Tales From The COURTS – PART III

Madame Justice Sandra Mason being sworn in recently to act as Governor General

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.

Please email us! – there is the Send Confidentially Option as well.

0 thoughts on “Tales From The COURTS – PART III

  1. @ David
    Why are we to continue with this fuckeries. This thing about ‘madam justice’, ‘qc’, ‘sir’, and all of these fictitious titles of empire? This foolishness, if BU is serious, would be striped from this cast of characters.

  2. @Pachamama.

    How dare you go against what we have become expert at i.e. Label and tags, form over substance!!!

    Very sad. And look in today’s nation. A man minding his own business, working hard to make money, being ran into the gorund by government competing, despite their ‘form’ statements of supporting entrepreneurs.

    This is just disgraceful, that a hard working man is being treated like this, while some are not pulling their weight and nothing being done. This drives me to ask, whereto Barbados?

  3. @Pacha

    Thanks for the feedback but bear in mind our system of recognition is what it is. Would you deny Sir Wesley is moment in the Sun?

    By the way was Sir Wes part of the Stanford fiasco?

  4. @David,

    As far as titles go, Sir Wes DESERVES every acclaim, long overdue, incredible that it took so long, just as we took so long to acclaim the late Dame Olga.

    Genuine good people!

  5. Very interesting, David. I knew about the cases involving Justices Kentish and Worrell, but not about the one involving Mason JA.

    As for the situation with probate and letters of adminisration, well it never occurred to me to investigate the statistics cited, but common sense dictates that they are correct and in fact the same number of cases that back in the 80s and 90s took 6 to 12 weeks now take 1 to 2 years, are correct. And you are right. It is shameful that beneficiaries (particularly survivors like spouses and children) are placed under such pressure. To be sure, the banks will likely loan money on having certified copies of wills, but there could be a tremendous accrual of interest on loans. And while it may be argued that the assets any bank holds are accruing interest, there is a subtantial shortfall between interest on loans and interest on deposits. Maybe it ought to be looked into as to whether this too constitutes a breach of constitutional rights. This is a very serious situation and needs to be addressed and redressed as a matter of some urgency. Until estates have been probated, the assets are frozen. This creates all kinds of problems and potentially severe losses for the beneficiaries.

  6. @ David
    We should consider anyone who buys into this nonsense as an enemy of the people. We have children in Barbados competing to get mis-educated. And it does’t end there, that fictitious competition goes on until these same people, at age 65, are competing to become governor general, qc’s and knighthoods. What ignorance? And all of this is happening at a time when tectonic changes are happening in world. Soon the new global system will bear no relationship to the present construct. But we still teaching our children to sing ‘god save the queen’ and to look up to a dead and decaying empire. Most lawyers in Barbados are still using old english when even the british have given it up years ago.

  7. @Crusoe



    Do you think the decision makers are fully sensitive to how these matters compromise the constitutional rights of Bajans? Can we discuss what Bajans and even officers of the court can do to bring a focus/resolution?

  8. BU

    I could not agree with you more. It is high time heads start to roll starting to with the Registrar, Marva Clarke, and followed closely by the Chief Marshal. Between the two of them, they have created one of the most hostile working environments in the Public Service. And because the Registrar was a member of the National Council of the NUPW, and as the General Secretary claims to be her friend, workers’ grievances get little or no attention from the union.

  9. Quoting Pachamama “we still teaching our children to sing ‘god save the queen’”

    You LIE.

    I guarantee you that not a child in Barbados knows “God save our gracious Queen, long live our glorious queen, God save the Queen. Send her victorious, happy and glorious, long may she reign over us, God save the Queen.”

    The only reason I know the thing because I am nearly a 100 and Grew Up Stupid Under The Union Jack.

    But not a child,that is a person younger than 18 knows this song.

    Just sayin’

  10. Dear Caswell:

    Is it possible that the Registrar gets a hard time from the people whom she supervises, because she expects them to do an honest day’s work for a fair day’s pay and they are resisting?

    Errol Barrow did not say for nothing that the civil service is an army of occupation.

    There are a lot of people in the civil service with stinkin’ uncivil attitudes.

    Just sayin’

    • @Simple Simon

      If such is the case then the Registrar must have a very large file with evidence of the pushback she has been getting from those she supervises.

  11. @ David

    To have lost a file …..now we all know it was more likely negligence….ie ‘to lose’ does not entail ‘deliberately’ lose. Or – in practice – does it? (see below)

    On probate and letters of administration, how many applications are presently in the system? My understanding is well over a thousand. The ‘grant’ is not a rubber stamp job. The documents are subject to investigation and scrutiny.

    On ‘attitudes’ – yes. Lash them. But, as someone has said, it’s all over the place. A prime area is the Immigration Department. A case came to me in the week when some trumped up little Hitler told an applicant who asked a question about his assessment of the formal validity of a document: ‘I done talkin wid you. I done wid that’ and walked off. And this was a government servant? I was told that it was best to keep quiet else the application would be sabbotaged and that even if one wrote a letter of complaint, no witnesses would give evidence against a colleague.

    Thanks for the post. For what it’s worth, exactly what is wanted in substance and style.

  12. @David. This present government is fully aware of the problem – how could it be otherwise with a very senior (and in my humble view, excellent) lawyer as PM? An that is NOT to be construed as a political statement or of partisan support for the DLP. By appointing Gibson as CJ, I believe that this was government’s first salvo in the fight to sort out the mess. However, the clear lack of cooperation that Gibson has experienced makes it clear that government is going to have to go much further and institute far more aggressive and pro-active measures – and these can only come from government, not the CJ. The AG is the one who has to take action and start to fire people. After all, these people are appointed by whoever holds the office of Attorney General.

    If I may, I would also like to add that these actions for constitutional breaches are more numerous than anyone knows and it is high time this entire matter was fully aired for the public to see.

    For instance, Mr Justice William Chandler was also the object of such an action for unacceptably delaying a decision. And do you know what? Within days of the constitutional motion being filed, Chandler J’s decision suddenly materialised. I understand, but speak under correction and my apologies if I am in error, that Mr Shepherd QC filed that one as well.

    It is scandalous that litigants have to in effect sue the courts in order to receive justice. It is even more scandalous that when these actions against judges are filed that a commission to remove these judges from office has not been set up. This is cover-up akin to massive corruption.

    You mean to tell me that you apply to the courts for justice and then have to sue the courts to receive that justice? What sort of s**** is that? So you have a litigant paying costs to sue someone and that someone having to pay costs to defend the action, a judge hears the matter and then sits with his or her thumb stuck firmly up their a**, until they get sued (which means that the taxpayer will have to pay the bill plus damages if any and if the action is successful – which could amount to a very large amount of money out of the public purse). Then, miraculously the decision materialises? And as you correctly say, delivering the judgement does not make the constitutional motion or the damages go away – please take my word for that – the action subsists. And instead of government invoking the same constitution and having a commission set up, during which the judge is suspended allowing for the appointment of another (and hopefully more satisfactory) judge, and, based on the findings of the commission, firing the judge for gross misconduct, that judge continues to be allowed to preside in our courts? NONSENSE!!! Fire the sons/daughters of b******. Without taxpayer-funded pensions. Let them find a more suitable job, like door-to-door salespersons or taxi drivers or waiters. Jobs where they cannot put the public purse at risk and bring out justice system into such disrepute to the extend that it critically affects our off-shore industry. These jackasses are costing us billions of dollars in overseas business yearly. And we pay them a pension as a reward? What kinds of idiots are we?

    @Casewell. Well said, Sir. Marva and the Chief Marshall need to get their sorry backsides kicked out and soon. And add to that list the Master.

    • @Amused

      The current AG is on record lauding the judiciary for its work. The PM is on record of lauding the civil service for its work. What makes you or any other believe that CJ Gibson will get these two most important players to kick butt? BU agrees with you that it MUST happen and if it doesn’t CJ Gibson looks like the kind of man who will tell them to go to France – under a BLP government such a decision would be welcomed. There lies the rub.

  13. Ross

    I need you to answer this. In Barbados (Commonwealth) how practical is it to sue a Minister, not the office, the person, so that even after he leaves office for what ever reason, he still has to answer to the charge and if found guilty, respond appropriately. In this case, suppose the Minister is exhibiting a bias by refusing to meet with a specific member of the public and in so doing is demonstrating a desire not to effect a Ministerial decision that will affect the a private entity’s access to some kind of Government support which should be made available having met a specific criteria. Again can a case be made against the individual and NOT the office? This is all hypothetical of course.

  14. CJ Gibson could work anywhere in the Commonwealth or US protectorate world that he wishes … He ain’ got to stick ’bout hey …

  15. I’m sure Amused is right to suggest that we are too ready to suppose the Chief Justice has the kind of power we suppose he has and that ultimately it is government which must intervene.

    Incidentally, on delayed judgments – has the Chief Justice actually delivered a CA judgment yet, or indeed any judgment with his personal ‘stamp’? I know there is one – on a constitutional motion – in the offing which was promised for May.

    On delayed judgments generally, what is the kind of time scale we are talking about such that the various actions mentioned have been begun?

  16. “Errol Barrow did not say for nothing that the civil service is an army of occupation” BUT MR BARROW SHOULD HAVE ADDED PARLIAMENT AND CABINET TOO.

  17. “Well said, Sir. Marva and the Chief Marshall need to get their sorry backsides kicked out and soon. And add to that list the Master”
    I am not for or against Madam Registrar or the Chief Marshal whomsoever they may be but for the purpose of balance can anyone tell me how long was the registrar appointed to her post and were there any cases/ and or the number of cases outstanding before she took up her post? and the reason i ask is that information posited suggests that in the eighties probate matters took 6-8 weeks and now they take years. what about the other registrars in the nineties and early 2000’s, shouldn’t they shoulder some of the blame?

    • @balance

      You comments have become disingenuous. You would be the first to mention that the DLP is the government of the day and therefore transgressions of the past like CLICO for example falls to Stuart and cohorts to solve. Try and keep it real and forget the pedantic business.

  18. “how could it be otherwise with a very senior (and in my humble view, excellent) lawyer as PM?”

    Forgive me if i have a difficulty with these outlandish entitlements ascribed tp persons whose claim to fame happen to lie in having been in the right place at the right time. Now tell me what evidence do you have of MR Stuart’s prowess in jurisprudence to describe him as an ‘excellent’ lawyer.

  19. The generally accepted guideline for the delivery of judgements once a hearing is concluded us 90 days as a norm and 6 months for a complicated case. As for the CJ delivering a decision that bears his stamp, I really don’t know, but will find out the answer to that easily. I do know that in all cases heard before the CJ, he comes prepared and having read the file, he is very clear on how he is likely to find, very clear on law while hearing the case and has achieved considerable approbation by knowing the rules, not letting counsel “drift” or waste time. Clearly, in addition to his other administrative duties, the CJ takes the time to fully prepare for cases he will hear – as all judges should, but in Barbados, demonstrably do not. I noticed that when the CCJ sat in Barbados that each and every judge had fully prepared for the case – this in stark contrast to the conduct of our Barbados courts.

    I am told that Madam Justice Beckles has also achieved a reputation for actually knowing what the cases she hears are about, the law and knowledge and application of the CPRs. This would seem to argue an (for Barbados) unusual degree of preparation. Her reviews from attorneys seem to be very supportive. In fact, I have not heard any dissent about her. Let us hope that this early promise is maintained. But then again, she is the sort of person who will maintain her standards.

    As for any political faction approving or disapproving of Gibson, I do believe that any government has got to recognise the fact that the justice system (or lack thereof) has reached such a point of crisis, not only from the point of view of the delivery of justice, but also due to the fact that it is now almost single-handedly responsible for the demise of Barbados’ foreign investments, that ANY political party must now realise that it has become a make or break issue at the polls. It is negatively affecting the country’s finances and all that flows therefrom, like jobs etc. So, whether either of the two main parties will admit it or not, it has become a MAJOR political issue. And if, due to a lack of cooperation, Gibson resigns, then government had better pray that he does not decide to take to the press to explain the reasons for such a resignation. Because it will receive worldwide attention the results of which will reduce Barbados to the status of a third world and legislatively unreliable country.

    Personally, I am no longer interested in WHY the Justice System has reached such a terminal state. We all know why and we all know who to blame. I think that there is no comfort now to be had in pointing any fingers to the background of the problem, except as a historical footnote to make sure that the mistake is not repeated. What we need to do now is to aggressively seek to see the problem resolved. Our concern now ought to be with getting rid of the people who are sustaining the terminal condition – think of it as the removal of a cancer. Then putting in place and practicing the directions of the CJ to speed up and facilitate matters. So, without forgetting history, we now need to concentrate on the present and cut out the deadwood and then proceed into the future.

    I welcome these Tales From The Courts, because they demystify the system and remove the veil and perception of unassailable authority that has clearly been abused and relied on to cover those abuses. By all means, name names. If any transgressions occur that denies and demeans justice occur, let EVERYBODY know about it and name those responsible. Let them understand clearly that they are NOT above the law, they are NOT laws unto themselves and that there are PENALTIES if they fail to do the jobs that they are being paid (out of taxpayers’ money) to do – with courtesy. In other words, HOLD THEM UP TO PUBLIC SCRUTINY AND ACCOUNT!!!! Also, any government that allows them to so abuse and misuse the system and the taxpayers’ money must also be held to account and face the wrath and censure of the taxpayers.

  20. @balance. Experience. Mine with attorney and the courts here and elsewhere. The PM, whether you like it or not, is an excellent lawyer. I make no judgement on him as a PM. But as a lawyer, he is excellent. BTW, I rate Mia highly as a lawyer too.

    • Let us leave the justice system as it. It is working fine. The players are doing a great job. It is the system stupid!

  21. @Ping Pong. Well, if poor people are prepared to stand for it, there is nothing anyone can do. Only when poor people are prepared to hold up their clothes and scream for blue murder will anything happen – maybe like improving the financial climate so that the same poor people have better prospects to NOT be poor people. In other words, send a message and it will not be stood for!!!!!!!

  22. I have to disagree with Amused’s suggestion that our judges do not prepare fully unlike the CJ. As I’ve indicated, the CJ really hasn’t had much to prepare for as yet. Most of our judges do prepare, and thoroughly; some do not – and we know who they are. But it is this kind of sweeping generalisation which needs very close scrutiny indeed.

    I am sorry that the standard line for reform is ‘fire people’. That is a very facile response and achieves nothing at all where the problem might be righted by appropriate management of the system – and yes, creative leadership. Despite all that has been said, I still don’t see it – whether we speak of piecemeal reform or the draconian action of a Justinian in the form of a package.

    It follows that to say ‘we know what the problems are and so don’t need to look at them and see how they might be resolved’ is shoddy, mere sensationalism, and really takes us nowhere very much. This post, on the other hand, at least tries to do that – for starters by identifying one or more problems which clearly need to be explored openly and creatively.

  23. “The justice system is single-handedly responsible for the demise of foreign investment”

    What is the evidence for that?

  24. @ David

    I really don’t want to start quarelling with you. The post is fine. There’s a problem with people; there’s a problem with procedures. You are now answering for Amused…and so we go round and around – and in the process the sarcasm, or attempt at it, is completely misplaced. We are working towards the same end – reform. I would have thought that you would understand that. You CANNOT EXPECT EVERYONE TO AGREE WITH EVERY DOT AND COMMA – else what is the point of blogging? It becomes BRAINWASHING. On stupid…no I’d better not say it.

    The Bar Association has put to the CJ a list of reforms. So far as I know, he hasn’t addressed them.in six months. OK – fire him then. Gee

  25. @David. Yes, working just fine. Sure. Everyone is doing their jobs, with a few very minor exceptions. And highlighting delays and breaches of people’s constitutional rights? Well that is mere sensational scandal-mongering by BU. And those who deny the constitutional rights of the taxpayers and not doing their jobs ought not to be fired, but allowed to work out their tenures until retirement and then accorded pensions, while the self-same taxpayers wait patiently for justice to be delivered – or die from old age before it is delivered.

    Meanwhile, the Leader of the Opposition can, quite rightly, highlight the demise of Barbados’ off-shore investment market while trying to infer that it is the fault of a DLP government, instead of identifying the fact that people from overseas will not invest in a country where they have to wait for the rest of their lives for any litigation to be heard, far less concluded, and claim no responsibility for this demise at all.

    Yes, all is just terrific!!!!! And if the Leader of the Opposition becomes PM at the next election, he is perfectly entitled to ignore the state of the Injustice System and pursue pursue a purely political agenda to keep his yardfowls happy.

    We are in the days of the Internet and blogs, which have completely exploded the capability for public officials to hide from the public and cover their butts with a veil or fiction of secrecy. And woe betide the politician or public servant who, having the traditional media under their control or in their pockets, thinks they are home and free. I was watching the BBC democracy website the other day. Specifically, the proceedings of the Leveson Enquiry into Press Standards. I watched as three former UK PM’s, a present PM, the Leader of the Opposition and two cabinet ministers were grilled within an inch of their lives for anyone in the world to see, without the spin of partisan traditional media. I watched then the news reports on said grilling…….but I had seen the grilling itself via the Internet and was not dependent on any journalistic or political spin or second or third hand reports. This media cannot be controlled and diverted and Barbados is a small island and word travels fast. As certain public servants will find out, no matter what spin they try and whether authored by persons looking for a political berth at the next elections or not.

    BTW, when last I looked (this morning) Roebuck Street is separated from Belmont Road by a roundabout – by the Globe Theatre. My point is that Belmont Road is not Roebuck Street. That comment may seem cryptic, but I am sure that the party to whom it is directed will get the point.

  26. Sadly Amused…everything you wrote is spin, in short nonsense talk, vacuous mouthing…and so David and Amused tango again and for one read the other. Now do we REALLY WANT TO GO DOWN THAT ROAD?

    David…YOU are BU…please read rule 7 on your comments policy and do us all a favour. OBSERVE IT.

  27. @Caswell

    Please advise if there is evidence that there has been any attempt to discipline i.e fire anyone in the justice System cum Registry over the years. Earlier on the blog you agreed the Registrar and the Chief Marshall should be relieved. The flipside from blogger2012 (posited on other blogs) he suggested the Public Service Act is adequate to police performance management in the Justice System.

    Please cut the gordian knot for us because we need to move the discussion forward.

    We know we have a rotting justice system, we know that key players/managers have failed to advocate and implement effective management/change. We need to accept that the usual suspects have occupied decision making positions over the years and have failed to bring solution orient positions. If for example the time for probating has gotten longer with less cases now that in days of old.
    Is this one adequate measure we can use to evaluate performance? What about the now legendary filing system at the Court Registry?
    By the way, can we examine Pilgrim’s record? As you know we continue to hope that a Pilgrim led BAR in tandem with CJ Marsden can make a difference.

  28. Pilgrim and Gibson can make a difference. Hope so: but it wasn’t a very good start was it? They didn’t exactly play ‘David and Amused’. But,as I say, hopefully that was a minor glitch.

    Applications for probate have decreased since the 1980’s. Is that because less people are making wills or people are living longer? What are the comparatrive figures I wonder.

  29. @David. I find it difficult to understand how some people actually manage to get law degrees. For a lawyer to ask if the reason for a decrease in applications for letters of administration is because less people are making wills, indicates to me that they ought not to EVER, EVER, EVER be allowed to practice law OR to run for public office. There is a term, which clearly some lawyers paid no attention to at law school and then simply failed to find out about in practice, for which they are actually licensed to charge the general public. The word is “intestate”. But being intestate does NOT mean that the estate does not have to have probate applied for. It merely means that the courts, not the deceased person, nominates executors and that the beneficiaries of the estate are the heirs-at-law in the proportions nominated by the courts, rather than by the deceased. Until the 1970s, (1977, I think it was) the law was one of primogeniteur, in other words, the estate went in total to the first-born son. Since 1977, this has changed. I would have thought that ANY lawyer would have known this. Apparently and specially in Barbados, NOT. What kinds of idiots have we got practicing law?

    As for the suggestion that people are living longer. So bloody what? What POSSIBLE relevance can that have to the fact that there were more deaths when it took between 6 and 8 weeks and LESS deaths now that it takes between 1 and 2 years? You mean to tell me that the Registry, instead of dealing with the workload, is preparing itself for an onslaught of applications? Give me a BREAK!!!! And that fatuous comment comes from a so-called “attorney-at-law”?

    Clause 7 of the BU Comments Policy states: “7. Write what you know or have just cause to believe, is the truth; (b) avoid malice; and (c) retract and apologise when and if it is discovered that the information is wrong.” I see no evidence that anyone has breached this clause. What I DO see is a standard, trite legal examination rule, clearly also not fully understood by a certain member of the legal “fraternity” (and I use the term “fraternity” extremely loosely, as I sincerely doubt that any serious member of the legal fraternity feels in the least bit fraternal towards this particular individual). That is, “If you open the damned door, you cannot stop the other side from walking through it.” May I, without the slightest iota of respect, STRONGLY suggest that this member of the Bar return to law school AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE!!!! It embarrasses everyone to be put in the position of having to recognise such a person fraternally. And, and I give you my solemn word, that it will severely embarrass ANY major political party that gives this person a place on their ticket in an election or tries to circumvent that by a senate appointment. That is not a threat, it is a PROMISE!!

  30. I want to correct myself. Primogeniteur ended in 1970, not 1977. My thanks to senior counsel for their advice and direction on this point.

    • Amused

      Don’t thank senior counsel for their advice so quickly. The rules with respect to succession were changed on November 13, 1975 with the coming into force of the Succession Act, chapter 249 of the laws of Barbados.

    • @Caswell


      Here is the relevant section of the Constitution:

      Tenure of office of Judges

      84. 1. Subject to the following provisions of this section, a person holding the office of a Judge shall vacate office when he attains the age of sixty five years:

      Provided that the Governor General, acting in the case of the Chief Justice on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or in the case of any other Judge in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, may permit a Judge who attains the age of sixty five years to continue in office until he has attained such later age, not exceeding sixty seven years, as may have been agreed between the Governor General and that Judge.

      2. Notwithstanding that he has attained the age at which he is required by the provisions of this section to vacate his office, a person may sit as a Judge for the purpose of delivering judgment or doing any other thing in relation to proceedings which were commenced before him before he attained that age.

      3. A Judge may be removed from office only for inability to discharge the functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or any other cause) or for misbehavior, and shall not be so removed except in accordance with the provisions of subsection (4).

      4. A Judge shall be removed form office by the Governor General, by instrument under the Public Seal, if the question of the removal of that Judge form office has, at the request of the Governor General, made in pursuance of subsection (5), been referred by Her majesty to the Judicial Committee of Her Majesty’s Privy Council and the Judicial Committee has advised Her Majesty that the Judge ought to be removed from office for inability as aforesaid or for misbehavior.

      5. If the Prime Minister (in the case of the Chief Justice) or the Chief Justice after consultation with the Prime Minister (in the case of any other Judge) advises the Governor General that the question of removing a Judge form office for inability as aforesaid or for misbehavior ought to be investigated, then –

      a. the Governor General shall appoint a tribunal which shall consist of a Chairman and not less than two other members selected by the Governor General in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister (in the case of the Chief Justice) or of the Chief Justice (in the case of any other Judge) from among person who hold or have held office as a judge of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a court having jurisdiction in appeals from any such court:

      b. that tribunal shall enquire into the matter and report on the facts thereof to the Governor General and advise the Governor General whether he should request that the question of the removal of that Judge should be referred by Her Majesty to the Judicial Committee: and

      c. if the tribunal so advises, the Governor General shall request that the question should be referred accordingly.

      6. The provisions of the Second Schedule shall apply in relation to tribunals appointed under subsection (5).

      7. If the question of removing a Judge from office has been referred to a tribunal appointed under subsection (5), the Governor General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister (in the case of the Chief Justice) or of the Chief Justice after the Chief Justice has consulted with the Prime Minister (in the case of any other Judge), may suspend the Judge from performing the functions of his office.

      8. Any such suspension may at any time be revoked by the Governor General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister or the Chief Justice (as the case may be), and shall in any case cease to have effect –

      a. if the tribunal advises the Governor General that he should not request that the question of the removal of the Judge from office should be referred by Her Majesty to the Judicial Committee: or

      b. the Judicial Committee advises Her Majesty that the Judge ought not to be removed from office.

      9. The provisions of this section shall be without prejudice to the provisions of section 82(2)

    • and to complete:


      Appointment, etc., of judicial and legal officers

      93. 1. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, power to make appointments to the offices to which this section applies and to remove and to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices is hereby vested in the Governor General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission.

      2. This section applies to such public offices (other than the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions) for appointment to which persons are required to possess legal qualifications as may be prescribed by Parliament.

      Appointment, etc., of public officers

      94. 1. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, power to make appointments to public offices and to remove and to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices is hereby vested in the Governor General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Public Service Commission.

      2. Before the Public Service Commission advises the appointment to any public office of any person holding or acting in any office power to make appointments to which is vested by this Constitution in the Governor General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission or the Police Service Commission, it shall consult the Judicial and Legal Service Commission or the Police Service Commission, as the case may be.

      3. The provisions of this section shall not apply in relation to –

      a. the office of any member of the Governor General’s personal staff;

      b. any office to which section 92 applies;

      c. any office in the Police Force;

      d. any office to which section 100 applies;

      e. the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions; and

      f. the office of the Auditor General.

      Delegation of powers under section 94

      95. 1. The Governor General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Public Service Commission, may by instrument under the Public Seal direct that, to such extent and subject to such conditions as may be specified in that instrument, the powers, other than the power to remove from office, vested in him by section 94(1), shall (without prejudice to the exercise of such powers by the Governor General under that section) be exercisable by such one or more members of the Public Service Commission or by such public officer as may be so specified.

      2. In any case where an appointment is to be made by virtue of an instrument made under this section and the person to be appointed holds or is acting in any office power to make appointments to which is vested in the Governor General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission or the Police Service Commission, the person empowered by the said instrument to make the appointment shall consult the Judicial and Legal Service Commission or the Police Service Commission, as the case may be, before making the appointment.

      3. Where the power to exercise disciplinary control over any officer has been exercised by virtue of an instrument made under this section, the officer in respect of whom it was so exercised may apply for the case to be referred to the Governor General and thereupon the disciplinary action taken shall cease to have effect except in so far as it may have included the suspension of the officer from performing the functions of his office and the case shall be referred to the Governor General shall then take such action in respect of the officer as the Public Service Commission may advise.

  31. Jesus Ch’ist if you were to follow David and Amused blindly you would be convinced that people-centred issues are mainly black and white …!

    • @BAFBFP

      You mean like the only useful contributors to an economy are those who produce to generate forex?

  32. Funny how the PM and Mottley could be excellent lawyers … neither of the two strike me as particularly intelligent people in public … Maybe excellence in the legal fraternity requires other attributes …!

  33. @BAFBFP. Come on. You are far brighter and better than those comments. Give us a little break and show your true worth more often. Instead of trying to hide behind the persona of class clown.

  34. Another fudge you silly little man…see thing is you’ve made the assertion but haven’t given the figures – like everything else you do. You simply make it up as you go along. Or hasn’t the mole in Registry provided them? Would that be too close for comfort?

    Now, of course, the figures MAY show you’re right. So give them.

    In the blog of a moment ago I referred to applications for probate. In the post way above I referred to “probate and letters of administration”. Poor Amused. In his weird attempts to show off he’s got himself into a hole with this one. Of course, you ninny there’s a difference between testate and intestate. The former entails an application for probate by the executor; the latter an application for letters of administration. In that sense the ‘administrator’ is appointed by the Court. We were not talking about who gets what, you prat.

    Primogeniture indeed. You simple can’t resist showing off – and then get it wrong. Yeah!

    Now give the figures. “Trite’ isn’t it? So obvious, isn’t it? Yet it manages to elude you.

    And by the way….UNLESS you are BU, you are not the court of appeal on what the rules of engagement are. So why don’t you simply shut up for once. They are transparent enough anyway. And for the most part you ignore them in every post to which you contribute..

  35. How we so easily become bog down in the minutiae of the argument as testosterone levels rise.

    Anyone can answer the question posed to Caswell earlier.

  36. David

    A Judge may be removed from office only for inability to discharge the functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of the body or mind or any other cause) or for misbehaviour. The question of his removal starts with the Chief Justice after consultation with the Prime Minister. Since I am not aware that the CJ has taken any steps to have any judge removed from office, it would appear that he does not believe that the conduct of the judges merit such a move.

    In the case of the Registrar, the CJ as chairman of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission would also have a role to play. He can initiate the process but then again he must be satisfied that the Registrar is in breach of her duties.

  37. David

    Sorry, in my haste to respond, I did not cite the source of my comment about the removal of a judge. Please refer to the Constitution, section 84 subsections 3 to 8.

  38. Actually, this RR vs amused exchange is interesting. Why have a blog where everybody agrees all the time? Makes no sense at all… There has to be room for intelligent, adult discussion – even if said discussion gets (very) robust at times- and differences in opinions/ views.

    Proceed RR and Amused…Round 157!

  39. +ve

    I am in full agreement. And I for one disapprove of the host so openly siding with one over the other.


    A clown is a very serious campaigner when the curtains are drawn. Carry on and see you are really capable of drawing me into your shite …!

  40. Clearly David there are NO standards on professional ethics for blog owners to adhere to … Now is your chance to blaze a trail …!

    • @BAFBFP

      It has nothing to do with ethics. If we agree with a position we will defend it. We leave being provocative or ‘bring balance’ to the talk show hosts…lol.

  41. But David you are guilty of going after the blogger. That smacks of ad hominem… that makes you no better than the typical celebrated bajan talk host …!

    • @BAFBFP

      Anyone who comes on BU or elsewhere and try to strip away our anonymity we will go after.

    • @BAF

      You know BU is always game for good discourse, the robust the better. However when it hits on our anonymity, we draw the line.

  42. I just saw Minister Michael Lashley on the CBC News where they highlighted that his child was being christened. Now my question; did Mr. Lashley attend at the Registration to register the child as we lesser mortals are required to do?

  43. @ David

    NO-ONE certainly not I have tried to strip away your anonymity What I have done is (a) to point out that for these posts, given your partisanship, for David read Amused; and (b) to say that that is not in the best traditions of BU. AND YOU KNOW THAT IS TRUE. The record on this matter is clear. Your comment to BAF is just another fudge. Perhaps you will now begin to act the independent moderator you are supposed to be – subject to all the bias’ we know you have. So do stop sulking.

  44. and David…….

    since you say ‘you will go after me’ – let me say – well, BAF would know this – I am ever-ready. OK? Now can we drop it? Up to you.

  45. @Casewell. I stand corrected on the matter of primogeniteur and my thanks to you for correcting me.

    @David. Given that certain people seem to wish to continue to try to “out” people and given that Barbados is a rumour mill, I may decide to exercise my option to indulge in a little, light gossip with my brothers. But my warning remains that if I find this jerk’s name as a candidate for either of the two major parties, I can and I will do all I can to ensure that they do not prevail in that seat.

  46. You comments have become disingenuous. You would be the first to mention that the DLP is the government of the day and therefore transgressions of the past like CLICO for example falls to Stuart and cohorts to solve. Try and keep it real and forget the pedantic business.”

    clearly you do not read my posts. i never blame governments in power for deficiencies in governing, i blame the system of governance. i offer facts, i cannot accuse persons of thiefing or corruption because i have never seen a govt official before the law courts.mr stuart is a victim of circumstances because he was thrust into a position for which he was not prepared. mr stuart was deputy prime minister for over three years and acting prime minister for over a year and revealed in an interview that his first visit to the prime minister’s office was on the day he assumed the prime ministership.
    while regulatory framework of the insurance industry might have been deficient under the previous administration who were summarily thrown out by the electorate because of their deficiencies and alleged corrupt practices; am i biased to raise the issue of the present administration’s lethargy, dipsy-dodling and other incoherent decison making on the clico issue which could have exacerbated the situation when possible timely and decisive action could have offered a more positive ray of hope for affected policlholders like me? must i forget mr stuart’s vitriol to punish with laughter miss mottley’s attempts to raise the issue in parliament? must i forget mr thompson’s injection of 10 million in taxpayers money into clico with the solemn expression that it was a well run companyand the revelation at a later date of the million dollar payments made to mr parris? if our prime minister as former legal advisor to clico gives me his word that the company was sound and well, then should not this statement give me a different view on the charges of incompetence laid against the regulators?
    these are things you should be highlighting not trying to label me. i have not gone to a political meeting since i976 and i was an ardent admirer of the under forties and was elated when the NDP was formed. i have never contributed one cent to a political institution and would continue to promote the idea that both parties are now damocles swords on the backs of barbadians and have outlived their usefulness. facts my friend are facts and by the word i just cannot understand your use of the word pedantic.

  47. “The PM, whether you like it or not, is an excellent lawyer”
    there we go again. it has nothing to do with whether i like it or not . all i am saying is that i have never heard of his exploits in matters of jurisprudence like for eample mr maurice king or even mr andrew pilgrim or mr alair shepherd or mr frederick smith. AS the highest legal officer in the land, mr stuart is reported to have given mr thompson incorrect advice as to the eligibilty within the law of mr gibson for the post of chief justice and lest we forget, he was publicly corrected by sir henry forde for incorrect remarks he made in new york about the law relating to illegitimacy but in all fairness i would subscribe that ‘one swallow does not make a summer’

  48. @David et al.

    A bit of a pickle huh? The sections quoted clearly state that a judge can only be removed from office for inability to perform due to ”discharge the functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or any other cause) or for misbehavior”.

    Thats clearly severely limits the scenarios of removal, to (a) physical or mental incapacity (b) any other cause or (c) misbehaviour.

    That would indicate that removal for alleged incompetence is a difficult allegation to remove for, save under ‘any other cause’.

    However, the ‘any other cause’, in the context of the parahraph, would seem to indicate a cause of special inability to discharge duties just for example, such a case as i would see it, being moving overseas for family reasons etc, which would make it difficult to discharge duties. One would in such a case expect reisignation, but you never know.

    The issue is that the inbuilt protection for judges from victimisation and political interference, has a double edge.

    It would appear that to do as some of you recommend, the Constitution itself requires changes, but is that a good thing? I think not.

    To me, the obvious solution, where a judge is simply (as alleged) not working out, is a discussion and an alternate placement, if accepted, in a diplomatic post or other.

    If not accepted, welll…..you have an unsolveable issue, if the Constituion is to be followed by the letter and also the substance.

    The Consitution is clear on the issue, no amount of wishing or wangling can get past that. The one opening, as I said may be the words /’any other cause’, but in the relevant context and correct interpretation do not allow much room for enabling action, save in an extremem case.

  49. can anyone tell me how long was the registrar appointed to her post and were there any cases/ and or the number of cases outstanding before she took up her post?

  50. Balance,

    Understand your point, unfortunately, does it really matter when the issue is allegedly one of lost files etc i.e. current issues? Under your watch, you hold the responsibility for events therein.

    On the issue of delays, all must take the blame, I hear of lawyers who constantly seek adjournments, but some want to put all the blame on the judges. Not saying that there is not some culpabaility and certainly it is up to the judges to tell the attorneys who ask for too many adjournemnt a strong no!

    But all must accept blame for this to move forward.

    However, on the issue of things such as missing files, that is so unusual and ties right into a spcific department. That is the issue.

  51. “Understand your point, unfortunately, does it really matter when the issue is allegedly one of lost files etc i.e. current issues? Under your watch, you hold the responsibility for events therein.”

    understand yours as well but it does matter to ensure that the present Registrar is not carrying the blame for matters which did not occur under her watch.True, she has a responsibilty to put the necessary systems in place to alleviate and regularise the situation but i reconise as well that we have a moral responsibilty to ensure that she is not pilloried unfairly. in addition, it is not lost on me that black bajans have a tendency to beat up on their own kind while on the other hand always wiiling to smilingly ignore the deficiencies of the other kind.

  52. A current case dragging on for years, a file lost last week in the registry the same night it went in, a senior lawyer who acted for the client against a previous order of the Court, even doing so while the case was still in Court but neglected to tell the Court what he did. Guess it pays to be a Freemason. But then, some are just unlucky I mean having three business associates all die suddenly is the worst luck. One drown, one killed in a car accident and one murdered.

  53. As they say be careful of the Company you keep, it could bring you into disrepute Just Like That.

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