A Message to Judges, Deliver Timely Decisions or We Withhold Your Pay

NewsdayWhen mention is made of layoffs in the public sector no thought is ever given to extending the treatment to our referred Judges. BU has been relentless in the effort to expose the inefficiency of the Judiciary – see Tales from the Courts. Chief Justice Marston Gibson of whom much was expected has resigned himself to communicating about the thousands of cases in backlog which has our courts in gridlock.

There is the saying that if there is to be a different result one cannot continue to do the same thing. The news which appears in today’s Trinidad Newsday newspaper seems relevant to Barbados. These are tough times for all citizens as we grapple with austere conditions, it is time for our Judges to suck it up.

The recommendation coming from a Chief Justice and a sitting Judge in Trinidad is to “WITHHOLD the pay of tardy judges as a penalty for failing to deliver judgments within six months of the conclusion of a case”.

Read the full article – NO PAY FOR TARDY JUDGES

32 thoughts on “A Message to Judges, Deliver Timely Decisions or We Withhold Your Pay

  1. Chief Justice Marston Gibson of whom much was expected has resigned himself to communicating about the thousands of cases in backlog which has our courts in gridlock. HOW TRUE! GO TO THE FRONT OF THE CLASS!!!

  2. @David. Very good. I cannot speak for Ross, but I will do my best to ensure that this blog is seen by as many members of the legal profession as possible. Hopefully, Ross will do the same.

    @Lassie. Let them sue. And 10 and 20 years later when they are waiting for a decision (or dead, or the case even to come on for hearing) they will have the opportunity to know what their obdurate sloath feels like PERSONALLY!! And to have experienced, FIRST HAND, the tardiness of the appeals process.

  3. Glory Halleluiah, God speed the day…….they think they are a rule to themselves. Can you imagine how many decisions are on hold and for HOW LONG, because of their delinquency?Justice withheld is Justice denied. Don’t pay them a fart til they deliver….

    • We live in an age and time where execution must be priority. We have to shed ourselves from the bureaucratic shackles which has been our past.

      On 2 December 2013 10:09, Barbados Underground

    • Who read the article on page 3 of today’s Business Authority in the case E.Pihl & Sons and Brondu A/S? The Barbados Court of Appeal overturned Justice Randall Worrell’s decision. Here the part which should interest the BU family, this is a matter reaching back 10 years.

  4. If a judge delivers the majority of his/her decisions on time and is tardy in a few, is that basis enough for non payment of wages?

    We all fall short of expectations in our jobs. We get disciplined, but don’t lose our wages unless we are fired.

    Perhaps the offending judge should be given first the opportunity to say why he/she is delinquent, for example, after six months, report on the outstanding decision and say why it is taking so long. There may be a perfectly good reason.

    I am not sure I would want a decision from a judge who has heard my case and years later renders a decision because I would feel he/she would have forgotten half the facts. I sure would.

    Perhaps in the case of delinquency, the judge should pay the costs for a rehearing of the matter …….. come to think of it, the State is the responsible agency for it placed the delinquent judge in a position to mess with the constitutional rights of a citizen to a fair and speedy trial.

  5. @everybody
    Has anybody ever simply asked the judges why their judgments take so long and there is such a backlog and what it would take to fix the situation?

  6. Cyprian

    Yes…..I asked the Chief Justice the other day why the Court’s judgment in the ‘Gun Case’, which was promised for June 2012, was taking so long. His answer was ‘Fella, sod off…ya know I can’t read nor write. Besides, I got betta things to do.’




  8. @everybody
    I am serious about the question. I don’t just want the mouthings of the CJ. I want to hear from the actual magistrates, judges and lawyers and legal eagles.

  9. Cyprian

    ‘I don’t want the mouthings of the CJ…I want to hear from the actual judges’

    That is precisely the point. (But yes..the empirical approach can do no harm though it’s not popular on BU).

    • @Ross

      As an officer of the court do you think a better answer should be forthcoming?

      But we know the opportunity to lob molotov at BU is too compelling.

  10. @ David
    In all fairness, Bushie agrees with Ross. What kind of question is that…?
    Why don’t we also poll all employees and try to see why they are generally such lazy, unmannerly, unproductive so&sos?

    OBVIOUSLY it is because they are ALLOWED to be so….
    OBVIOUSLY it is because there is no incentive to make the effort to be better
    OBVIOUSLY it is because there are no PENALTIES for pissy results

    OBVIOUSLY it is because the bosses are brass bowls and the people are brass bowls for allowing the bosses to be brass bowls..

    Ask the judges indeed….!!!

    Bushie seconds RR’s initial response……

  11. Bushie can see it now….

    Your honour…..why have you taken 13 years to make this judgement? …and surely you can see that it is flawed – and will be overturned in 6 years when the appeals court gets around to the appeal….!!?

    …and who the hell are you? Do you know who I am?
    …. It took 13 years because I have been busy. Do you know how much research goes into such rulings? Do you know how embarrassing it is to be overturned? I have a busy schedule … Speech days, birthday parties, funerals…. Do you expect my day to start before 11 a.m.? …..and with lunch from 12 to 2 there is not much that can be done before the registry closes at 3.
    ….you are lucky that someone asked for that case to be brought forward yuh….

    As for the appeals court…it won’t be over turned because I already had this reviewed privately with most of my colleagues and we are agreed on this verdict…
    What do you think….I got this job because I am brilliant…? Now sod off…ya know I can’t read nor write. Besides, I got betta things to do.’

  12. David

    You are being too sensitive and the ‘officer of the court’ line is simply cheap. Cyprian was suggesting that instead of just mouthing, we should adopt an empirical approach to questions of this kind..ie look closely and see, and see why, and search for solutions. That has ALWAYS been my approach. I do NOT subscribe to the ‘popular’ view that ALL lawyers are crooks, or that our legal system is the ‘laughing stock of the world’ which is, broadly, the BU line. Indeed this post, rooted in TnT experience, demonstrates that our problems are not peculiar to us.

    That does not mean that I do not take a Pauline approach to this one, that is “If you do not work neither shall you eat’.

  13. Oh and lest I was misunderstood, I found it funny that Cyprian would not wish to hear from the head of the judiciary but the judges themselves – which was the point I was making about our sleeping CJ. Hence “That is precisely the point”.

    • @Bushie

      Doesn’t the current GG have the unenviable record of having a high number of cases overturned? He still made it to titular head of our government.

  14. Unless the case raises new issues never passed on by the appellate courts, there is no reason, absolutely none, why a decision should not issue in 60 days or less. The problems have to do with the Kabuki theatre that passes for the practice of law prior to hearing and determination.

  15. @ BMcDonald
    there is no reason, absolutely none, why a decision should not issue in 60 days or less.
    …on balance’s behalf… What you ACTUALLY mean is that there is no GOOD reason……

  16. @ David
    Doesn’t the current GG have the unenviable record…..
    What did Bushie say about our propensity to reward mediocrity and poor results….
    Does it tell you why the current lot are NOT bothered about poor performance….? Same reason why criminals don’t give two shits….

    …..’bout here we “promote” problem people out of the way… LOL…and kowtow to criminals and anti-social miscreants…..

    • Have we not dealt in Tales from the Courts about the opportunity for Judges to rule instantly as obtains in other more enlightened jurisdictions?

  17. What tales from what court David?

    The ONLY way that judges can rule instantly is if we appointed wise, intelligent, sharp-minded people to the bench.

    ….see why we need 10 years now…?

  18. @everybody
    One of if not the biggest problem we have in this country is that we seem to prefer to complain and talk ad nauseum and find fault with whatever everyone else is doing but not ourselves. It is always someone else’s fault. Someone else is either lazy, incompetent or wicked or whatever. We relish each and every opportunity to redirect blame and responsibility.
    Case in point. The remarks by the police chief of the “revelation” that most of the murders arising from incidents of domestic violence are committed by non nationals. Naturally it is not something a bajan would ever do. “WE” don’t do that sort of thing so it’s not really a problem that needs any urgency to resolve.
    We prefer to “expect” the very worse and prefer to have someone to blame when ultimately shit happens and things go wrong as they inevitably do.
    Don’t we want to solve problems or do we want to play this same game over and over again.
    Whatever it takes no matter how “untraditional” or unconventional is what I believe is the only path that will get us anywhere.

  19. @everybody
    If indeed judges are our brightest and smartest, then shouldn’t they be the best equipped and prepared to answer?
    The answers will then reflect and indicate just how much faith and confidence we can ultimately have in them.
    If they don’t want to answer, then they can’t very well complain when further steps are taken that they may or may not like.
    Too many times I hear lawyers complaining about judges and judges complaining about lawyers and everybody complaining about “the system”.
    We have to come to the Christian understanding that instead of expecting some miracle and someone else to fix things, we need to wake up and fix things for ourselves.

  20. Cyprian dont be fooled …judges were lawyers untimely decisions are money in the bank… and remember in that fraternity everybody gets paid … in that Shanique case who got all the money not her ???

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