Many believed the opening of the Judiciary Centre would have provided the perfect opportunity for Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart to announce the overdue appointment of Marston Gibson as Chief Justice of Barbados. Barbadians must conclude by the non-announcement that the roadblock which Gibson confronts in his current job which prevents him from resigning is taking longer to overcome than all would prefer. The Marston Gibson vigil therefore continues.
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart at the opening complimented the palatial edifice at Whitepark which now houses the Courts, Court Registry and Community Legal Services however he hinted we needed to improve how justice is being delivered. A snippet from Prime Minister Stuart’s address provided an insight to his unease when he referenced the length of time individuals are held on remand. One could speculate that by complimenting retired Chief Justice among others for making the Judicial Centre a reality, his criticism of the justice system in the same breath was a chiding of Simmons’ stewardship.
Our justice system limps along despite the recent public plaudit from Sir Dennis Byron the President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Barbadians should sit up and show concern on what is a grave matter concerning our inefficient court system. The administration of justice is critical to maintaining a stable Barbados. No effort or money should be spared to protect the judicature. A breach in confidence by the populace of our Courts will deteriorate to anarchy. If such were to occur it would remove one of the more visible and desirable characteristics which Barbados has earned through the years.
To add to the woes of the legal fraternity, we read about Justice Chris Blackman who sits on the Bahamas Court of Appeal “named as the first respondent in the action filed in the name of the trustees of the Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) and The Bahamas Communications and Public Managers Union (BCPMU). The Registrar of The Court of Appeal is listed as the second respondent in the writ filed this week.” Justice Chris Blackman, a Barbadian “is being accused of bias and conflict of interest in a writ filed in the Supreme Court on behalf of two unions that sought to block the sale of BTC to Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC).” – see report.
The old people have a saying, when it rains it pours.