure Marston Gibson sits comfortably in the position?

      Is the King naked?

    • @The Scout

      Be assured your point is taken but changing the law must be weighed with the benefits to be had from doing so. The written law is not sacrosanct, it must be in consonance with societal demands/needs in the present.

  6. Bush Tea, a/c, David
    All of you are missing the vital point, it is not that Marston Gibson is academicaaly qualified or not but by LAW he DOES NOT QUALIFY, therefore, I agree, change the law, then offer him the position not offer him the position then seek to change the law. It appears, somebody erred because they didn’t know the law but tinkering with the law just to cover up the mistake is BAD, whether it be BLP or DLP. The most logical thing to do at this stage is to offer Marston Gibson some other position that would keep him with us, go about changing the law, while he bushes up on the Commonwealth system and in six months to one year, preferably, appoint him to the position, it wouldn’t be exactly the ideal way to do it but I see it as the alternative way out of this situation.

  7. Are you then telling me that if a prominent member of Parliament would drive recklessly and kill some-one that it just takes the government to go to parliament and change the law to state that an MP from the ruling party cannot be charged with vehicular homicide? At what stage would we be taking the law seriously, yes, laws need revamping but there is a method. I’m sure there are many antequated laws on the statute books that the public, the judiciary and attorneys been asking to been asking for them to be revamped for years and successive governments have turned a blind eye towards them but they would jump on one paricular piece of legislation to revamp in a hurry just to satisfy the wishes of a dead man?

    • @The Scout

      Slow down and reread the last comment.

      Changing the law must be evaluated in the context of whether it is being done to achieve a good. Don’t bring extreme examples.

      The law is being changed to ensure a man who is accepted as being qualified not only in academics but in the ‘other’ qualities, at the top of the list is the fact he is from outside the old boys club.

    • @The Scout

      Are you familiar with the story of Nero fiddling while Rome was burning?

      In recent years we have selected CJs following the traditional process and our court system continues to sage under the weight of inefficiency where ordinary Bajans are being denied justice on a daily basis.

      Almost every session of parliament under both parties see validation orders being brought to legalise actions of government and some would want to make it that by changing a law to allow an educated and qualified Bajan to take the job is unacceptable?

      A law which was crafted when we were in the vice grip of colonial rule though independent the world?

      Sorry, not convinced at all. Nothing will change unless we take decisions which depart from those tried before. If the government faltered in its due diligence by all means hold them accountable but if the matter can be retrieved to the benefit of all then why allow the opportunity to go adrift?

  8. @Scout.
    In the long run it is who benefits the most from the change. Not what time of the day the law is Change . In this case the beneficiaries are the people and the country. Not the LAW!

  9. David,
    What makes Gibson better qualified than any other person? How do you know what “other qualities” he possesses? Do you know him or do you think he does because he is a DLP choice? How do you know that he is outside the “old boys” club?

  10. David According to the laws of Barbados the penalty for driving recklessly is stiffer than vehicular homicide, the law was begging to be revamped for years but nothing has been done, so when your driving recklessly and hit someone and they are not dead, just kill them and be charged the lesser count. If you are revamping the law just don’t pick out parts for your personal benefit but for overall gain and do it in a proper manner. I maintain the government even though they may be on to something good, is doing it the wrong way and it can have some serious repercussions in the future. How then can we shout for murder, if or when the opposition regains government and goes about changing laws at thei whims and fancies? Can we honestly say, they have no right doing so? What is good for the goose, is also good for the gander. The BLP made a moral mistake, the DLP goes a little further and makes a legal mistake, what kind of mistake we are willing to accept next?

  11. David
    Well then if he has satisfied ALL the “other” qualifications, what is the problem? the FACT is HE DOES NOT SATIFY ALL THE “OTHER” QUIALIFICATIONS. It’s not for mew to slow down, it is for you to reason rationally. How do you know he is outside the “old boys” club, because he doesn’t attend the meetings? maybe he gets his information by texting.

    I hope this man doesn’t disappoint you and others like you if or when he takes up the office. I hope you will be bold enough to come back to us and accept your mistake, be a better individual that the hierchy within government.

  12. I have yet to read an article that conveys any coherent reason why Gibson should not be appointed CJ. Some of the articles are along the lines of “yes he is a brilliant individual” But; “yes he is a Bajan But”, however none of these articles give any thought as to why a law that would disqualify a Barbadian from holding an important position in his native land should not be amended in 2011. This submission tries another tact by attempting to suggest it would be “infra dig” for Gibson to accept the post if the law s amended and at the same time insinuates that any Gov’t which pursues this course of action has abandoned all democratic morality.

    “Thomas Harper” could have saved much time and energy and simply submitted under the nom de plume “Chicken Little” and written “The sky is falling, the sky is falling” in reference to the impending appointment then he/she wouldn’t have to use words “ skulduggery” sic, “sinister” and catastrophic” in the ongoing campaign to thwart the selection of Gibson.

    Recently a writer pointed out that under the Constitution of Barbados that persons who swear allegiance to another country are not eligible for election to the country’s Parliament. I sat back and waited for the inevitable uproar but it was not forthcoming, Why? Was it because Bajans realize that many Barbadians have left their homeland and taken up citizenship in other countries but returned home to serve the land of their birth? Or was it because a political party does not think it would be prudent to enter that debate? Or was it because Bajans don’t feel it is relevant today?

    Recently I wrote the following:

    “ Mr. Arthur and Mr. Marshall have both said that they are opposed to any legislation which would amend this requirement, they should tell us why they oppose it and explain how Barbadian Civil Society will be harmed, they should explain how the Judiciary will be irreparably damaged if this law is amended. They should tell us why they prefer the status quo”.

    I stand by the above but will now include Mr. Arthur’s and Mr. Marshall’s political acolytes in that request.

  13. @The Scout u said “this country is heading for civil unrest and multiple murders because the drug lords will seize the opportunity and invade Barbados like they have invaded St.Lucia.”

    how does having Marston Gibson as Chief Justice cause drugs lords to invade Barbados? is he a drug lord? i don’t understand. the 2 do not go together as far as i know the drug lords were living here for over 16 years

  14. The only reason some a wunna tryin to stop de appointment of Marston Gibson is because he not one uh de homies in de Legal profession.

    Those of you living in Barbados know that Lawyers,Judges,Doctors,Professors, CEOs and others of the Barbados middle and upper class have been members of the same clubs, watch cricket,horse racing party and picnic together.

    Gibson is from outside dah ling an might disturb the natural order of things in Barbados.
    He could seriously impede the “cash flow” of those lawyers who manipulate client accounts with inordinate delays and excuses.

    But wunna doan mine me cause I live in Canada an I no longer have the”passion” to return to Barbados to work or retire.
    Some of you will be pleased that you have one less ” igrunt(Hants) returning national” to deal wid.

    • @Jeff

      Thanks for your intervention as always. It was our expectation that the government would have gone to parliament to tidy up this matter already. Regrettably it is becoming frustrating to BU that the government should vacillate on this matter given the importance of the position to how we govern in Barbados.

      It is getting to a point where Mr. Gibson may have to ask himself the hard question, it would be most regrettable if such were to occur.

    • What is the reason causing the delay?

      The AG has already gone public that the government intends to go to parliament to amend the law guiding the appointment of the CJ , so why the delay?

  15. Smooth chocolate
    Are you a politician? if you are quoting me PLEASE quote me correctly. I NEVER said that while dealing with this Marston Gibson’s matter, people like you are either illiterate or downright wicked, I was responding to the matter concerning the RBPF and the squabble between the COP, the Deputy and member of the various ranks under the caption “open letter to the Prime Minister. Maybe if you can’t read, it would be better to get some-one to read it for you but PLEASE don’t misquote me.

  16. Hants
    It doesn’t have to be at cricket, football, horse racing, pininics or anything of the sort, but when they don their regalia and utter that “password” the real all boys club is in session, you could talk whatever you like, if it isn’t so already, it is just a matter of time.

  17. David
    I too think that Marston MAY BE the best choice as C.J and I too would like to see some-one from outside the country appointed to the post of C.J but the method being used is ALL WRONG. This matter should have been resolved months ago and it is my belief it was an oversight, an oversight that can have serious repercussions. It is WRONG to choose and select a person, then adjust modify, revamp or whatever you call it, the LAW, to justify that person’s appointment. This should has been done FIRST, then appoint the person after, we are making sport at THE LAW.

  18. If ever there was , here is a case of spitting in the air just to have it fall in your face. That is directed TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN. One question though, if I may be so rude as to ask. Where was the hue and cry before or after the appointment of D.C.Simmonds , even though we all bore witness to the incandescence of the party’s red vest beneath his black robe of, shall we say justice? Answer me that and then together we can ponder the thought of what would it have been , had Marston accepted the courtship that came from the Hive Of The High And Mighty ?

  19. Sargeant
    In case you now came back from where-ever, one of the qualifications of C.J beside the academics, is that the person should be working in the “commonwealth” for at least fifteen(15) years. Mr Gibson HAS NOT been working in the commonwealth for that period of time, therefore that DISQUALIFIES him. It is rather simple and quite possible just to adjust that part of the qualifications prior to offering or selecting the gentleman to that office. It is not fear to the very man himself to be appointed under such a cloud because every little move he makes can have political implications and this can put him under serious stress. Every decision in favor of this government would be deemed political, every decision make against the government can be deemed as a backlash or betrayal to this government. This needed not to have happened, all government had to do is bring the gentleman here. let him work as an ordinary judge for a period, maybe six months to a year, during which time the offending pieceof legislation be revamped and then appoint him to the office, no-one would be able to make anymore noise than what was made when David Simmons was appointed. I will stick to my position, the way it is being handle has a whiff of dictatorship about it, like Sandie said “take it or leave it.”

  20. Hamilton Hill
    I wasn’t on the BU at that stage but as I stated before, what the BLP did was MORALLY wrong, but no law had to be changed to accomodate him, the way the DLP is handling this matter is also wrong, there MUST be a change in the law to accomodate Mr Gibson and that change should have come BEFORE he was offered the position. TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT.

  21. David,

    On my usual Saturday afternoon perusal of this blog….

    I am intrigued by the treatment of this topic on BU. This is about the fourth such and the views seem to be evenly divided. Marston, as I hinted before, is my friend of long standing, and he would be slightly embarassed by this discussion, I feel sure. He agrees that the law as it currently stands does not accommodate his appointment, and he has left the matter up to the government.

    I do not know the nature of the conversation between Marston and the government, but the delay must be disconcerting.

    Alas, much of the sentiment on BU seems to be partisan. But I suppose this is to be expected. The appointment of a CJ in Barbados is definitely a political matter, and most are certainly tribalised into partisan camps. I’ll read on with interest. Keep up the good work!

  22. It is not only on this matter that the government is vacillating as a matter of fact on the whole governance of this country.

    It is indeed regrettable that the David Thompson government and now the Freundel Stuart government could mess up this appointment so badly. I totally agree with The Scout’s blogs two wrongs do not make a right, we criticised David Simmons’ appointment worse than this one, so what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. The Dems came to power under the pretense that they were going to be better.

    In the end, if he actually gets the appointment, I hope that all those who have such high expectations of him to “clean up the system” and those who think that his qualifications put him shoulders high over the “old boys’ network”, I hope they will not be disappointed if Mr Gibson realises that all that glitters is not gold and that most systems in Barbados are institutionalised and you cant buck the mindset of most in the public sector.

    Scout, when all is said and done, the government will muscle the nerve to bring the amendment to the house but right now, they are under so much pressure, they may be timid to do so . In the end, they have the votes to make the amendments and it will be ” a like it or lump it” moment.

  23. Jeff Cumberbatch
    I totally agree with you, there will be some partisan element attached to the appointment but the manner in which it is being handle MUST be causing some embarassment to the gentleman plus some degree of stress if he accepts the office. One cannot handlea professional in an amateur manner and that is what this government is doing to the man. The big question is ” can we afford not to have him?

  24. @Jeff Cumberbatch,

    Marston Gibson should be pleased that robust discussion by Barbadians is taking place about his appointment.
    If there was no Internet there would be very limited discussion but blogging, tweeting and facebooking has changed the way issues are dealt with.

    The difficulty for him is whether he is prepared to walk away from the comfort of his life in the USA as a respected member of the environment in which he works.

  25. David “What is the reason causing the delay?”

    This government has been forced to treat this matter with an abundance of caution and rightly so.
    They cannot be seen to be acting in the same manner in which sax man simmons was appointed by Oseemore an de Blpites.

  26. that a interesting question david. the land titles legislation is already on parliaments website to be debates on march 8th. So I wonder what they have, that they have to do that they just can’t push thru the legislation.

  27. Hants what abundance of caution. All they need to do is change commonwealth to common law. nothing more and gibson can be appointed immediately.

  28. This seems to be a very sensitive topic and my view is probably not going to be very popular amongst the BU regulars.

    I do not know Marston Gibson. The first time that I heard about him was on this blog. Since BU announced that he was next in line to be CJ I have asked around and I have heard that he is a brilliant man and I have heard this from other brilliant people for whom I have a great deal of respect.

    That being said, Mr Gibson would not have been my first choice for Chief Justice.

    Personally, I would have preferred someone who had significant experience practising in a Commonwealth jurisdiction (when I say practising, I mean in court). I say so because the US court system (with which Mr Gibson seems to be familiar) is different to that which exists in the Caribbean. From my experience, practitioners who come from the US to practice in the Caribbean have a learning curve to overcome (more so than persons who come from England).

    I would have preferred the appointment of a person who has practised (or sat on the bench) in a CPR-based Commonwealth jurisdiction for some time. In my view, such a person would have enough experience to know which procedural rules are working (in practice) and which ones aren’t.

    Now, I am not saying that Mr Gibson would be a bad Chief Justice. A person that bright would probably excel in whatever endeavour that he decides to pursue. I am only saying that he would not have been my first choice for the job.

  29. @Anonlegal,

    Did Marston Gibson get his first degree at UWI ?
    Did he study Law at UWI or in the UK ?
    Did he teach Law at UWI ?

    Sorry. Don’t answer. I will find out myself.

  30. Thanks BU.

    Marston Gibson

    Grad School
    * Hugh Wooding Law School, Legal Education Certificate (L.E.C) ’81L.E.C.
    * Oxford University, Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L) ’79 B.C.L.

    * University of the West Indies, Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) ’75Law

    High School

    * Foundation School ’70
    * Harrison College ’72

  31. Hants
    Now you are making some sense, no wonder P.M Stuart is so sweet on him. As it was stated in the late P.M’s funeral by none other than the “kingmaker” himself, Cawmere was the first choice for many appointments and now that Foundation is in charge it becomes a Foundation thing. God have mercy, this is what politics in Barbados coming to?

  32. Hants:

    He did go to UWI and taught there too. I went to UWI myself. But actual practice is different. I didn’t fully understand civil procedure until I actually started practising it. Some of the more seniour practitioners still don’t understand the new civil Procedure rules . Because the CJ has administrative responsibilities I would have preferred someone who has practice experience in the jurisdiction or a jurisdiction similar to it. That is all I am saying.

  33. @ Jeff C

    I do not know the nature of the conversation between Marston and the government, but the delay must be disconcerting
    Couldn’t agree with you more about the delay, and I don’t want to draw you into any political discussion but this seems to be a Gov’t of inertia. This appointment has been bandied about for some time and some action or a firm statement of resolve would be welcome.

    I still appreciate the debate no matter what side of the political aisle one is drawn from as it sure beats what transpired the last time a CJ was appointed.

  34. @Scout

    You seem to all over the place with this issue, what does Foundation School have to do with anything? If Thompson appointed people based on the school they attended does it follow that Stuart would do the same?

    If you go back and read some of the earlier blogs you would see that Gibson was Thompson’s choice in the first place.

    I’m sure that Gibson was very happy to attend Foundation, it is a damn fine school and has produced many outstanding citizens both at home and abroad.

    As the old school song goes “ Built on a sure Foundation ,of knowledge, truth and light…..

  35. How long is the usless DLP government going to drag this out? Make a decision and appoint the guy and change the law or procrastinate for another 2 years until the BLP gets in and gets things done. Hard luck for all those waiting for justice while these incompetants pussy foot around .

  36. Anonlegal
    That is very levelheaded assessment, you seem to understand the seriousness of tinkering with the LAw; incedentally. it seems Mr Gibson realise this too.

  37. @Scout.
    Let me reemphaise my thloughts on this subject . so far i have not mentioned any sole individual as becoming CJ or any of the political leanings. MY sole concern is that the LAW when it is ammended would benefit both parties and the country as a whole . Maybe sometime in the future the Opposing Party might have to deal with such an issue and changing the law sooner rather than later would be a benefit in the long ran for all involved. THere is no lack of integrity in changing the Law as a matter of fact Barbadians should be pleased to see that a government once and for all has their best iterest at heart concerning such matters wether they be living at home or abroad. Everybody take a breather and see that the LAW would benefit Both BLP and DLP in the future if need be.

  38. @Scout.
    Let me reemphaise my thoughts on this subject . so far i have not mentioned any sole individual as becoming CJ or any of the political leanings. MY sole concern is that the LAW when it is ammended would benefit both parties and the country as a whole . Maybe sometime in the future the Opposing Party might have to deal with such an issue and changing the law sooner rather than later would be a benefit in the long ran for all involved. THere is no lack of integrity in changing the Law as a matter of fact Barbadians should be pleased to see that a government once and for all has their best iterest at heart concerning such matters wether they be living at home or abroad. Everybody take a breather and see that the LAW would benefit Both BLP and DLP in the future if need be.

    • Read some of the responses from commenters reputed to be police officers, the defeatist attitude and acceptance of mediocrity by them is bound to create tension when we read that the credo of the BPF is ‘to protect and serve’.

  39. Scout
    Why don’t you stay out of serious debates?
    Your contributions are usually very simplistic and asinine in nature.

  40. @ac | February 26, 2011 at 8:26 PM |. Agree. EXCEPT:

    “Everybody take a breather and see that the LAW would benefit Both BLP and DLP in the future if need be.”

    I propose to you, and I have the distinct feeling that you will agree, that whether the law benefits either the BLP or the DLP is not of any real importance at all. What IS of importance is that it serve the people of Barbados. After all, it is the people of Barbados who expect the BLP, the DLP and the LAW to serve them. NOT the other way around. So far, BLP, DLP and law have a lamentable record of service – a record which, if it were in a private business, would have seen the whole damned lot of them fired and probably facing massive legal actions for their delinquency. I surmise that you are using BLP and DLP to mean the people of Barbados of all political (or non-political) peruasions and would be grateful if you would clarify/confirm this.

  41. @Amused
    In my nearlier comments I did make those points which you are making crystal clear. However as a footnote since this law is being changed by the goverment in office and since we as a people are tied to a party one way or another it is only fair to go straight to the arena of which this matter is being debated and that is political. Having said that I would Highlight my previous comment by saying If and when this Law is ammended IT would Benefit Both Parties if need be in the future .that having said is an ammendment to my previous comment. No since in pretending that the Law doesn’t mutiple benefits for all .

  42. anonlegal wrote “I didn’t fully understand civil procedure until I actually started practising it. Some of the more seniour practitioners still don’t understand the new civil Procedure rules .”

    Perhaps you and the more senior practitioners are just not motivated to learn quickly.

  43. Charlie
    Funny thing , you try to bein the debate, therewfore if you are in even a dumb fellowlike me is entitled to speak my mind. The problem is you don’t have a valid answer or reasoning to my blogs, therefore like anyone with a limited vocabulary, you turn to trying to insult me but you know something , take a towel and wipe the vomit off your face. Good reasoning is WAY above you poor fellow.

  44. a/c
    It is simple, this guy didn’t fall out off the sky one day, apparently both parties knew about his ability, therefore it would only be sensible to dot the I’s and cross the T’s before offering him the job. What seem to have happened is in their rush, the reverse the process, offered him the job andnow realise that their are some obstacles and instead of using diplomacy to get out of it, they are trying to bulldoze their way through, this will not and cannot endear the local judiciary towards the gentleman and he is going to need them if he is going to be successful.

    This type of thinking is way above your level. This is NOT a BLP or DLP matter, this goes way above that political yardfowl culture you have.

  45. @Scout

    O.K. for argument sake. let say that the law is not change . Do you see any real benefit in keeping it as it is of Now. Actually I think you are saying thatyour only concern is that the law was not changed before the CJ submission. But does that really matter wether it was before or during the vetting period. Yes there might have been a big oversight concerning this matter. But must the country and the people suffer because of it?

  46. David
    I’ve read Jeff’s blog anumberof times and mainly he’s right, this matter can become an embarrasment to Mr Gibson, but whose causing the embarrasment? the government themselves, they shout and then think and now are trying to justify their shouting. One little blunder this gentleman makes is going to blow up into his face and asfar as I can understand, he is above that. This government needs to make an apology to the gentleman and ask for a period of time to put the matter right, then appoint him. It will not be right to appoint the man, then change the LAW to accomodate him, that is VERY unprofessional.

  47. Hants you said:

    “Perhaps you and the more senior practitioners are just not motivated to learn quickly.”

    Hants, I am not sure what you mean. Just to be clear, I am familiar with the new Civil Procedure Rules. I have seen a submission on BU which shows me that some persons are not.

    I was trying to make the following point:

    It is one thing to learn civil procedure in school. It is another to actually understand it in practice. The longer a person practises in the court system, the more au fait he/she becomes with court procedure.

    My first choice would be an excellent jurist who has significant court experience in a commonwealth system. I believe that such a person would have less learning to do on the job (when it comes to procedure).

    I will try to give an analogy. If I want to hire a manager of a commercial bank I would prefer that the person who I hire has significant experience as a bank manager at a commercial bank.

    That doesn’t mean that a candidate who has experience as a manager of an insurance company or some other type of financial institution cannot do the job and do it well. It just means that my first choice may be someone who knows the unique problems that generally arise in a commercial bank but may not arise in an insurance company. In other words, someone with less of a learning curve.

    • @Anonlegal

      Some might challenge your assertion and suggest that a bank that is struggling to win business may employ a person who is networked socially to make the contacts with less emphasis on banking credentials and the ‘banker’ (support staff) close the deal.

      In Barbados a huge problem is how the judicature is administered, it seems you have a unifocus on what happens inside the court and that alone.

  48. a/c
    You ask” must the country suffer because of it?” My answer is NO. The questions the government has to ask itself ” is this man versed enough in commonwealth law as against US law?” is the period of fifteen years too long? Are we sure there are no other persons more suited for the office?” If the answers to these questions are in the government’s opinion positive, then they have to bitethe bullet and appoint the man and hope for the best. As it stands now, the longer they take the more doubts will come about his appointment. The government made a blunder, they are not perfect but they must be bold enough to accept their mistake and if in their opinion he’s the right person do the right thing. I don’t know him but from my investigations, he is a brilliant man and we should not lose him.

  49. @Scout
    Again my focus is not on Mariston but on the Law itself . As the Law now stands it limits a person or person s of good character and outsanding acdemia in the legal profession that person or persons being of Barbadian heritage from becoming a CJ. Does this law really serve the good of the country? When it alienates its brightest and its best. These are the kind of questions the public should be asking in a bipartisian effort inopening new doors.

  50. Words like “integrity ” embarassment” when applied to this issue serve no real purpose. They are selfserving and only used as political fodder by political opponents. A good government at times have to make hard decisions and those are the onesthat in general stand the test of time giving”integrity and respect to the government from its citizens.

  51. Let’s look at another scenario.

    Let’s suppose the US is looking for a Justice of the Supreme Court.

    Let’s also suppose that there is a born and bred American Lawyer, Marshall Gibbons, trained in America, who has only practiced for a very short period in America after graduating but who is now doing a wonderful job as an assistant to a Judge in one of the cities of the UK. The man is an excellent Judge’s assistant and has researched and made many fine learned recommendations on rulings in English law to the Judges to whom he reports. He is so good that the English authorities are reportedly looking at promoting him to a position as a judge, given his many years of excellent work in England. He has also maintained his membership in the Bar of the US although he has not practiced there for several years.

    A position of a US Supreme Court Justice becomes available. The President of the USA knows Marshall Gibbons personally, perhaps even went to the same Law School with him, and knows that he is essentially one of the boys and will toe the establishment line when necessary but that he is eminently capable of introducing some of the British legal reforms when appointed to the supreme court in the US. He therefore seeks to leapfrog MG over a number of judges who have practiced for many years in the USA and know all the intricacies of Roe vs. Wade, the Civil Rights Laws, the Alien rights law and all those other arcane peculiarly American laws, etc. The President puts MG’s name up as his nominee for the vacant post of a supreme court Judge. The GOP (which is out of power at the time), the sitting Supreme Court Judges and the legal fraternity, in general, push back against the nominee, pointing out that there is a section of the the Act related to the appointment of Supreme court Judges in the US that requires that a supreme court judge in the US should have practiced as a lawyer for 15 years in a US jurisdiction and that MG does not have that qualification.

    The president is adamant that his choice is the best man for the job. After all, the man is demonstrably an outstanding legal brain and (for heaven sakes) an AMERICAN. Besides the regulations that would invalidate his choice dates back to British common law days. Obviously that law needs to be updated.

    So he decides, on the advice of his sage legal advisors, that the solution is to change the regulations to allow any American lawyer, irrespective of his familiarity with American law, as evidenced by years of recent practice in an american jurisdiction as a Judge, to be eligible for appointment as a supreme court justice. However, such changes would be after MG is appointed and the appointment would be then validated by the change of one word in the relevant regulations.

    Of course, the opponents to MG see that solution as being deliberately illegal, indeed worthy of impeachment of the President, while the president and his advisors see their objections as being purely partisan, thoughtless and unpatriotic. After all the minor change in the regulations is not intended to benefit one man only but would benefit those thousands of American Lawyers who aspire to a Supreme Court position in the US by spending the majority of their working lives in non-US jurisdictions, hoping for an opportunity to serve in the US at vastly higher salaries, prestige and honour than in their current non-US domiciles.

    You see any parallels here?
    You think the President would be allowed to bring in his man?
    You think he would be allowed to change the regulations?

    Of course all the aspects of this scenario are not on all fours with the Marston Gibson situation. But I think those who would want to, will see the parallels.

  52. @ Anonlegal

    Irrespective of how much experience a person has there is a learning curve when they take over a new position. In addition to the intricacies of the position they have to learn the culture of the organization (if they are an outsider) and establish their own performance standards if they are the boss (e.g. a CJ).

    In addition I think your analogy of the difficulties a manager of an insurance company would face if he/she became manager of a Bank is flawed. A better correlation would be a manager of RBC going to FCIB or vice versa same industry but different firms, which would be the situation if Gibson moved from the judiciary in the USA to the judiciary in Barbados.

  53. Dear check it out.

    This nonsense couldn’t happen in the U.S. and we all know it.

    If this current government pushes this through because it is what a now dead Prime MInister wanted, then we the people have to punish the DLP when next an election is called.

    Real simple.

  54. Sargeant:

    You may be right. The analogy may be flawed but I don’t think yours captures what I was trying to get across.

    I have seen very experienced practitioners come from the US and have a difficult time coming up to speed with civil procedure in CPR based jursidictions. So that is why I say I would have preferred someone who has practised within the commonwealth.

    I am not saying that Mr Gibson isn’t a good candidate. I am just saying we wouldn’t have been my choice.


    My focus is on administration as well.

  55. @Anonlegal wrote, “I am not sure what you mean”

    What I mean is that you and most of the more senior practitioners will make money and continue to profit from an archaic Judicial system.
    You Lawyers have been making a great living in a captive market environment.
    You can’t call an Electrician or a plumber to represent you in court or settle an estate.

    You chose a very good profession Anonlegal.

  56. I think this episode is one of the many foul ups, bleeps & blunders of the DLP. Being a “Green” government, I have seen inexperience & helplessness among some members of this government.
    I strongly believe that this man was offered the position & then the clever clogs were informed that this man was not qualified under to law to hold this post.
    They had to think hard & fast, so I believe that one of their advisors came up with the plan to manipulate the law to accommodate this appointment.
    I would say to you folks, if a job was offered to me & then for some reason withdrawn, Heads would roll. I would look for Sir Richard Cheltenham & file the biggest law suit ever. I would attempt to sue them for the salary that was expected until my retirement & all the little perks that would have come with the job. They would have to pay me all of this, court cost & lawyer fees, ( Sir Richard does not come cheap), Queen’s counsel & all. THEN, they would still be forced to look for another Chief Justice & pay him too.
    So you see, it is cheaper to change the law in the long run!
    That is just my take on the whole shebang.

  57. One more thought to add.
    I think it would be very refreshing to have new blood injected into our system. To have an individual who may not be affiliated with any particular political party & is not exposed to the corruption & injustice of the system. A person who will bring fresh ideas & ideals to the table. A fresh face with a new attitude, a professional that would have the strength, tenacity & character to lead by example.
    If I know certain Bajans from a certain Organization well, they will not allow this man to rest in his chair in peace. Attempts will be made to frustrate him back to the “Mother land”.
    I sincerely hope that those who fought hard & long to get him in the seat, will see it through all the way & not show their characters as “Wimps”, by leaving this man alone to swim with sharks, while they head for political cover.

  58. @ Checkit-out

    What are you arguing? Why compare apples to oranges? For the sake of argument you are twisting yourself into a pretzel to prove a point which alas remains elusive. Having failed to articulate any valid reason why the 15 year requirement shouldn’t be amended you bring up a “what if “scenario to prove that it wouldn’t happen in the USA. Why the drivel of comparing the USA to Barbados on the appointment of judges? I don’t even know here to begin but first of all many of the nominees to the US Supreme Court do “leapfrog” over thousands of other lawyers Under the US system the President wouldn’t nominate some one who practiced in another country but the nomination is still the President’s to make but he will weigh all political considerations to ensure his nominee will be confirmed. If a confirmation process existed in Barbados do you think that the choice of the Governing party wouldn’t be confirmed even if the person resided in the USA?

    In the USA the Constitution does not set out any qualification as to service for nomination to the US Supreme Court but in Barbados the law provides a qualifier in length of service in a Commonwealth country for appointment as CJ. Perhaps Thompson/Stuart would be better served if they appointed someone from Zimbabwe or India to fill the role because it seems that all you are interested is service in a Commonwealth jurisdiction.

    The reference to the USA is illuminating since you display the same tenacity as those who cling to laws which have long outlived their useful life e.g. the Right to Bear Arms as in the Second Amendment of the US Constitution which was passed in 1791. In 1791 the weapon of choice was a single shot weapon made by a gunsmith, today when the choice of weapon is an AR15 or Glock 19 which are capable of firing 40 or 30 rounds respectively. This law is still sacrosanct among a small but vocal group whose influence surpasses its size.

    Unfortunately Thompson’s tenure was short lived but he could have gone the predictable route and appointed the safe choice i.e. someone firmly ensconced in the Barbadian legal fraternity. However he took the bold initiative of recommending someone who would inject new blood into a moribund system, whom he hoped will the new broom to sleep the chambers clean…..

  59. Sargeant;

    A very predictable response.

    Those who have eyes to see and compare will see the parallels between the scenario I painted and the Marston Gibson situation. The differences between the systems are obvious.

    I see you and the others are continuing to ignore some of the features of the MG debacle that suggest that the issues surrounding this appointment cannot lead to a situation that will earn the assistance or respect of many of MG’s legal colleagues and might certainly detract from his effecting his the purported mission of cleaning up the legal system here. MG is reportedly a brilliant man, but this situation is akin to starting him out on a race with a serious handicap, hobbled by perceptions of allegiance to the politicians who ensured his appointment.

  60. Hi David;

    Thanks for making the separate thread as I suggested. I don’t remember exactly what I had said in that post re. Mr. Eastmond so I’ll leave it as is for now.

  61. Scout
    I am proud Barbadian and am saying that no Barbadian should be denied a job in the land of his birth; therefore I am supporting Mr. Gibson for CJ.
    On the principle that if the CJ can be selected from any Commonwealth country once he was practicing law there for the allotted time then why should a BORN and BRED BAJAN not be eligible even if he did not practice law in a commonwealth country. The fact he was practicing law in a country that is way more democratic than most of the Commonwealth countries. In fact we should he even adopt the way how the American justice system functions.
    The law should be change so that it cannot happen again.
    The opposition by lawyers to Mr. Gibson is strange. Why don’t they speak publicly about the corrupt lawyers who carry away client’s money? Are there not laws about that? Where are these upright law abiding persons when the most corrupt activities go unnoticed every day?
    The DLP was elected to bring change and they must act. Change the law; the citizens are with you in bringing changes to the judicial system.
    Why you at it please bring the Integrity legislation and FOI legislation to parliament. You sure will be voted back in for another term.

  62. @checkit-out

    Well the problem with your example is normally if the ABA has problem with the nomination unless president really want to try battling the whole organization the nomination is removed. Remember the massive mess by bush jr when he wanted his personal lawyer nominated to supreme court.

  63. Anthony; That is precisely one of the things I was trying to illustrate. I’m not trying to say that the 2 situations are of exact equivalence. Obviously they are’nt.

  64. @Checkit-Out

    Avery predictable response to a very predictable “what if” scenario.

    Keep an umbrella handy, you never know when you’ll need for that sky falling thingy 🙂

  65. Hants said:

    “What I mean is that you and most of the more senior practitioners will make money and continue to profit from an archaic Judicial system.”

    I will ignore the personal dig at me. Considering that you don’t know me, it is clearly a shot in the dark.

    But here is what I would say, in my view the passage of the new civil procedure rules (“CPR”) made Barbados’ court system a lot less archaic than it was prior to the change. In fact, I would venture to say that in light of the new CPR the court system isn’t archaic at all. Unfortunately, it would seem that the court registry is slow to come up to speed with the new rules.

    I personally would have some suggestions to improve the court system but the truth is this: I recognise that problems may seem easy to solve when you are on the outside looking in. From my experience, in any organisation, there are usually things that happen behind the scenes that make seemingly simple problems more complicated. In other words, administrators (such as the CJ) may be aware of problems that persons who aren’t administrators (such as us blogger) don’t know about.

    Here is an example:

    “Citizen A” may suggest the wonderful idea of making the Barbados Supreme Court more computerized. His idea seems obvious. Court documents should be scanned and software should be implemented to keep track of court files. This would reduce the likelihood of a court file being misplaced thereby lowering the chances of a hearing being adjourned. Simple right?

    However, implementing such a system may require

    (a) an expansion or creation of an IT department to administer and maintain the computer system;

    (b) investment in court administration computer software;

    (c) the purchase of servers to store the data; and

    (d) the training of judge’s and court staff in the use of the new system (what use is new computer software if no one knows how to use it)

    The CJ’s paltry budget may not be able to accommodate all of these expenses. So as ingenious as Citizen A’s idea is, it cannot be implemented.

    (Sargeant I am relying on you to tell me if this is bad example)

    There are obviously problems with the Barbadian court system. We all accept that. However I highly doubt that all of the problems currently being experienced will be solved by changing the Chief Justice.

    Some people on this board seem to think that a change at the top is the silver bullet. I don’t agree.

    • @Bush Tea

      To your observation you should also note that there was no similar concern with sourcing and allocating budget to build the Judicial Centre…lol.

  66. LOL

    Anonlegal has- by the excellent illustration provided above, with the idea to computerize the court system, demonstrated exactly what is wrong with our system and why an outsider at the very top, will be needed in order to fix the problem.
    Anonlegal’s analysis of the challenges involved in computerizing the court system is so myopic and simplistic that it is frightening – coming as it does, from a highly educated professional.

    This is a process that has occurred in multiple other jurisdictions, mostly with revolutionary improvements in cost and efficiency resulting. It is not a new concept being contemplated…. Complex computer systems with servers, backups systems etc exists right here in Barbados – and yet we are being led to believe that we should not expect something like this to be introduced here easily….
    This same kind of logic seeks to justify the continuation of the insultingly slow pace of so-called’ justice’ being dispensed by our courts.

    Bush Tea will know that the new CJ is serious when he immediately dumps a number of persons who think like anonlegal does, and replace them with assertive ‘can-do’ people, who understand that their role is to provide high quality service rather than excuses for their fat charges.

  67. Bush tea said:

    “Bush Tea will know that the new CJ is serious when he immediately dumps a number of persons who think like anonlegal does”

    Bush Tea. How do I think?

    You don’t need to answer. It is a rhetorical question.

    I think that you have missed my point, though.

    My example was a hypothetical one. I do not know if the scenario that I described is an issue that the court is currently facing. But just to be transparent, I did not pluck the scenario out of the air.

    I know about another commonwealth jurisdiction that had a similar problem.

    New court administration software was installed but not enough people were trained how to us it. Also, there were not enough IT personnel to maintain the system. In addition, server space continues to be an issue.

    I am not trying to justify the continuation of the slow pace of justice. I do not know how you were able to take that from what I have said. My point merely was that we all have good suggestions on how to improve the system, but we (including me) are making them blindly. I do not know the extent of the budget problems that the judiciary faces nor do I know what other challenges exist beneath the surface. So the ideas that I have in mind may be misconceived or impractical or just too expensive. I appreciate that possibility. My question is: do you?

  68. Anonlegal wrote “I will ignore the personal dig at me. Considering that you don’t know me, it is clearly a shot in the dark.”

    That shot was not personal nor in the dark.
    If you are a Lawyer in Barbados then what I have stated is a fact and true for all of you who practice in Barbados.
    Lawyers can take 10 years to settle an estate,find title deeds or pay back money from a client account and it does not affect your comfortable lifestyle.

    Anonlegal wrote, “But here is what I would say, in my view the passage of the NEW civil procedure rules (“CPR”) made Barbados’ court system a lot less archaic than it was prior to the change. In fact, I would venture to say that in light of the NEW CPR the court system isn’t archaic at all. Unfortunately, it would seem that the court registry is SLOW to come up to speed with the new rules. ”

    “NEW” and “SLOW”.
    So until the Registry is up to speed, we will wait years for estates and land titles to be settled.

  69. Hants:

    I don’t do estates or conveyancing. Many lawyers in Barbados don’t. If there are lawyers who are making undeserved profits because of the slow pace of the settlement of an estate or the mispalcement of title deeds I am not sure what that has to do with the point I was making.

    Anyway, I didnt really intend to delve into a “all lawyers are crooks debate”.

  70. @ Anonlegal

    The bushman is not digging at you personally either … well not maliciously anyway… but in your good intention, you have really highlighted the kind of mindset that prevents progress.
    ..and you scenario is a well chosen one.
    ….no doubt there are many examples of failure to implement new systems, but should a country that invest as much as we do in education not be looking at the models who succeeded…??

    …in fact, SHOULD WE NOT BE PIONEERS? Can you imagine the bushman scrunt to sent my bushboy to Crumpton Street, Cave Hill and Lord knows where… – and then he come home telling me that he can’t perform ….. and referring BT to petty challenges that have been overcome in other jurisdictions by products of lesser investment…..

    Anonlegal, do you know what bushmen do with trees which do not bear fruit…?

  71. @ anonlegal


    An outsider who has been schooled in a ‘can do’ mindset.
    One on whom the local network can not dig up any mud….

    …why do you think that a number of high level operatives in clearly non-functioning national organizations continue in office -no matter who is in office….?

    …they got the dirt…..

  72. Anonlegal
    “Anyway, I didnt really intend to delve into a “all lawyers are crooks debate”.”

    Who said anything about crooks.

    All I am trying to say is that the current archaic Judicial system in Barbados has not impeded the ability of Lawyers to make a comfortable living.

    If nothing was changed Lawyers would still continue to make a great living honestly and legally and we the public will continue to suffer quietly or die waiting for estates to be settled or money from Client accounts to be “processed”.

    The Lawyers I know personally are honest and very comfortable financially in spite of working in an “archaic system”.

  73. (Sargeant I am relying on you to tell me if this is bad example)
    Don’t take it personally, debate is healthy, but BT has pointed out that computerized systems have worked well in other jurisdictions so why shouldn’t that well educated cadre of Bajans adapt to change?.

    A little secret, many moons ago I worked at the Registry for a short while. It seems that if I walked into the building today I could resume my duties without skipping a beat, the only things that would have changed are the bosses and the Dress code 🙂 .

    A new CJ brought in from the outside is not necessarily the panacea that will fix whatever is broken but often times an infusion of new talent is beneficial to any organisation. However his effectiveness will be enhanced by the cooperation that he receives from people in your profession since this discussion has confirmed that Bajans remain resistant to change

  74. Sargeant:

    “However his effectiveness will be enhanced by the cooperation that he receives from people in your profession since this discussion has confirmed that Bajans remain resistant to change”

    I think I am misunderstood. I am not resistant to change (although I know that some in the profession resisted the new CPR for years). Also, I am not saying that a computerized system wouldn’t “work” in Bim ( I don’t think that will solve all of the problems that the judiciary faces but I actually think the court system NEEDS to be computerized). I was merely trying to think of an example to illustrate a larger point. That point is that sometimes problems that seem simple from the outside are more complicated when you get inside.

    To let you in on a secret, I used the example that I did for a particular reason. Someone on this blog suggested sometime back that the Court Registry needs to start scanning court documents. Their thinking was that this would solve the problem of missing court files. At the time the comment was made I didn’t say anything but I knew of a jurisdiction that did exactly what that blogger suggested (and more). That court still has problems with missing court files (for the reasons that I mentioned in my hypothetical scenario). I am not saying that this particular blogger’s idea was a bad one but there is more to it than merely scanning court documents. Properly implementing the idea would mean investing much more than the $1000 needed to purchase two scanners.

    Just to be clear, I am not opposed to Mr Gibson taking up the post and I am definitely not opposed to someone from outside of Barbados being CJ. So if the suggestion is that I am an example of a Barbadian who is “resistant to change”, that is definitely a misconceived belief.

    • @Anonlegal

      To all the legal eagles in Barbados who continue to sing the praises of the last CJ even though during and after his tenure justice was dispensed at snail pace to citizens of Barbados.

      It does not makes sense does it?

      Since you are into examples/scenarios, CJ Simmons and even others before him were CEOs of a company and get graded exceeds expectation by peers in the profession on their performance card, in the meantime there is gross inefficiency in the company and customers are complaining about the service and sometimes resorting to other means to resolve their issues.

      The idiocy of the times or so it seems. Leaders are suppose to lead, managers are suppose to manage, it is as simple as that Anon.

  75. Anonlegal | February 27, 2011 at 6:31 PM | ” That point is that sometimes problems that seem simple from the outside are more complicated when you get inside”

    From what I am to understand, you at least, are on the ball. The rest will learn…in the fullness of time…


  76. David:

    I sing David Simmons’ praises as a jurist. I have heard that he is a good administrator from a person who is known to be an excellent administrator. However I have never expressed any personal opinion about his administrative skills because the truth is I don’t know from personal experience.

    The problems at the Supreme court pre-date Simmons’ tenure, so I am pretty sure that he was not the cause of the problems. If your argument is that he failed to solve the problems during his tenure maybe you have a point. I am not agree or disagreeing. However, there is evidence that an effort was made to make substantial changes. From what I understand some of those changes were delayed because of opposition by some members of the Bar.

    • Thanks for the clarification Anon.

      Regrettably we can’t give him ‘exceeds expectation’ grade based on your above that “evidence that an effort was made to make substantial changes.”

  77. What is taking Freundel and the DLP so long to do what is necessary to appoint Marston Gibson and change the relevant regulations. Could the situation be much more complicated than we have been led to believe? akin to the Cell Phone tax?

  78. “evidence that an effort was made to make substantial changes.”

    What was the outcome of that “effort” ?

    Perhaps it is too much to ask a Lawyer to have management skills. It may be useful to hire Business managers to work in the CJ’s office.
    Somebody who knows how to use Microsoft Project to do scheduling could manage and track the flow of case through the Courts.

    I have heard there is 1 or 2 Law firms in Barbados that have modern structured offices.
    The probably cater to the Rich and Famous.

  79. checkit out,

    If one is to believe the front page of today’s Sunday Sun, the government seems to be focusing now on calling a general election as they realise that to change the law to accommodate the CJ’s appointment is not going down too well based on BU. Also based on the grim forecast for the economy, they seem to be feeling that all hell may break loose later in the year, so call an election now and fool the people that the economy is going to grow.You have evidence of this with the minister of finance changing the Central Bank’s forecast.

    Meanwhile, behind the scenes, they have the Personnel department doing an audit of the public sector with a view to cutting staff. They will do all this after they call the election. Just wait and see, 1991 and Sandi all over again.

    Meanwhile, Mr Gibson seems to be languishing with the indecision his government, having been invited to come down to Bim since last December to select a home. I wonder if the taxpayers are paying for an empty home on hold for so long.

    Wonderful leadership, wont you say!

  80. Sorry,
    last paragraph should read ” Meanwhile, Mr Gibson seems to be languishing with the indecision of this government”

  81. i have a difficulty with the unadulterated nonsensical responses that rabid party supporters like carson c cadogan bring to bear on serious issues affecting the country. this setting about of demonising people if they do not support the policies of the dlp does not lend to enlightening debate. rather than tell the government he supports to say sorry about messing up the appointment of the chief justice issue and select another person within the ambit of the law, he and a host of other persons like him try to turn the issue into a political football by insinuating that the blp met with gibson first and in the interim casting aspersions on the character of the former chief justce as well indicate the devilish lengths purblind party supporters would go to keep from sinking the image of a party who fought to govern but now find governing unmanageable. dlp party supporters ought to be praising the greedy and selfish short men in the blp for sowing seeds in the ranks of the blp and rendering the party unattractive to the crucial floating vote. had the dlp legal hierarchy done their homework like sir maurice king would have done, they would have realized that mr gibson was not qualified within the laws of barbados to be chief justice and should not have been considered. on the other hand if mr gibson had any integrity; he would have withdrawn from this volatile and sensitive issue long ago. this sycophantic behaviour by dlp supporters could very well land the dlp and the country in the same problem as 1991 when istead of heeding the economic advice offered they preferred to label those with alternative opinions as prophets of doom and gloom. i hope they change their ways in the interest of barbados.

  82. Ruth Arnetta; re your post above. Well said! BU needs some more posters like you to bring some sort of balance to these discussions.

  83. Finally!

    Bill for new CJ ‘drafted
      By Tim Slinger | Sun, March 06, 2011 – 12:02 AM

    A BILL TO amend the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, which could facilitate the appointment of United States-based jurist Marston Gibson as Barbados’ next Chief Justice, might be laid before the House of Assembly on Tuesday.

    Government sources have told the SUNDAY SUN that the new bill has been finally drafted after several weeks.

    If placed on the Order Paper, fierce debate is expected, with the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) taking a strong position against the new amendment.

    Last January, reports were that Government would make the move to amend the law, clear the way to appoint Gibson, who does not meet all the legal appointment criteria for Chief Justice.

    If the bill is passed, sources say, Gibson could take up the appointment of Chief Justice from April 1.

    Justice Sherman Moore, who has acted in the capacity for just over a year, had his acting appointment extended to March 31.

    The proposed amendment has also brought strong objection from the Barbados Bar Association’s new president Andrew Pilgrim and past Leslie Haynes, QC.

    Senior attorney Ralph Thorne, QC, also took issue with the mooted amendment during a recent lecture at the Tom Adams Financial Centre.

  84. Well, finally. So, with luck, the resurrection of the justice system should star on All Fools Day. Hopefully, it sounds the knell for all the fools who have turned our justice system into an injustice system. Roll on April 1.

  85. Amused;

    Nice Spin!
    To me, it seems to be the opposite. It seems the fools have triumphed. Let’s see if any positive change will result from the justice system as a result of this action. The portents are not good imho.

  86. @checkit-out | March 6, 2011 at 6:40 AM |. Well, as they say, the proof of the pudding is the eating. So, we will just have to wait and see whose spin is right. As confident as anyone can be in the circumstances, I believe that mine will prevail. I pray that mine will prevail, not from the point of any ego and being proved right, but because it is needed for the good of the country and its citizens. So, we have to watch and wait and see.

  87. Amused;
    I agree totally with you, from my limitd exposure to the legal system here, that change is indeed needed. Where I disagree is that appointing Marston Gibson, in the manner that he is being appointed, will effect that change. imho, it is more likely to do the opposite. I hope you are right, but I fear you are wrong.

  88. Well there problems I forsee the bill even coming to pass by that date. Currently on order paper is supplement no 12. Normally that will take the majority of the date and after that it debate on the land titles act. On march 15 the house moves to debate the estimates. I really don’t see it coming into effect before April 1. Though it good they finally done something. I await the bill coming to parliament website for a reading, to see if it was a simple as most people think it is.

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