Victory for Elwood Watts?

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

While I am extremely happy that Mr. Elwood Watts has prevailed against the injustice that is inherent in the Public Service: I am concerned that the resolution of this matter would create another set of problems.

I have no more knowledge of the facts of the case than what I have read in reports in the Nation. However, it is my view that the outcome flies in the face of the very same principle that Mr. Watts was seeking to address. My understanding is that the Chief Personnel Officer through her lawyer informed the court that Mr. Watts would be appointed Senior Crown Counsel. That decision might please an extremely hardworking and deserving Elwood Watts but also, it would let others off the hook for their roles in this shameful affair.

My first concern is how did the recommendation, for the original appointment, reach the Governor-General without first going through the mandatory procedure set out in the Recruitment and Employment Code for the Public Service. The code, at paragraph 2 states:

Job opportunities or vacant offices shall be advertised or published within the Public Service or outside Barbados as the case may require and all relevant information in respect of a vacant office shall be accessible to prospective applicants and shall include:

(a) the statutory qualifications required;

(b) the duties, functions and responsibilities of the office;

(c) the major terms and conditions of service applicable to the office

(d) a description of the skills, competencies, experience and personal qualities required; and

(e) the nature of the procedure of the selection process that shall be based on relevant criteria that are applied to all candidates.

From what I have read, the evidence before the court suggested that the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, headed by the Chief Justice with three other judges and the Chairman of the Public Service Commission, gave advice to the Governor-General that they knew or ought to have known conflicted with the mandatory procedures set out in the law. Again, in my view, that evidence should have been led in court and the presiding judge should have rendered a decision.

Mr. Watts’ rights were infringed and the only remedy opened to the court, after the Governor-General had signed the appointment, would have been and award of damages since the trial judge had no power to order a service commission to make an appointment. That award should have been exemplary say in the vicinity of $1 million to punish a government agency for breaching the law, especially when you consider that those involved included some of the most senior law officers in this country.

The resolution of awarding Mr. Watts the post of Senior Crown Counsel should bring him no comfort as a law officer. It would raise the same issue that he complained of originally, in that the post that he is expected to fill has not been advertised. That can give rise to another person applying to the court pleading that that they were not given an opportunity to apply because the vacancy was not advertised. If they go ahead and hold interviews, we already know the outcome so what would be the purpose.

0 thoughts on “Victory for Elwood Watts?

  1. All these procedure, drafted by lawyer people to ensure that things are done in a standard manner and that there is the appearance of equality in the treatment of affairs, but still shite happens, and the resolution only serves to cover up rather than expose and correct the defaulters. Suing a Government, though the obvious remedy is punishing me the tax payer, and I ain’ do nuffing wrong ….! It is my belief that those who serve in Gov’ment should be personally liable for breaches in procedure… Dey should loss dey pick or get demote …!

  2. Wait Cas I ain’ surprise that you agree wid me … But that don’ mean that I am correct …Man you got to deal wid that ego that you got man… HA HA HA

  3. David

    I am not surprised that this post did not attract many comments because it is not casting aspersions on the character of some political figure. I thought that it would at least give commenters some sense of fear for the direction in which this country is going. We know that the country is at its lowest ebb politically; but we have a situation where Judicial and Legal Service Commission which consists of mainly judges could get it so wrong. That should give the people of this country every reason to fear our judicial system.

    • @Caswell

      You have to admit that Bushie is correct. It is the political and religious issues which seem to attract the rhetoric. All of Barbados is defined by politics, no wonder the politicians /lawyers rule. Governance issues which underpin everything could attract the slightest interest.

    • Then again it is the silly season. Did you not hear David Elllis trying his best to bring a more holistic debate to the airwaves today and the responses he got from some?

  4. That should give the people of this country every reason to fear our judicial system
    Wait Caswell, you were sleeping? The BU family has established that fact over and over again – for the past 5 years now.
    Of course you are right, but what the hell you expect Bajans to do?

    We waiting for BUP. Only an organized structured approach will provide any hope of changing things.

  5. Something is really wrong with this scenario…..the man the police accused of raping two British Tourist women is not the man the women are saying. The police say they have evidence that he is the perpetrator. I hope they do have DNA evidence if not they have opened themselves to ridicule and to suspicion.

  6. man things like this was going on fa ah long long time this is nothing new ,de court system, and de civil service was doing this kind of underhand thing fa years …….i help u u help me…..

  7. @Islandgal. I must confess to being startled by this issue of two victims saying that the Police have got the wrong man and I agree that absent DNA evidence PROPERLY DATED, COLLECTED, VERIFIED AND TESTED, the Police have handed the DPP a “case” that he cannot hope to prove. Not in a million years. If the case is taken to court, given the testimony of the two ladies concerned without DNA, then the judge is obliged to direct the jury to acquit. But, in Barbados, judges rarely (if ever) follow the law (or even common sense – see the Kentish recusal and subsequent order) but in the final analysis, the CCJ would overturn any conviction – after a complete waste of taxpayer’s money on police “investigation” and “investigation” by the DPP, not to forget the upcoming expense of trial and possible appeals.

    And what is the reason for this? It seems simple to me. The Davies case was reported in the UK’s and one of the world’s most widely read newspapers, the Daily Mail (and on BU as well, as I recall – David, do I have the right?) It generated a great deal of negative publicity for Barbados and raised the issue of the conduct of the Police. If memory serves correctly (and it usually does) Mrs Davies reported the total lack of courtesy and consideration she was shown by the Police and also that one Police officer – a woman – was so dismissive of the suffering and rape of another woman that she left Mrs Davies in a Police car to be gawped at in a shopping centre by passers-by, while she (this Police “creature” purporting to be a woman) went shopping for a T shirt.

    Therefore, Dotty Dottin had two areas to cover by making an arrest. First, to reassure potential visitors to the island that we have an effective Police force. Second, to demonstrate to all and sundry that we DO have an effective Police Force, so as to distract attention from the T shirt shopping expedition of the Police “creature” – and all the other complaints that Mrs Davies made (and we Bajans know that these complaints were true).

    So do you think for one second that Dotty Dottin would be deterred from arresting someone even if the victims told him it was the wrong man? No way! And he is a blasted idiot for that. Because in the same way Mrs Davies got her story told in banner headlines by the Daily Mail, she is capable of having the fact that Dotty Dottin and his minions have arrested the wrong man and intend to prosecute him while she is paying for the wrongly-accused’s defense counsel, fully ventilated by the UK and world press. So that what started as a major body blow to Barbados, is exacerbated, rather than reduced, by this latest major miscalculation. It remains only for the CCJ to administer the coup de grace, if it gets that far. Of course, Mrs Davies et al have chosen as lead defense counsel a man who attracts publicity as a dog attracts fleas and who has little (if any) respect for the current crop of so called “judges” and is perfectly prepared to go after them. So we are in for some very high profile fun.

  8. Ellis ban the Anti-American (again) for telling he that he needs to up his game. I hear that he get ban from Mons and Weds … Ellis is NOT what he purports to be. Enuff called it, don’ apologize.

  9. Good to read that members of the Bar will be meeting with CJ Gibson shortly to discuss how the case load in the Courts can be improved to deliver justice in Barbados.

  10. @BABFP

    Mr anti American needs to improve his bedside manner with Ellis. He is trying and he needs to be cut some slack. Have a conversation, agree to disagree but all for different views to contend.

  11. Sorry, but after twenty eight years and a series of bans, it is not going to happen, though I should not be speaking for him. Ellis is a dinosaur, one that has not even tried to improve on his education in the years that he has had a public voice. That kind of artificial importance, quasi-intellect, needs to be exposed …!

  12. If BAFBFP was as smart as he thinks he is, he would not write the same way Mr Anti-American talks.

    Or should that be:

    If Mr Anti-American was as smart as he thinks he is, he would not talk the same way BAFBFP writes.

    Wait. I getting confuse

  13. Inkwell like you is a pussy too HA HA HA … It is called a collaboration, (as opposed to a conspiracy) a term that Bajans should try to become more familiar with …!

  14. @BAFBFP
    Bush Tea yah pussy HA HA HA … Look I just know the man da’is all …!

    I object that choice of word is unparliamentary and not to be used on these blogs, any such casual reference to the female anatomy is to be condemned. In the other section of the blog there is much discussion about another inflammatory reference made by an MP in the hallowed halls of the House of Assembly and we know that BAFBFP is not talking about domestic cats 🙂 .
    An etymologist could explain how words used for animals “‘pussy” for cat and coney/cunt for rabbit evolved into words associated with female genitalia.

    BTW BAFBFP is so Anti American that if he lived in the USA he would be thrown in the pokey.

Leave a comment, join the discussion.