Barbadians Are Listening Very Carefully To What You Say Chief Justice Marston Gibson

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice of Barbados Designate

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice of Barbados Designate

The appointment of Chief Justice (CJ) Marston Gibson has generated heated debate in some quarters. Today President of the Barbados Bar Association Andrew Pilgrim criticized the current system which which sees the Prime Minister appointing judges. It seems he was peeved about the reason which Gibson offered for accepting the appointment in the face of the public furore directed at his appointment. Gibson indicated it was a promise he made to late Prime Minister Thompson which he felt obligated to honour. Pilgrim’s view differs with his colleague Ralph Thorne who believes the quality of decisions by a Prime Minister will be judged by the electorate. Therefore a Prime Minister has a vested interest in appointing quality judges to the bench. It should be noted based on a little research, all the sitting judges were appointed by Prime Minister Owen Arthur.

In the weekend news just passed there was the obligatory public relations spread which sought to give the public an insight into what to expect from the incoming CJ. BU would have asked the harder questions but such is the lay of the land. In the Public Relations job facilitated by Tony Best of the Nation Gibson articulated changes he plans to implement when he assumes office. By the way did BU miss it or was the position officially announced by government? His interview generated mild comment in some quarters while others suggested CJ Gibson has not stated anything that has not already made it into the public domain and in some instances are in the process of being implemented.

The following is an extract from Sir David Simmon’s speech at the opening of the Special Sitting of the Supreme Court to mark the commencement of the legal year 2009-2010 at the new Judicial Building. One of the advantages the incoming CJ will have is that he will be under the public microscope like no other CJ who preceded him. He will therefore have to be very wary when he makes public statements. A read of Sir David’s speech touches many of the suggestions proffered by Gibson in the weekend press, you decide.

Criminal Cases

36. I turn now to the trial of criminal cases in the High Court. In 2006 the system of Assizes was abolished and replaced with continuous trials in the High Court. At the time of abolition, I explained that such a decision would increase the number of trial days. I am happy to report that, whereas under the system of Assizes we were never able to complete more than 135 cases in any one year, in the year 2008, over 200 cases were completed under the new system but using the traditional two courts.

37. At this new facility, we have facilities to run three criminal courts simultaneously and we should therefore be able to complete even more trials than in 2008. However, before increasing the number of courts trying criminal cases, I think that it would be prudent to make sure that all the systems in this new building are functioning properly and smoothly before experimenting.

38. I think that the time has also come for the abolition of another procedure of long tradition. At the Judicial Retreat 2007, over 100 recommendations were made to tackle the problem of delay in the criminal justice process. One key recommendation for which we shall seek the support of the Attorney-General is the abolition of the preliminary inquiry into indictable offences. I was awaiting the outcome of a case in the Privy Council where an appellant in Antigua challenged the constitutionality of abolition of the preliminary inquiry in that jurisdiction. The Privy Council gave its decision earlier this year, holding that abolition of the preliminary inquiry does not violate the Constitution. In due course, therefore, I shall be writing to the Hon. Attorney-General to have the necessary statutory amendments made, if he and the Cabinet are agreeable.

Read full speech

0 thoughts on “Barbadians Are Listening Very Carefully To What You Say Chief Justice Marston Gibson

  1. Marston Gibson will be the next CJ of Barbados.

    He has stated a few of the things he intends to do to improve the Justice system in Barbados.
    Honest competent professional lawyers and public service officers should support any effort he makes in this regard.

    No accused person should be on remand for 2,3 or 4 years. That is tantamount to punishment without trial.

    This not just about the efforts of one individual. It is about a group of privilaged Barbadians (Lawyers) who should improve the management of their own practices so as to improve the quality of service they provide to the citizens of Barbados.

  2. Mr Gibson is just echoing the proposed recommendations made by the former C.J who was asked to retire, i hope the new C.J would be successful. However, did I miss the appointment of a new C.J?

  3. Hants, both you and Gibson are behaving like Christopher Columbuses. The man obviously has read Sir David’s Simmons’ statements … but that is okay if he adopts the good ideas that the learned Sir David had every intention of implementing. Only it would be nice to just acknowledge the brilliance of the predecessor, as he clearly on a path to bring significant and productive change to the system.

    Of course Sir David was rudely and maliciously curtailed in his mission by the dead king. Then again, that was the dead king’s prerogative, however unwise, and politically-motivated the decision was.

    Yes David of BU, WE SHALL BE WATCHING GIBSON VERY CLOSELY! Couldn’t believe my ears when the man suggested that one of his main aims for accepting the post was to honour a promise he made to the late David, and the sleeping Freundel!

    What makes this noteworthy is that IRENE made a serious fuss in the Senate, about whether an actual person for the CJ position had been named. Not even the President of the Senate, nobody could match the repartee, the erudite challenge of Senator Kerry Simmons, as he floated like a butterfly, and STUNG LIKE A BEE.
    (One of the parts I enjoyed was where the President suggested that both he and Simmons were idiots. Simmons sharply shot back requesting that he (The President) speak for HIMSELF.

    But Simmons claimed that ONE PERSON ONLY … GIBSON, had been named for the post, and dimwit IRENE vehemently denied it. But here we have GIBSON now confirming that he made a promise to Thompson and Stuart to take up the post!

  4. @Truthman Burton,

    Marston Gibson will likely accomplish the things he set out to do.

    he will hve the support of the Honest lawyers in Barbados.

  5. Didn’t Owen say to the Opposition if they had good ideas bring them and he will use them?

    If the newly appointed CJ sees merit in upholding the law and bringing about justice in a timely manner shouldn’t that be commended? You have been asking for a quick turnaround … Did you get under Sir David Simmons?

    I certainly didn’t? The file was not found – case was put back. Hey, Sir David was asked to part company – how many permanent secretaries are still in company?

    Justice delayed is justice denied. So we wait until the PS release the info to a new DLP minister and projects are delayed – look into it.

  6. Welcome CJ Gibson the poor people glad to have you the theiving lawyers do not, Pilgrim and them should be in adult movies they are bunch of lousy actors. Weve had enough of the buddy buddy judicial system which is abusing poor blacks I praying Gibson change it and send lots of lawyers to jail.

  7. Anybody who accepts the position of Chief Justice under the guise of “the Prime Minister made me an offer that I cannot refuse..” or “I made a promise to the Prime Minister” is someone not worthy of such a position. The Legislature and the Executive should not only be separate, they should be viewed as separate… this point should be hammered home by those who are chosen to fill the position to the point where the Government if bent on continuing the practice, will be forced to go elsewhere in the Commonwealth to find a candidate… If the people at the top do not see a need for change in the way they are selected, how can you expect them to respond adequately to a need for change in the organizations over which they have responsibility ..

  8. @ Naime

    One thing about poor people is that they always seek a Messiah … They are accustomed to disappointment and that is probably one of the reasons why they remain poor ..

  9. It is worth a mention that the views of Gibson an Simmons’ coincide. However the sad reality is after Simmons’ tenure as CJ the handing out of justice can be compared to Ketchup rolling down a hill.

    Justice delayed is justice denied.

    • It is also good to listen to the lawyers who have been speaking out of late.

      Perhaps the fact they feel so emboldened has something to do with the lack of fear of receiving that 3AM call.

  10. We will have to wish the CJ designate well in his mission, but as the Bajan saying goes, “if you start wrong, you can’t end right”. I fail to see how his appointment is any less tainted than Sir David’s, and by extension, will leave any more beneficial a legacy.

    By his own admission, Marston Gibson’s prospective appointment reveals him as a political creature of the DLP (and I use “creature” in the sense of “a person whose position or fortune is owed to someone or something and who continues under the control or influence of that person or thing”). I think it will be difficult for him to rise above this fact.

    I agree entirely with BAFBFP’s comments above. An appointment of this nature should not only be made impartially, but, perhaps more importantly, should be seen to be done so. Transparency should be the order of the day – but this appears to be based on a promise made in what one can only imagine would qualify as the proverbial smoke-filled back room. Furthermore, they say that if you break a promise to a dead man, he will haunt you…keep it, and he will haunt you just the same.

    However, like all right-thinking Barbadians, I hope that once Mr Gibson is confirmed in the position that he is able to prove the doubters such as myself wrong, and that he is able to succeed with his mandate. For surely our legal system is an embarrassment in its current state. Let us hope his appointment does not further compound the embarrassment.

  11. @David Barnes ‘I fail to see how his appointment is any less tainted than Sir David’s, and by extension, will leave any more beneficial a legacy.’

    Likewise, I don’t see how Gibson’s appointment differs from that of a political colleague who was sitting member of parliament, in regular discussions with the PM that appointed him even though the public thought that it was not transparent nor in the best interest of the nation only because of the political affiliation. Obviously if you work with the BLP you are going to support the path you know. That may not be the the pathway to progress.

    What makes it right, good and justice being served when Owen Arthur appoints a CJ and, it is wrong, ungodly and unconscienable when PM Freundel Stuart with his colleagues approves an appointment of another Barbadian in Barbados for the upliftment, progress and improvement in our judicial system.

  12. @ Different

    There are in fact TWO glaring differences:
    1. The amendment to the Act
    2. Denial by the government

  13. Yes Enuff ….. glaring differences is right! Why all of this stealth. Secret promises to a man to give him the CJ position ….. then pretend that no such person exists, because it taints your supposedly noble attempts to change the constitution, so that that same UNQUALIFIED man receiving the promise, could assume the job.

    Then you mount a deceptive campaign to fool the public, that it was not a case of ONE NAMED MAN ONLY, BEING CONSIDERED FOR THE JOB! The same man MR. GIBSON (to his credit, a truthful man) then comes along and say that the job was in fact promised to him by TWO PM’s, and he wanted to remain faithful to the commitment, which he in turn gave to them!

    Silly IRENE then gets up in the Senate trying vehemtly to deny the above, only to made look like the fool she is by Senator Kerry Simmons.

    Look, I really wish the illustrious gentleman well, but you DLP people, disabuse your minds that Barbados is populated with idiots who can be easily duped.

  14. Hahahahahahahahahaha ……..hehehhehehehehahahaha …… Wonder where that confirmation came from?

    If you so desparately want to know who I am, that sends me a message that I am making you guys uncomfortable!
    I am just a regular, maybe a little above average Barbadian, with a healthy concern about how this uniquely wonderful country of ours is governed. I am flattered that you believe that I in any way, match the articulate and brilliant young man that Senator Kerry Simmons is.

    Thanks for the complement, but I am just simple old Truthman Burton.

  15. Incidentally, with regard to that Senate debate on the Constitutional Amendment, to accomodate the appointment of Mr.Gibson to his position promised by BOTH the dead PM, and the current walking dead PM, I would urge those of you who missed the debate on radio, to get hold of Hansard, and read the report.

    That lengthy exchange between Senator Simmons and the President, had me feeling REAL SORRY for the president. It was like Muhammed Ali against Sonny Liston as the President, with his voice evidencing extreme stress, almost it seems on the point of tears, tried his best to suppress the cutting, STINGING, remarks of the young Senator.

    Clearly, Simmons came well prepared as he demonstrated his remarkable knowledge of jurisprudence (that’s what it is? poor me in know them big words) as he shamed the Government side into silence, except for a few desparate squawks from SILLY IRENE!

  16. (continued from above)
    and from DLP financial Guru, “PHYSICAL DEFICIT” Jepter Ince!!
    A complete waste of time.

  17. @All…

    Chief Justice to Barbados (designate) Marston Gibson allegedly had this to say in the Barbados Nation News newspaper 2011.03.27:

    “We have technology in Barbados that is superior to the building in which I work now in Nassau County in New York. Barbadians should be proud that we are way ahead of the Supreme Court of New York in Nassau County.

    “[But] if you have the technology and you are not using it, then that is a problem. It has in it all of the elements for success, but we are not using any of those themes.


  18. @Christopher – by superior technology he’s probably referring to the new airconditioners in the Supreme Court complex on Whitepark Road…after all, nothing pulls like a Trane…

  19. @Barnes: “…by superior technology he’s probably referring to the new airconditioners in the Supreme Court complex on Whitepark Road…after all, nothing pulls like a Trane…

    LOL.. Perhaps you are correct.

    I’m hoping he’s thinking rather deeper.

    Like the modern use of ICT, for example….

  20. Wherever he gets his ideas from, is not important to me, what is important is if he can make them happen. He could acknowledge the source, but that its up to him. What disappointed me is that his taking up the appointment is not about a love for the law, or a determination to improve justice for ordinary people etc, his motivation for taking the job is that he promised the PM. Well, we shall see.

  21. It is not who appoint who or who gets appointed but if the appointee will do a good and impartial job. Whats wrong with the man making a promise and keeping a promise. So who we want to appoint or recommend the man ?
    Somebody from South Africa ?
    Gimme a break !

    You dont know if you listen to people whenever something is to be done, nothing will get done.
    Bajan people just like complaining.

    is the man
    Like it or Lump it

  22. Interesting article by lawyer Cecil McCarthy:


    EVERYDAY LAW – Timing real issue in choosing of CJBY CECIL MCCARTHY | WED, MARCH 30, 2011 – 12:01 AM

    SEVERAL PERSONS have asked me to write about the appointment of a Chief Justice for Barbados.  Until now I have resisted the temptation because I genuinely feel that most of the discussion has been about politics rather than law.

    The Barbados Constitution gives the Prime Minister the power to appoint a Chief Justice after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.

    The Supreme Court of Judicature Act lays down the qualifications for the appointment.

    Prior to the amendment passed recently, the rumoured prospective appointee, Rhodes Scholar Marston Gibson, did not appear to meet the requirements of the act because his period of practice in the United States could not count since it was not done in a part of the Commonwealth.

    Interestingly, Sir Roy Marshall, in arguably the most insightful analysis of the situation, appeared to express the view that the amendment was less to do with change than with bringing clarity to the law so that its intent was clearly expressed.

    This is how Sir Roy Marshall, an eminent legal scholar, described the legal situation in a story by Wade Gibbons in the WEEKEND NATION of  March1: “Sir Roy, who was instrumental in revising the Laws of Barbados, said the relevant section of law with its requirement of 15 years’ legal service in “some part of the Commonwealth” had been seen by some as presenting an obstacle to the appointment of the “otherwise eminently qualified Barbadian”.  

    Proper examination

    Sir Roy, however, did note that a proper examination was required of both the interpretation of the law as written and an analysis of the pre-Independence context in which it was first written.

    “The term ‘Commonwealth’ was frequently used as a reference point in legal drafting.  Referring specifically to the states which were members of that body of former British colonies was really a convenient shorthand to identify countries with a shared historical experience, and the administrative, legal and institutional structures which flowed therefrom.  It also signified a common official language, English.

    “In the context of the legal profession, and the judiciary in particular, it was, in my view, almost certainly the intent of the drafters to equate service in external common law jurisdictions with service at home. 

    “Regrettably the use of the more circumscribed terminology ‘some part of the Commonwealth’ may have had the unintended consequence of excluding from consideration the common law jurisdictions which co-exist within the federal structure of the United States of America.”

    Beyond doubt

    The amendment has sought to put the issue of Gibson’s qualification for the post of Chief Justice beyond doubt by adding the words “or common law jurisdiction” to embrace practice in the United States or more specifically in New York in the instant case.

    Not surprisingly, an issue has been raised by some about the effectiveness of the amendment.

    My friend and former student Caswell Franklyn penned a letter in  last week’s MIDWEEK NATION in which he used the definition of “common law” in the Interpretation Act to conclude that since the term common law means the common law of England, Mr Gibson is not  practising in a common law jurisdiction recognized as such by the Laws of Barbados.

    Others have questioned whether the US can be defined as a common law jurisdiction having regard to the fact that several civil law concepts have been incorporated into their law.  In some states aspects of the law have been codified. 

    The advocates of this view regard the US as a “mixed jurisdiction” rather than a common law jurisdiction.

    I wish to humbly submit that the proponents of the views above are ignoring the legislative context.

    Accepting practice

    The reason for accepting practice in the Commonwealth could only have been intended to recognise those countries which shared the inheritance of the English common law.

    As for the term “common law jurisdiction” the 8th Edition of Black’s Law Dictionary, which was published in 2004, contains a definition.

    It defines it as: A place where the legal system derives fundamentally from the English common law system (England, the United States of Australia and other common law jurisdictions).

    It is submitted that despite the presence of some elements of civil law as well as several peculiar rules and practices that are distinctly American, the jurisdictions that exist in the United States are properly regarded as common law jurisdictions.

    Shorn of all the politics, it is my view that the amendment recently passed merely captures what must have been the intent when the law was first introduced, namely to permit practice in any jurisdiction with a tradition based on the English common law to qualify for judicial appointment.

    The real issue in my view is one of timing.  Those against the appointment will always feel that it was about the appointment of one of “your own” and about “changing the law for one man”.   

    Those for the amendment may ask the question: Is it ever the wrong time to do what is right? 

    For sure, I look forward to welcoming the new Chief Justice and pledge my fullest support.  What is not in doubt is that the person chosen will need the unqualified support of  the Bench and Bar to deal successfully with the current challenges with respect to the administration of justice in Barbados.

    Cecil McCarthy is a queen’s counsel.

  23. i am still perplexed by mr mccarthy’s article.’ the advacates of this view regard the the united states as a “mixed jurisdiction” rather than a common law jurisdiction.’ which view, caswell’s or the views of the others? i need to know if what caswell saying is true that the amendment does not solve the problem it was intended to solve and if caswell is right what next from a legal point of view?no skirting of the issue would bring closure to the matter.

  24. @ruth. Cecil McCarthy has provided a legal opinion that coincides with that previously published on BU and with the opinion of Sir Roy Marshall. In a nutshell, it says that in using the word “Commonwealth” the people who originally framed the Act meant to include, not to exclude, persons from a common law jurisdiction. The Act has not been formally changed to make that clear and remove any areas of doubt, although, without giving his personal views, Mr McCarthy goes on to make mention of the timing of this clarification to the Act.

    Mr McCarthy goes on to give the opinion that the United States, as a former British colony, is a common law jurisdiction. That is, in essence, what he has said. If you agree with his line of reasoning (and I do) there is no impedement to the appointment of Marston Gibson and it is doubtful that there ever was a legitimate impedement.

    That Mr McCarthy has extended his welcome to the new CJ, rather than to Mr Gibson personally, is, I would think because Mr Gibson’s appointment has yet to be published in the Official Gazette and therefore, until that happens, he cannot be deemed to have been appointed.

    I hope this clarifies things for you.

  25. @ruth. Typo. It should have read: “The Act has NOW been formally changed to make that clear and remove any areas of doubt…….”

  26. Truthman Barton aka Kerry Simmons aka Chris Brown knows the Hon.Freundel Stuart NEVER named Marston Gibson or any person as Chief Justice of Barbados. Still smarting because I asked you, on a point of order, to bring the evidence to the chamber if he did. You could not bring it, the President ruled and you started to behave like the spoilt child you are. Aint bring it yet. You were cornered and faced with a woman who certainly is not scared of you, doan care how hard you holler and wring up in that Honourable Chamber. We debating an amendment an’ you talking ‘ bout a man! And disrespecting the President because you can’t railroad. The display was awful. And the performance on this blog is proof positive that you have not recovered from the chastisement. Chewpse. All I wanted you to do next is lunge ‘cross and try to hit me. I would be the last woman you try it with. Grow up and stop hiding behind mock names. The Hon. Prime Minister is now free to name any person he so chooses for the position. We debate facts, not newspaper articles and talk show discussions. You you can name ANYBODY now too. Oh, and you need to get some counselling re anger management.

  27. to irene- i admire your ambition but looking back on this intervention oon the blog at a later date; you surely would not regard this as your finest hour. for years you masqueraded as an independent columnist directing your comments to owen arthur until he took the bait and stupidly responded to your satisfaction. that was the opportunity you needed to promote yourself as this fearless female warrior who could command the attention of a prime minister. armed with that resumee, it was only a manner of time before you entered the election equation. mr thompson tried to enhance your image in an effort to unseat “the pain” in the next election by giving you high profile assignments but to date your only accomplishment has been to be part and parcel of decisions which has saddled barbadians with unnecessary red tape at the hospital in the payment of fees hitherto not paid before and dispensing fees for drugs. present circumstances in the political environment might very well land you a seat in the next elections and parliamentary debate would continue to be all the more poorer. your senseless article suggests you need counsrelling in anger management.

  28. to mused- thanks for the effort but pardomn my ignorance. i still would like to hear mr mccarthy in plain english tell me if after the amendment there is no legal impediment to mr gibson holding the post of chief justice as mr caswell suggests.

  29. I wish to correct the author of the article,Mr Gibson has not yet,at least not to my certain knowledge, been appointed CJ of Barbados.I would also like to suggest that with the recent amendment of the law concerned, the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition needs to be consulted on the candidate selected.I am suggesting that this is yet to be done.I read the Gibson interview and it certainly gives me an insite as to what to expect from this individual and the type of person that he is.After all he has no difficulty with changing of the law to accommodate any one man!!! His main concern was honouring a promise to a dead man.Thompson may be dead but he is certainly still directing national affairs.

  30. @liberal

    But they already consulted the pass leader of opposition when it when the candidate was first submitted. the reason this came about was that he was suppose to take up the post at the start of the new year but then the law found that he didn’t have the qualification for the position so it was changed before the easter break of parliament. So all i assume they are wait on now it to present the appointment to the gg and have it gazetted. That is of course the point we are at if caswell interpenetration is proven to be false. If it proven to be true then they going to have to amend parts of the law again.

  31. @ruth arnetta | April 2, 2011 at 7:34 AM |
    Thank you Ruth Arnetta. I hardly need to say another word to silly irene. As a matter of fact, irene sounds so … so .. so … common and dumbheaded in her blog here, that I have spelt her name in ALL COMMON letters …. and Ruth, because , because yours is a far more important and valuable voice than irene’s, I have CAPITALISED YOUR NAME! (I note that you always state your name in all common letters.

    But full attention on irene. Hi ms. irene, first of all, my real name is TRUTHMAN BURTON, not BARTON. I truly wish I could present myself to you irene, so that you could see who I really am! Unfortunately I can’t, because in the present political environment, it would very possibly result in serious victimisation headed my way.

    I am such a gentle, tranquill, unflappable, kind person … wouldn’t hurt a fly … that for me it’s a source of great laughter and amusement, that you could think me to be your nemesis, the eloquent, articulate, humorous, brilliant, Honourable Kerry Simmons.

    In addition irene, do you think for one moment that Kerry Simmons, currently focussed and dedicated to helping to find sensible and workable solutions for the absolute mess in which you and your DLP colleagues have placed this wonderful country … do you think he has time to come on this blog to deal with your silly, puerile charades, similar to the last one you and Bonehead Rommell perpetrated on CBC DLP TV? I very much doubt it !

    It’s totally incredible to me that such a person as you, deliberately placed by your political masters, ostensibly to serve people, but principally for you to gain a profile, so that they could further engage in what will be a clearly futile effort to remove Hon.George Payne, (a real PAIN in their and your derrierre) could find time to come here on this blog, and utter such unadulterated nonsense. IT’S EMBARRASING! And to get your understanding right irene …. in that exchange with the young Senator, The President behaved like a buffoon (almost like Lero “PayPal” Parris) and as I said before I felt sorry for him. Senator Simmons knocked him off his equilibrium, and it showed!

    As far as naming the Chief Justice is concerned, nobody said that Gibson WAS appointed; it has not yet appeared in the Official Gazette. But clearly, Gibson said in New York that he was PROMISED the job by BOTH the dead p.m AND the walking-dead p.m.. It’s a fait accompli irene, and remember that Gibson WAS the only candidate! You seem to be the only one who doesn’t know that Gibson was/is the ONLY one considered. Sure, Senator Simmons can now propose someone, but wouldn’t it be useless Irene. OOPS SORY .. I meant irene(common letters)! ….

    Eversince the “One”, taken by excessive drinking of Absolut Vodka and other substances, to my mind, unceremoniously, maliciously, and politically curtailed the brilliant tenure of the former CJ, … all the people knew, or now know, that the Late King went and pre-arranged the position with Mr. Gibson, (the walking dead pm reconfirmed it). Has not Gibson indicated that himself? He is a TRUTHFUL MAN!

    Finally ms. irene, in no measure do I need counselling nor anger management. Your behaviour though, tells me that YOU, are in need. May I suggest you have a word or a consultation with Hon. Dr.David Estwick. I kind of like his brand new personna, and it is clear that he has benefitted from HIS anger management sessions, since the ocassion of his allegedly pulling that gun on another member of parliament! ANY WORD FROM THE COMMITTEE OF PRIVILEGES ON THAT ONE, or has that been pre-arranged as well.

    I forgot something … how come it is that the Speaker, who doesn’t seem to like George Payne at all, stopped Mr. Dale Marshall from talking freely about the CLICO case in Parliament, saying that it was Sub Judice, when in fact, the application for a Judicial Manager was actually submitted long after? Nothing at all in this country ain’t working right. All the fellows in GOVERNMENT doing these days is holding parties, parties, parties, Champagne parties, shrimp parties!

  32. David

    I noticed that in the past when posters used the names of public figures to post comments you would add an Editorial comment to the effect that you couldn’t confirm whether it was the actual individual.

    What happened to that policy? Do you know if the poster is Ms Sandiford Garner?

    @Truthman Burton

    We missed you from these pages for a few days. I thought you would be among those who would be defending the good name of Barbados as it was being dragged through the mud.

    I know, I know Barbados only deserves defending when the BLP is at the helm.

  33. Listen up Sargeant, you might think that the ball you just bowled is of “Mike Holding quality,” but it is an innocuous delivery, not worthy of my time at all. Don’t pretend that you are Mr. Nationalistic himself. I love my country, and I am well aware of the sentiments felt by some people in the other islands around us.

    I know this ill will thrives in some places, and wherever it is, deterioration in communication is the cause. A lot of it is fuelled by inept management of our affairs by certain politicians.

    I note that DLP spokespersons like the Trinidad woman with her spiteful tongue, are all over the place spewing verbiage about the BLP favouring other caricom people over Barbadians, and not working in th einterest of Barbados. That kind of behaviour is repeatedly orchestrated by the DEMS to provide distractions for the numerous bleeps and blunders they have perpetrated from the time they regained the reigns of government.

    I will merely ignore your unkind, indeed nasty suggestion that I am an unpatriotic person. Please understand also that I don’t always have the time to be constantly on this blog. I have many other interests, so appreciate the privilege of my presence when I am here.

    I do agree with your query to David though. I want to be sure that that posting was by the real Irene Sandiford-Garner, because even though it is possible, based on my assessment of the quality of MP’s in the DLP, there is still a little challenge somewhere in the far recesses of my mind to accept that THAT contribution came from the lovely Ms. Irene!

  34. I really hope that the person who posted that blog under the Senator’s name is not really her. If it is, I am disappointed a bit or not really, come to think of it, this is the level at which the Dems operate. Even though it is a blog, you would think that standard English with good grammar would be used by the the aggressive Senator.

    I do not admire her and everyone I know always say that woman annoys me. I think she is too aggressive and always appear to want to browbeat people into submission to her views.

    How could she say that Mr Gibson has not been appointed, it is only because they had to change the law and wait for the GG to sign the amendments. Fumble Stuart confirmed that the job was offered to Mr Gibson in one of his blabberings. Tony Best’s article last Sunday with Mr Gibson confirms the fact. What they did not expect is that Mr Gibson would have spoken out like he did. Dems are such liars that they dont remember the lies they tell.

    So what did the dead king promise and discussed with Mr Gibson? Is Mr Gibson lying then? What did he discuss with Mia the Opposition leader at the time? You all think Bajans stupid? It is only the Dems who are stupid?

    This woman has been pushed by the dead king and people wonder why, remember the grief and tears at the funeral? She is no star, she seems to have failed at everything he pushed her into. The QEH is prime example, if naming and shaming debtors to the QEH is an achievement. Who with any sense would allow a clown like Rommel Marshall to come “unexpected” into their meeting to talk nonsense and then for her to say……………. this shows that there are deep, deep, deep problems in the BLP. How you could come to that conclusion when the BLP dont want the man, he has nothing to offer. And you all aint got deep, deep, deep problems in the DLP.

    Truthman Burton, ignore her, she is an annoying arrogant woman.

  35. I tend to believe that the Poster going by the name Irene-Sandiford Garner knew exactly who she was talking to in her respond to Truthman Burton aka kerry Simmons

  36. Quick!Quick! Would someone get “Truthman Burton” a glass of water? The innocuous delivery turned out to be a short pitched ball a la Charlie Griffith and “Truthman” didn’t know how to get out of the way. Right now de bat gone one way, de cap gone annuder, de shirt outta de pants, de sweat runnin down he face, he lying on he back on de pitch and he feeling sumting warm running down he leg..

    Look, I would never say that you are unpatriotic, Samuel Johnson was alleged to have said “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” and in your own words you are:

    Quote:I am such a gentle, tranquill, unflappable, kind person … wouldn’t hurt a fly :Unquote

    Hardly the words one would use to describe a scoundrel.

    We do appreciate your presence on these pages but one can hardly resist the temptation of ruffling some feathers.

  37. Yet another case of the judicial system under stress perhaps?

    Ruling overturned


    Barbados’ highest domestic court, raising concerns about inadequate direction by the trial judge and related conflicting evidence by the police, has overturned the drug conviction of a Barbadian male.

    And because it took 10 years between the offense and the recent Court of Appeal decision, Marcus Gill will not be retried.

    Information related to the judgement, in which the appellant was represented by Andrew Pilgrim and Manila Rene√ appeared on behalf of the Queen, found the jurists making their decision largely on a previous case Woodall v. R. (2005) 72 WIR 84. where similar questions were raised.

    According to court documents, Gill and another man were jointly indicted for offences contrary to the Drug Abuse (Prevention and Control) Act, Cap. 131 (the Act).

    The prosecution’s case was that the appellant was in possession of 368.3 kilos of cannabis at Needham’s Point, St. Michael and that he intended to aid in the transport of the said cannabis.

    It charged was that on February 20, 2001 "at about 15 minutes past midnight two police officers … were on patrol along Needham’s Point, St. Michael, when they saw a motor van … parked in the area".

    "The officers observed two men in the area and announced their presence. The men responded with gun shots and then escaped on foot. The motor van was subsequently taken to the Oistins Police Station and found to contain 26 bales of cannabis," the evidence stated.

    On the first count the two men were charged with doing acts preparatory to drug trafficking contrary and on the second Gill alone was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled drug. On September 14, 2007, he was sentenced by then High Court Judge Christopher Blackman to eight years’ imprisonment for the offence of doing acts preparatory to drug trafficking and ten years’ imprisonment for the offence of possession of a controlled drug. The sentences were to run concurrently from the date of conviction.

    In its appeal ruling, however, the Court of Appeal ruled that "in order to comply with the Evidence Act, Cap. 121 and Woodall, the judge needed to have directed the jury on a number of matters".

    "He should have invited them to examine closely the circumstances under which the identification was made and stressed to them the special need for caution because the case against the appellant depended on the police identification of him. It would also have been appropriate and helpful to tell the jury that the identification evidence was not necessarily strengthened by the fact that it was given by two witnesses," the panel found.

    "The judge did not give the jury sufficient assistance with regard to the evidence as it related to each part of the required direction. The summing-up in relation to identification was therefore deficient."

    They also said Gill "was entitled to the benefit of a full and proper direction on identification".

    "The identification of the appellant was critical to the case as this was the only evidence against him. The prosecution tendered no other evidence to prove that he was guilty of the offences," the court said.

    "As a result, it was vital for the judge to clearly address this issue. In the absence of such a direction the verdict of the jury cannot be regarded as safe or satisfactory. It would not be right for this Court to compromise on the requirement of proper compliance with the sense and spirit of the guidance in Woodall." They concluded that "taking into account the passage of time from the date of the alleged commission of the offence (February 2001) to conviction (June 2007) to the decision of this appeal (March 2011) we are of the view that the interests of justice would not be served by ordering a retrial. The appeal is therefore allowed and the conviction quashed".

    Pilgrim had led Gill’s appeal on several grounds, including the allegation that "the judge erred in law when he failed to declare a mistrial after the prosecution led evidence relating to firearm offences when the accused was not on trial for such offences".

    Another was that the judge "erred in law when he failed to recuse himself from presiding over the trial of the accused on the basis that he was a former neighbour of the accused and was therefore personally acquainted with him and as such there was the suggestion that he could be biased".

    The court said Blackman had sworn an affidavit "in which he deposed that he resided in Brittons Hill, St. Michael from 1979 to 1992 but he had no recollection of the appellant as a little boy". (SC)

  38. Nationnews “in one the biggest drug busts in Barbados, police have arrested and charged five men with having over $13 million worth of cocaine.

  39. David

    My attention was diverted elsewhere, I was having so much fun that I did not follow this thread. However, I am here, and I have a few more concerns.

    I noticed that you reproduced the article written by my friend and former teacher, (I don’t consider him my former teacher because he continues to teach me in his regular column in the Nation, which I often use as reference material). That said, I have read his column which is now in focus and I still do not see where he said that my interpretation is wrong.

    One of the things that Messrs. McCarthy and Chandler thought me is that under the rules of statutory interpretation, you only resort to finding out what was Parliament’s intention if the ordinary meaning of the words of the statute are unclear. And they are very clear to me.

    David, it would be good if you also reproduce Jeff Cumberbatch’s article in the Sunday Advocate of March 27, 2011. He too did not say that my interpretation was wrong. He used a lot of words to confuse the issue, and then he partially agreed with me by saying,

    “I do concede however, that the naked provision for “common law” is likely to raise further complex points of legal debate, given the multitudinous constructions of that term”.

    Please sir, the law is written in English and it is just a matter of English comprehension, plain and simple.

    Finally, I have re-read the amendment and it jumped out at me, it has also paved the way for Mr. Cumberbatch to be appointed as a judge. So when that happens: let me be the first to congratulate you.

  40. @Caswell Here is the article. When elephants rumble ants should get out of the way!

    Musings:A March Miscellany II


    By Jeff Cumberbatch

    Ever so unobtrusively, another week in March has slipped by, with further news of wars (the Libyan air strikes), rumours of wars (in Syria) and earthquakes (Thursday night in Myanmar). Endtime evangelists must be having a field day. Is it not written in the Gospels according to Matthew and Mark that we shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes? Of course, the passage goes on to state that even then “the end is not yet…”, but this will scarcely prove a hindrance to those who want to be the one who got it right. Thus, lately, we have had predictions of the precise day on which the world will end, although I am not sure that these take into account the phenomenon of the international date line; so that December 21 in Barbados might very well be December 22 in Sydney. In any event, according to the Gospels, only the Father knows.

    Regionally, and locally, there have been no earthquakes, wars or rumours of such, unless we speak figuratively. Even so, these may be treated as no more than storms in tinnin’ cups in the whole scheme of things, though much is made of them at present.
    The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago has reiterated, perhaps more emphatically this time, the low priority she gives to that nation’s accession to the appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice, seeing no pressing need to delink from the Judicial Committee of Her Majesty’s Privy Council.

    A Jamaican female traveller claims that she was “finger-raped” (an act no less offensive than the substantive crime, although I believe that an issue of consent would arise on the facts) by an immigration (sic) officer while attempting to enter Barbados; an allegation swiftly denied by the local authorities. This, unfortunately, is one of those cases which the layman assumes has no winner; your word against mine. And, even more unfortunately, he or she would be right in this instance; once the matter remains to be determined outside a court of law. The jingoists will never believe her, the fair-minded will query “What if…” and the misanthropes will accept her word as gospel. Might not a closed circuit camera have corroborated either version of events?

    And the West Indies Cricket team predictably crashed out of the ICC World ODI Cricket competition, the perennial cry for change echoing in its wake. We could, in that regard, as well cry for the moon, however; at least for a term of years. As Tony Cozier so neatly put it in a recent column, “Except to the unrealistic optimist, replacements are just not ready. They won’t be until coaching and pitch preparation everywhere improve…” And, I might respectfully add, until we as a region cease being enthralled by how “pretty” a batsman might look or how far he can hit one in twenty cricket balls.

    That Amendment

    I had hitherto refrained from public comment on the recent amendment to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act for a variety of reasons. For one, it seemed to have degenerated rather quickly into a rather rabid partisan political issue and I must confess that I have little stomach for such discussion. For another, I have been acquainted with the rumoured designate for a long time and I was unsure of the degree of my objectivity in such a matter.

    In recent days, however, the discourse changed slightly to a matter of law; the amendment and I felt more at ease in that milieu.

    What struck me most about the debate in both Chambers of Parliament is that many speakers seemed to assume that the United States is a single legal jurisdiction. Though this may be true at the federal and constitutional levels, each state of the union is, in fact, a legal jurisdiction in itself. In similar vein, we often rightly accuse others of treating Africa as one country when, in fact, there are over 50 sovereign states and dependent territories.

    Indeed, some jurisdictions in the US employ a combination of a civilian system and a common law system in their laws; for example, the civilian doctrine of community property in California subsists alongside the common law notion of contributory negligence and, to my best knowledge, New York has codified its law of general obligations; codification being principally a civilian notion.

    The legislation, as amended, now speaks to the “common law”, unfortunately without expressly defining it. I saw some correspondence last week from “a learned layman” which points to the definition provided under the Interpretation Act as “the common law of England”. Of course, this does not mean the substantive common law of that jurisdiction; for in many respects that does not even obtain here. But the reference might have been intended to the system of common law practised in England, including the doctrine of precedent, the interpretation of statutes and certain fundamental presumptions such as those of innocence, and that a criminal charge must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. I do concede however, that the naked provision for “common law” is likely to raise further complex points of legal debate, given the multitudinous constructions of that term.

    Finally, I was bemused by the argument put forward that a Pakistani or a Rwandan could be appointed Chief Justice when a Barbadian might not be. Surely if it is a matter of meeting the stipulated criteria, the nationality of the individual should play no part. The Pakistani would be eligible to be appointed because he or she satisfies the requirements; a Barbadian lawyer who has practiced only Sharia law in Pakistan clearly would not; not even under the amended statute.

  41. @ Caswell Franklyn | April 7, 2011 at 4:57 PM |

    I have read this particular blog and concludes to me in my humble opinion as missed focus banter from the real core issues concerning government expediencies and the in/famous unilateral (as alluded by consensus) pending appointment of Marston: of the Gibson family. But….

    “Please sir, the law is written in English and it is just a matter of English comprehension, plain and simple”

    hmmm excuse me Caswell: of the Franklyn family but I believe you have err my good man.

    If you would allow me your clarification, to which law are you refering to?
    1) If you were referring to Admiralty or Maritime law (to name a few for consideration) then the language is most certainly Legalese. And for one to see and interpret such a language as English, would bring about to the unwitting individual/s potential harm.
    Please, your indulgence if I may.
    When dealing with such law; that is, the law of the Law society as its creator, one must allow for the extended meaning of wording and the provision clause for the defining of such wording. Point of fact, what one will find is that English has nothing to do with it. So if the clause defines “Dog” as a blue eye monster with wings then that is what it will be interpreted.
    That is why you have the Oxford English dictionary for English and the Black’s Law dictionary for that which I am afraid is not English but carries a deceptive assumed similarity by the untrained, that is the general public of course. For further example the word Person mentioned in public, is unwittingly taken to mean the individual and most of them would argue vehemently that to be the case.

    However, Person in law can mean a corporate fictionality/legal fiction, such as non flesh and blood entities i.e. a company or corporation.

    Also titles such as Mr, Mrs, Miss or TOM & HARRY (Capitis Dominutio Maxima; greatest loss of status; Slave; for peruse) instead of Tom & Harry (the least loss of status; free wo/men).

    A Judge say do you understand? sounds like English to most right? So you nod your head. Of course you do because you interpret the word in English as comprehension. But in legal terms can have far reaching implications to your freedom.

    what the judge in actual fact stated, is do you Stand Under what was stated to you, and under my jurisdiction (see Black’s law dictionary).

    And might I add if it was just English why would there be a need for ninth edition now in print? If hitherto my point was not factually made.

    2) If you were referring to Roman law or Common law then I must also state that the originality of such law system flows from Latin as I have already laid implication above. But is also at times communicated in legal and lawful chamber as maxims. for example, qui autem falli decipi; Let him who would be deceived be deceived.

    To say it is just English would be also to deny its ethnological significance, which in strength and essence distinguishes from being just English.

    In this century, the comprehension of legal and lawful language is paramount to the emancipation of the enslaved minds and property of wo/men of now, and generations to come. It was compelling for me to bring minimisation of the gross misconceptions within the tri-chotomy of legal/lawful/Jane and Joe public.
    These blogs propagates it self as a beacon of truth. May my mine resonate with yours.
    Take care of yourselves and each other!

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