Chief Justice Marston Gibson Slams Barbados Bar Association President, Andrew Pilgrim

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice (l) Andrew Pilgrim, President of Barbados Bar Association

In an email to Andrew Pilgrim, president of the Barbados Bar Association, Chief Justice Marston Gibson has slammed the BBA, thereby raising many points that BU has been promoting about the Justice System.

The Chief’s email to Mr Pilgrim is posted to the members section of the BBA website and requires that it be accessed by passwords available to BBA members only. However, BU has been able to obtain a copy and states that it posts this as a matter of public interest!

This comes at a time when BU understands that the Registrar has been told that she may not sit as a judge to replace judges on leave (in this case, Madam Justice Kentish) and that her job is to stay in the Registry and sort out the mess. Instead, Madam Justice Kentish has been replaced during her six month leave by the Chief Magistrate.

Here is what the Chief has had to say to Mr Pilgrim and the BBA.

“Subject: Our 14 March 2012 Conversation

Mr. Andrew O. G. Pilgrim

President, Barbados Bar Association

“Leeton”, Perry Gap

Roebuck Street


Dear Mr. President,

I refer to our conversation last evening, 14 March 2012, in which you intimated to me that the Bar Council, or a majority of them, were “up in arms” over a report in the Sunday Sun of 11 March 2012 of my address to the Fair Trading Commission (FTC). You indicated to me that they had written a letter which was “ready to go” to the newspaper “to print.”

My practice is to pick up the Sunday Sun at a gas station on my way home from church. This past Sunday I did not do so and did not see the report until a friend pointed it out to me on Tuesday 13 March, at which point I noticed some inaccuracies. The one glaring example related to the Court of Appeal. In attempting to “set the context” in which the proposed Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is to work, I stated that I had discovered 363 pending cases in the Court of Appeal, some filed long ago as 1993 and a few filed by attorneys who have since passed away. One of those attorneys, I pointed out, had been elevated to the same Court of Appeal, had died, but his pending matter was never heard. Other attorneys, I had noted to the audience, had been elevated to the High Court, had retired but their cases remain unresolved. Apart from a passing reference to attorneys who had passed away, there was not even a mention of the number “363”. I decided, however, to “let it be.”

What I had said to the FTC is that a large challenge will be to get “buy-in” to the concept of ADR from the Bar. This is not new. You and those of your Council members who attended will, doubtless, recall the lecture of Mr. Stuart Kennedy at the Bar Association in October last year when he noted the same thing. People are naturally suspicious of change and attorneys are no different. The system which we have, with its court delays, is what the attorneys know, with the ability to bill for every court appearance. Obviously, then, the longer a case exists, the more likely it is to generate fees for an attorney handling that case. The problem is that there is, equally likely, a dissatisfied client who wonders why the case is taking so long to resolve and who, again likely, will be told “it’s the court’s fault.” If what is reported in the Sunday Sun says or implies that, then I stand by it.

I also recall that, attending that lecture, was an eminent QC who remembered his initial reluctance at the ADR concept but, having had the scales removed from his eyes, now is the beneficiary of a reputation that he not only does things but he “gets things done.” That is what I meant by “buy-in” from the Bar – your clients will see you as someone who gets their cases resolved rather than as someone who is there when their “day in court” is transmogrified into “years in court” whether it is the court’s fault or not.

You mentioned your letter to me of 8 March 2012 which referred to a prior letter to me of 17 January 2012. I am in the course of replying seriatim to the 11 issues in 17 January letter. I am not sure why you or your Council members believed it sensible to ‘demanded’, in the January 17 letter, that I should resolve, “within 14 days of this correspondence” “a number of issues affecting the administration of justice which have been the subject of a number of meetings and written correspondence between the respective Chief Justices (including those acting in the post) and the Barbados Bar Association since October of 2009.” If my arithmetic serves me correctly, at the date of the 17 January letter, I had been in office exactly four months, two weeks and three days!

I will complete my reply to that letter after my meeting today with the Judges since many of the issues implicate how we Judges do business in the Supreme Court. I give you but one example. Issue number 1 in the 17 January letter asks that chamber court matters be scheduled by appointment. I am going to suggest to the Judges a temporary measure which I outline in my letter to you. But two of your members, Mrs. Angela Mitchell-Gittens and Mrs. Liesel Weekes accompanied Registrar Marva Clarke, Deputy Registrar Jackson and me on a visit to the Trinidad Courts at the end of January. They either have reported to you, or will report, to you that chamber court does not exist in Trinidad. All cases filed in Court are assigned to a Judge by random selection of JEMS. That Judge is then responsible for every application, motion, conference or pre-trial review of that case. We will adopt that system this year or early next year. There will be no more distribution of files by a single senior legal assistant neither will there be any more situations, reported to me anecdotally, of lawyers choosing WHEN to file a matter depending on WHICH Judge is doing chamber court. Random selection by computer will be the order of the day.

It is because several of your 11 issues have repercussions with the Judges, the fact that I was planning to visit Trinidad exactly 13 days after the date of your letter and, more simply, because, with four months’ experience, I had to “get the lay of the land” that I have not yet responded until I had something to say to you, at least something more than “I have received your letter and will get back to you when I can.”

I am not sure whether all of the above assuages what feelings of umbrage your Council members have taken but that is my position. You should be receiving my letter on Friday 16 March 2012.

Finally, Mr. President, and I will expand on this point in my responsive letter to you, I am concerned over the public diffidence at the pace at which the Disciplinary Committee works. I have received several complaints, some in writing but most of them verbally, especially during the Question and Answer sessions which invariably follow my public lectures. At one of the seminars on Criminal Law issues sponsored by the Bar Association which, regrettably was also not well attended, you stated that you supported amending the Legal Profession Act to tighten up the procedures by which disciplinary matters are handled. I hope that you, and your Council members, will see the wisdom in publicly allaying public concerns about this since, as outgoing Chief Justice Hugh Rawlins of the OECS recently said, it is imperative that the Bar retain, in some cases regain, the “trust and confidence imposed in it by the public.” I will continue to work on the public’s concerns with the Court system. I trust that the public can rely on you and your Council members to work on regaining its confidence in our noble profession.


Marston C. D. Gibson,

Chief Justice.”

It is of interest to BU and to all Barbadians that off-shore investment worldwide had Barbados as the fastest growing off-shore port in the World 10 years ago, with Russia, futilely, trying its best to even compete at second place. Today, largely because of the lack of a credible justice system, Barbados’ off-shore investments have all but disappeared. Yet, every rub that could be placed in the way of Mr Gibson to become Chief Justice was placed there by Owen Arthur and his party (excluding Mia Mottley who, indeed, was part of the selection process, before she was debunked by Mr Arthur).

The rot set in when David Simmons became attorney-general and supported the rank inefficiency of his wife as Registrar. And as a reward, he had her created a Justice of Appeal. Her tenure as a Justice of Appeal ended when Simmons himself was made Chief Justice by Owen Arthur and thereafter the Justice System stood not a hope in hell. The mess of the Registry soon invaded the Judiciary and the whole Justice System went to hell and with it, Barbados’ yearly billions of dollars off-shore industry and with that, a seriously compromised economy in large part resulted.

Now the new broom has started to clean things up and he clearly does this with the full cooperation of Government.

So, if anyone wants to ascertain the marks of the CJ for his first 6 months in office, we are able to reply that they are 100%.

159 thoughts on “Chief Justice Marston Gibson Slams Barbados Bar Association President, Andrew Pilgrim

  1. @ old onion bags | March 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM |

    You strike me as a man of ‘numbers’ and not ‘lies’ like the many real or imagined legal luminaries.
    I am prepared to wager a bet that many of the lawyers in Barbados possibly including some contributing to this blog are in breach of the Income Tax laws and regulations. Many of them file misleading tax returns and refuse to make their fair contribution to the general financial good of the society. Not putting back into the meeting turn pot a reasonable and affordable amount is indicative of their one-upmanship strategies played out in the Court room. Lying about your financial status and ability to pay is par for the course with this profession. Problem though, Onions they make up the majority of the mafia and protection racket in the talk shop. What can you do but watch the cats steal the cheese from the cupboard.

  2. @ Ross

    ” Whether Amused is right or I am right about the matter he raised really doesn’t matter that much so long as we get at the truth”.

    As you say in your blog to David, Ross, whats important is the truth. Not who’s right. The truth comes before everything else.

  3. “I am prepared to wager a bet that many of the lawyers in Barbados possibly including some contributing to this blog are in breach of the Income Tax laws and regulations.”

    Oh shite Miller, you feel that the doctors fare any better as for the accountants and financial advisers … Look all that you gotta do is sign up to the Rotary or Kawanis or the Lions and clear your conscience by “giving back to society …” Ha ha ha ha

  4. @Millertheannuaiki

    Aye Aye , tarry and make thyself aware, and be not disposed to them, crows of crows and yarns for men (women too…dem is the worse)

    “Let every eye negotiate for itself
    And trust no agent; for beauty is a witch
    Against whose charms faith melteth in blood.”

    Miller what be thy position, actuarial science mine…..

  5. @ John

    I just read yours. I am pretty sure you ‘holed on one’. Researches this afternoon revealed that one BIG name, and one SMALLER NAME in that number are not listed as members of the BA.

  6. @ John

    One had a distinguished public career overseas; the other (as I suggested above) was formerly a solicitor. In other words they might well be considered to be ‘special’ cases as I tried to suggest in an earlier blog. Amused tried to suggest that there are lots of these people. I very much doubt it – and, of course, it explains why both Amused and to a lesser extent Observer (peace be upon him too) have been so ‘lofty’ about it all.

  7. First of all, @ (the spirit controling) Miller:
    You are a LIAR!

    sigh…see what i tell u bout esoteric hocus pocus?? u think calling couple of big words authenticates ur arguments? U do not even understand what u r into. What order of Milchizedek what? Dont make me laugh…

    Miller you knoweth not that you knoweth not.

    U r a spiritual charlatan, a joke. A white washed wall.
    I do not have the time right now to go through your riposte seriatim but i will leave u with this in the meantime seeing that u like “knowledge” and seeking after the “hidden things”. You would do well to grasp the simple truth behind this. Your love of literature may cause u to enjoy this but I somehow think not.

    “Now then, listen, you wanton creature, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.’
    Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells.
    You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’
    Disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to conjure it away. A calamity will fall upon you that you cannot ward off with a ransom; a catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you.
    “Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror.
    All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.
    Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. Here are no coals to warm anyone; here is no fire to sit by.
    That is all they can do for you– these you have labored with and trafficked with since childhood. Each of them goes on in his error; there is not one that can save you.

  8. @ BAF

    Yes, he is known for excessive ‘Gust’, isn’t he. There is another, close by, who is known for it too. I admire them for that.

  9. @+ve | March 27, 2012 at 10:23 PM |
    “First of all, @ (the spirit controling) Miller: You are a LIAR!”

    Did your sister tell you that? Did she mention that she called me Mr. Benwood Dick the magician and charlatan from Salem who is able to send her to Cloud 9 to star gaze and bewitchingly admire the belt of Orion with the tool between his legs running after the Seven Sisters of Pleiades:- (“Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion? Job 38:31)

    Just remember, Pharisee, the advice contained in Isaiah 47:8-15 applies equally to you: We are always just one breath away from becoming a bucket of worms Mother Nature will welcome whether you be Jew, Gentile, Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist.

    Now where is your contribution to the topic in hand as requested? Or can we expect another Zoe-like outburst or harangue to open a can of worms to devour you?
    Please, I beg you, stay away from the mill, you will only be crushed like juice from the sugar cane leaving your trash to be burnt by the “Sun of Righteousness”.

  10. @Amused:
    Taken from a different thread “The Draft Cultural Industries Bill Needs To Be Widely Debated| March 27, 2012 at 4:06 AM | ”
    “So, this is an area of law that will provide employment for the overabundance of young lawyers called yearly to the Bar, provided they do the work to qualify themselves.”

    You are making a very strong case for the self-financing of the law faculty of the UWI. How can the Barbados government in its right mind (given the financial difficulties expected to continue and the other areas of development crying out for attention’ financial and otherwise) continue to highly subsidize the teaching of law when there is an overabundance of lawyers (young too, at that) in this small 2×3 place? Let those who wish to pursue that discipline pay their own way from start to finish by means of savings, or student loans to be paid back when they start to practise and earn their high fees. It’s Time that huge Investment in Legal training start paying some dividends. I am certain both “Amused” & “Observer” will agree. The CJ has reconfirmed what every Tom Dick & Mary in Bim already knows

    • @miller

      You must be aware that if we are to judge from recent speeches by the leader of the Opposition, the government in waiting is bullish on supporting the UWI expansion?

  11. @ David | March 28, 2012 at 6:37 AM |
    The Leader of the Opposition could be as “bullish” as much as he wants to be to garner votes next time around.
    His view of the cave Hill campus as a potential larger forex earner is highly lauded. The bare or should we say “bear” facts of the matter are that the law faculty cannot attract people from other non-Caricom jurisdictions to pursue a degree in law unless they are exceedingly rich and just want to spend a 2-3 year holiday in the sun. He should really be concerned about the long-term future of that Campus and in particular the Law Faculty. With both Trinidad and Jamaica keen to establish their own law faculties many students from those territories would no longer see Cave Hill as a necessity. Even those from the other OECS territories might find Mona or St. Augustine a one-stop-shop for their legal studies: from the academic law class room to Hugh Wooding or Norman Manley training school would just be a term away with no need to pull up sticks and relocate from one island to the next incurring unnecessary costs and social dislocation.

  12. I say shut the law faculty at Cave Hill down. Let’s focus on Material Science, Industrial Processes, Industrial Design (Prototype Technology), Food Tech, Aquaculture and Animation

  13. @ BAFBFP | March 28, 2012 at 8:09 AM |

    You said it ,BAF!
    At least the Miller would not incur the wrath of a certain section of this blog whose parasitical calling is a tax -free source of income.

  14. @ Miller

    Well, actually, I agree with you too. The profession is way over-subscribed – and with the drought of Jamaican and Trinidadian students the Faculty will have to develop its part-time potential as well as utilise capacity from other Faculties, eg Social Science. Standards, which are falling now, will plummet. So God help Joe Public.
    Besides all that, I hear lawyers complaining now that there simply isn’t that much work; and, since we’ve been talking about newly Called people, remember they live on a shoe string as it is. I know of one – very able and dedicated – who is yet to cover Chambers’ rent after six months – and what they have got is largely the result of grace and favour by the Head of Chambers; and, interestingly, nothing has come directly from Community Legal Services.
    Mind, post-graduate Direct Entrants, who take a two-year course, have to pay their way now. And maybe that’s the way to go – make Law a post – first Degree subject as in US.

  15. @ BAFBFP | March 28, 2012 at 8:09 AM |

    And BAF, while the coming hatchet men are removing the breeding ground of those parasitic worms in the Cave Hill Lie incubator, they can climb another one up on the Pine and remove another millstone around the taxpayers’ neck. They can first swing the cudgel in the direction of that pseudo African dresser your favourite star girl that your secret admirer Moe refuses to vehemently back and protect from your beamer.

  16. @ Miller

    Mind, dear Miller, do remember that the CJ, blessings be upon him, is the product also of a “lie factory” somewhere.

  17. @robert ross | March 28, 2012 at 10:16 AM |
    “Mind, dear Miller, do remember that the CJ, blessings be upon him, is the product also of a “lie factory” somewhere.”

    He is a model off the production line on the hill, albeit of a very early vintage but probably improved and ‘supered” up by garages overseas.

    Some lie production lines do have a few ‘lemons’ to sour a sweet legal life.
    At least he has left a more ‘bitter’ than ‘tangy’ taste in the mouths of those arguing over free drinks at the bar. Maybe with an imported lie detector we might just be able to separate the wheat from the chaff, the dregs from the true wine and the crooks and cowboys from the real McCoys of the robert ross clan (LOL!!).

  18. millertheanunnaki | March 28, 2012 at 6:35 AM | I think you have crossed topics. Never mind. Whatever gave you the idea that I was suggesting that this specialization should be accomplished at Cave Hill with the law lecturers there? Surely you will agree that this would simply be a case of the blind leading the blind. What I would see as “qualification” is for these young lawyers, at their own expense” to go overseas and work with the leading lawyers in the industry and learn from them and then come back to Barbados – at their own expense. You cannot learn that branch of law from theory, it has to be done on-the-job under the supervision of specialists in that field. So, what I am suggesting poses no extra financial strain on the state, but on the lawyers themselves. Why the hell should the taxpayer spoon feed them so that they can then make a fortune? Let them pay the money themselves and put in the time.

    So, are you still quarrelling with me now?

  19. An Observer.. | March 27, 2012 at 3:11 PM | You would have thought so. That seemed clear to me, but, when I get a chance, I will check with those non BBA friends to establish on exactly what grounds they refuse to join (or have left) the BBA. Suffice it to say that there are quite a few lawyers (including members of the Inner Bar) who choose not to be members of the BBA. I have to humbly defer to their judgement. But RR clearly knows the law better than they……..

  20. @ Miller

    Oh you are a one……well, err, I think.

    By the way, don’t think I haven’t been watching the antics of Zoe’s ‘sister’…..but you’ll realise that I’ve been busy with other Pharisees.

  21. I am still waiting to see some comment from the CJ regarding Judges who take forever to give decisions in matters. Is there any wonder that matters have to be constantly adjourned? I can speak of a case where a litigant is waiting on a decision in a property matter 3 years later …at least this Judge is still on the Bench. Some Judges retire without ever having delivered judgements….

  22. @ Ethan

    Indeed, there are many causes of ‘delay’. My favourite case, the 16yo boy languishing in Dodds for nine months now, came up again today. The prosecutor still hadn’t got a fully fledged case file despite two weeks ago promising faithfully that he would provide pre-trial disclosure in one week.. Despite sounding off, the magistrate still did not dismiss the charges, which he had undertaken to do if this happened again, but reduced the bail amount from $50000 to $35000. What price the ‘presumption of innocence’? If the CJ really wants to make a difference maybe he should go look at the nonsense in District ‘A’ – like NOW.

  23. @Robert Ross

    u rembered the question i asked about registration, it would seemed to be BBA is a trade union like BAMP and therefore receiving a prasticing certificate should not be contingent on being a member of BBA. It does not obtain for the other professonal/para-professional bodies.

    As I have said i have not looked at the legislation, but i am siding with obsrver that bba is a trade union and the constitution allows freedom of assocaition,

  24. @ Blogger

    It is quite true that BAMP is registered as a trades union. The Bar Association is a statutory body incorporated under the Bar Association Act 1940. As someone said, it may look a bit like a trades union though I didn’t quite understand what he meant by ‘in law it is therefore a de facto trades union’ (or words to that effect). I am not aware that the BU is registered as a Trades Union. But why do you say that it is?
    If you remember, I suggested that he might want to test it all by way of constitutional motion. And, yes, it may be that those attorneys who refuse to become members may be taking their stand on the ground you suggest and no-one really wants to put their gowns where their mouths are; which is why I referred to it as a ‘can of worms’. The 1978 Act, under section 44, is absolutely clear for post 1973 Called attorneys. Membership of the BA is compulsory.

  25. @ Blogger

    Mind, do understand that all we are discussing is why it is that if there are attorneys who refuse to become members of the BA they are taking the stand they are when the legislation is clear (s.44). The reason I suggested was that they fell under some sort of exemption arising under ss.4-7 of the 1978 Act. Then it was suggested that it was a matter of Constitutional integrity. If the latter, then of course it is yet to be tested – so we don’t know the answer to it. It is of no moment to me what the position is so long as we find out as best we can what it is. It is not a question of ethics or personal vanity.
    Now I do feel I know of at least two QC’s who are not members – as I said above – which is why I would be delighted if Amused made his calls. They, of course, might not want any of this to be debated here – which may be why we have not heard back from him. There is clearly a strong whiff of secrecy about it all. I am told that there are over 800 members of the BA now and, as the discussion has progressed and with a little digging, I have come to the conclusion that maybe there are as many as 10 attorneys who are not members. The whole thing is very odd – but as I say, there’s a lot of secrecy; I say odd because of the clear terms of the Act which a very vast majority of attorneys recognise.
    Two days ago I telephoned Mr Pilgrim to try to elucidate it all with him but he was ‘out’ and has not returned my call – and, yes, I’m told he was given the message. This morning I telephoned Mr Khan: as yet same syndrome. Given that Amused has not reported back either it may be that a gagging order is, in one way or another, being applied. But yes, it may be the nature of the beast as well – in which case they have no better manners than those they criticize.

  26. @robert

    Why should we be forced to test this matter?

    Why should there be resistance by the ‘few’?

    What was the intent behind sitting up the BA under the law?

  27. @ robert ross | March 29, 2012 at 10:21 AM |
    ” Miller: You gonna have a field day with this one.”

    The mill is fired up and ready to separate the wheat from the chaff or the nutrients from the waste.

    Now let them rise to the occasion and deliver their harvest. (LOL!)

  28. @ David

    I suppose because there may be an issue to be tested. Let’s say the issue is whether the BA is a trades union (which I’m beginning to think may be the bottom line). The issue is not ‘open and shut’. The BA is not a registered union (say) but it shares some features (say) with a TU. It would be like asking whether a flying boat is a plane or a boat or whether a child’s tricycle is a ‘vehicle’.
    It beats me why those who are not members take the stand they do. With their level of seniority it can’t be the expense and, in principle, is no different, surely, than the requirement to join an Inn of Court in England or the Law Society if you’re a solicitor. These are not trades unions. I’m not familiar with the reasons for passing the BA Act of 1940. But then I suppose that most people ‘did’ their law in England and the profession here was divided. I suppose the 1978 Act was passed to bring some order to a system which was still ‘messy’ after the fusion of the two branches of the profession in 1973 – hence ss.4-7 to cater for people with overseas Degrees in Law and who were solicitors at the time of fusion, ie the ‘special’ cases.
    Maybe the people who refuse to join have a sense of their own superiority; or maybe they’re just bloody minded. I don’t know. And maybe they do feel there’s a genuine legal issue to be resolved.
    What I do feel fairly sure about is that neither they nor the BA want to take each other on. Why? Well, if the BA lost what would happen to the membership? If the Big Boys lost, they would either cease to practise or be seen to crawl back – and presumably have to pay X number of years of unpaid fees.

  29. @ David

    And, of course the ramifications are horrendous since (a) the judiciary and (b) the Registrar must know of the dilemma…..indeed, as Amused suggested when doing his snook cocking, the wilfully blind leading the wilfully blind.

  30. @robert

    Using your best reasoning and against the expectation that the time is upon us to receive a new dispensation, who do you think is better equipped to cut the proverbial Gordian knot?

  31. @ David

    Well, we don’t quite know whether there is one yet. But if there is then (a) on a personal level, those who are prepared to engage in sado-masochisric practices – and it takes two to tango; but if not then (b) ultimately Parliament – well, if anyone thinks it’s worth bothering about. It would be a very unhappy symptom of this and that, wouldn’t it?

  32. Since I’m here, and since the Austin piece will almost certainly ensure that this post is for all practical purposes ‘dead’, let me add this for the record.

    1. The post has basically been about the interpretation of an email. It began with a particular assumption about that with which I disagreed on the basis of a first reading. Since the email, like the Austin post (which I’ve just seen), is incoherent in that it mixes up different issues together with a certain amount of homespun charm, my concluded thought is that it is a very clever document which was intended to find the light of day and serve as an instrument to deflect criticism. If you take the word ‘demanded’, for example, and compare the original Pilgrim letter, you see that the CJ is composing; but as a stunt it is first rate. The original letter was a sincere attempt to identify various problems in the system following a meeting with the CJ in October which appeared to be constructive and which was predicated upon the principle that something could be done quickly and easily to retrench delays. Nothing happened and Pilgrim and others became vexed; and rightly so, in my view, given the CJ’s public pronouncements expressing concern about the system. Yet we managed to turn the email into an attack upon the lawyers – AS IF that what was what it was all about and not what it actually was – an explanation of a failure to observe the courtesy of communication camauflaged by what, I agree, is an attack here and there. So, as I say, as a public relations exercise designed to have popular appeal to an unsuspecting public it was very clever stuff.
    Now none of what I have written is intended to say that lawyers shouldn’t be attacked or that there is no culture of elitism or that the Bar Association should not get its house in order – on all fronts my views are quite the reverse. But instinctively, I suppose, I distrusted the email for the reasons I have given and it was the email, as I say, which was, I thought, the focus of concern.

    2. Along the way, in his attempt to ‘defend’ the CJ from what I said, Amused claimed that many lawyers did not belong to the Bar Association and so the latter part of the discussion was taken up with that. It is was a very salutory exercise from which I learned a lot for, in itself, it was a process of discovery. In fact, what Amused did with all his ‘Oh so terribly lofty’ stuff was to expose a glaring anomoly – which might just amount to illegality – though, of course, that was not his intention. It is what I have referred to as the ‘can of worms’. It is not yet resolved. But there is a further matter not yet discussed. IF the lawyers Amused mentions are not members of the BA, are they then not susceptible to the jurisdiction of the Disciplinary Committee? That Committee is established under the Legal Profession Act and consists of seven members of the BA nominated by the BA and to which, under s.44, all attorneys are to belong. Are we then saying that these ‘Amused lawyers’ cannot be scrutinised? That rather depends upon the status of the Committee qua the BA, whether it has a personality separate from the BA. And, as I said somewhere above, provision is made under the Act for complaint to be made to a High Court judge in matters of fraud. But, nevertheless, is it time that we reflect upon the adage that ‘Be you ever so great, the law is above you’? If there is a serious anomoly in the system which appears to show that some ‘ancients’ are not playing the game, isn’t it time that someone had the guts to test it by putting their silk gowns and their red bags where their mouths are? OR for the BA to emerge from the sand and confront them – in the name, perhaps, of ‘gusto’ if not also ‘truth’? Or is the system simply too rotten for that?

    • @robert

      Can you explain what you mean by:

      my concluded thought is that it is a very clever document which was intended to find the light of day and serve as an instrument to deflect criticism

      Who posted the email to the BA website? It wasn’t the CJ. Bear in mind this is where BU sourced the email and NOT because it was circulated to media which it was not.

  33. @ David

    I’ve been waiting for you. There are many ways of skinning a cat….and doubtless we all have friends here and there and smart ones too. Think of Amused and his friends…and what of Blogger? Or dear John? There are many sorts of disguise – as on here you must know very well. It’s even been suggested that I am Pilgrim and I’ve had similar thoughts about others. Once at school we had a party political election. I was a candidate. I thought I was being smart and asked my supporters to ask nasty questions to my opponents. But they were smarter. They got their supporters to ask nice qestions to themselves and so block any other questions. But of course you may think I’m suffering from Mossad-itis. It’s just that I think that the email is so incoherent qua what should have been its subject matter, and thus so populist, that to give the CJ his due he must have known what he was doing. IF, on the other hand, and allowing that he was off duty, that is his standard fare, I wonder what his judgments are like. But don’t get me wrong. I do like him, not least for this. I was present at his first Call in October. He said something then that I thought was very important. He stressed the need for able young people to take the Criminal Bar seriously even though it might not be as lucrative as other areas. And he was right – for so many do, on the road to riches, see the Criminal side as a poor relation to be scorned. But then I also heard one of the first sermons of the Bishop of Barbados as Bishop. It was on spirituality and I thought it was a wonderful beginning to a ministry, well, which has in fact gone nowhere very much. All these perceptions are informed by experience I suppose.

    • @robert

      Understand what you have posited.

      The CJ was careful to stress that the email was not his substantive response to the BA (Pilgrim). The issue then is why would the BA post the email response?

      A summary of the content of the email would have sufficed, no?

      Anyway your point is taken, never a dull day in Barbados.

  34. @ David

    I have just seen the promised reply to Pilgrim from the CJ and, I gather, it is to be discussed at the BA this afternoon. It seems a pretty statesmanly response to me on first reading. He was obviously very irritated by being given 14 days, and just as I think he should have sent a holding letter, I can equally understand the irritation. But no doubt you will get it all in due course from the inside and then we’ll have more fun. Apart from stressing the need for expedition in the Disciplinary Committee, there are no jibes at fat-cat lawyers; and he properly points out that attorneys don’t all keep appointments – though, of course, there are many reasons for this.

  35. @ David

    Would you comment on this please.

    1. The CJ’s email is dated 15th March.
    2. His letter is dated 19th March.
    3. The blog was posted on 25th March.
    4. I am told that the email would only have been accessible by the use of the pass word on the ‘inner’ BA site IF it was ever posted at all…ie it did not appear on the general website. So………..
    (a) BU seems to have obtained the email from whatever source subsequent to the receipt of the CJ’s response of 19th March – I can’t imagine that you received it and sat on it. In other words the email was already ‘stale’.
    (b) The source may well have known of the 19th March response and, if not, was at least on notice there would be one since the CJ’s email said there would be a response by 17th March.
    (c) I find it odd that the email would ever have been posted on the ‘inner’ BA website. It surely is too delicate for that and, as I say, whoever posted it would have known that the CJ’s response had either arrived or was imminent.

    Now I guess this is where you come in. Given that the email has sensitive material, as bloggers here appreciated, it’s all very ‘fishy’ isn’t it?

  36. @robert

    Your last comment makes for an interesting timeline of events. What is certain is the veil of secrecy which has cloaked issues of this nature in the past is now no more. BU will continue to do our little part to assist in the dissemination of information. Continue to be a voice in this space whose benefit is ultimately for the ‘ordinary’ citizen.

  37. Amused, Anonlegal and our other BU legal maguffees please read BarbadosToday page 10.

    Your comments would be appreciated.

  38. @ David
    I just re-read my remark about ‘right it should be so’. I was referring to the lifting of the vale of secrecy and the role of BU – and NOT to the person implied in your last sentence. It embarrasses me to think you might have read what I said as referring to that person. BUT see the brief discussion of the interpretation of words in the ‘Native Son’ post.

    • @robert

      Was interpreted as explained.

      Note that you did not respond to the query that if the email was distributed to media how come there has been no mention of it?

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