MADAM JUSTICE SANDRA MASON: BU was laudatory in our approval of the recognition given to Madam Justice Sandra Mason by her appointment as acting Governor General. Indeed, BU broke this story you may recall. However out of transparency because it is our way, we have to report that some time ago a constitutional action was filed by Mr Alair Shepherd QC, on behalf of one of his clients, against Madam Justice Mason for exactly the same reasons as that filed against Madam Justice Kentish. Mr Shepherd’s client contended that Madam Justice Mason had failed to do her job, this breaching his client’s constitutional rights. BU continue to follow-up to discover if this action has since been abandoned, after Madam Justice Mason delivered her long-reserved judgement mere days AFTER the action was filed. BU notes that because the long-reserved judgement was delivered, it does not in any way negate the action filed against Madam Justice Mason, which may attract damages. BU hopes to be able to report more on this in due course.
MR JUSTICE RANDALL WORRELL: It appears that Mr Alair Shepherd has also filed an action under the Constitution against Mr Justice Randall Worrell for exactly the same reasons as those filed against Madam Justice Mason and Madam Justice Kentish (filed by another law firm). The action in which Mr Shepherd alleges that Worrell J has been recalcitrant and breached the Constitution may well have a defense, however. The action deals with an appeal against costs awarded the defendants in an action and taxed by the Registrar. Worrell J’s defense (which, on the face of it appears insurmountable) lies in the fact that he may be deemed to be unable to render any judgement, until the Registrar has found and produced to him her documents and notes on her taxation of costs. It is this assessment of costs by the Registrar which is appealed by Mr Shepherd’s client. Seems that the Registrar (this time personally) has lost these files and notes. The Registrar claims that these important documents were lost during the move from the old Registry to its new premises. Well, the Registrar is certainly consistent and has clearly set another shining example for her staff. Time she was let go as a clear and unambiguous example to her staff.
THE REGISTRAR: It is reported to BU that there are three actions in preparation against the Registrar and the Courts for breaching the constitutional rights of litigants. BU will be reporting on each of these actions as they are filed and naming names. We expect also to obtain copies of the documents filed. It seems entirely likely that the doors are opening to a whole mass of cases by persons whose constitutional rights have been breached by the very justice system whose job it is to PROTECT and GUARANTEE those rights.
BU has previously reported on this issue, but new and compelling information has come to light. Traditionally, at least until the late 80s, probate and the issue of letters of administration in the estates of deceased persons would take between 6 and 8 weeks. This time period started to get longer and longer under recent Registrars. TODAY, it takes between 1 and 2 years for probate to be granted. Many times, a further delay is caused by the ineptitude of the Registry in sending back applications to attorneys, not promptly but in their own good time of some MONTHS, identifying problems with the application. Problems that in many cases are the equivalent of CAIPO where it misread the word “Therapist” for “The rapist”. Indeed, the major complaint is that many of the times that applications are sent back could easily be solved by a simple telephone call and the willingness on the part of the Registrar and Registry to work with attorneys in order to speed up the delivery of justice, instead of working against attorneys, being uncooperative, stupid and doing all to delay and frustrate the timely delivery of justice. Meanwhile, beneficiaries (particularly spouses and the elderly) are being severely compromised and discomfited at a time that they are bereaved and desperately need comfort and reassurance. But apparently the Registrar and the Registry don’t deal in comfort and reassurance, OR EVEN JUSTICE! High time some heads rolled at the Registry, starting with the Registrar. BUT, here is the news that has caused BU to revisit this issue. The Registrar does not even have the excuse of an increased number of applications for probate being filed with the Registry. IN FACT, the number of such applications has DECREASED since the 80s, when it took only 6 to 8 weeks.
BU extend thanks to staff and members of the legal fraternity who have contributed to this series of Tales From The Courts, but it wishes to assure the general public that their horror stories with goings-on in our Justice System are very important to us and will be most welcome and we will check them out and, if you prefer, report them in such a manner that your anonymity is preserved and scrupulously respected.