The idea anyone should have to spend eleven years on remand or have to wait a decade to have an appeal heard is unacceptable in any society concerned with delivering justice. When unacceptable delays occur, and some will be justifiable, the legal maxim justice delayed is justice denied comes into play and must be addressed with haste by a caring society. When the person who has to suffer the injustice is a Barbadian it makes it all the more egregious. Others may add we have a government who offered the rhetoric it is committed to build out a society rather than focused on the economy.
BU has posted exhaustively in the Tales from the Courts about the dark side of the Barbados judiciary. Regrettably Barbadians are more concerned (if at all) with other matters. How can we have a wholesome society if we are unable to punish the guilty and protect the innocent? How we retain and compete for new business in the international sector if our judiciary is unable to rule in an efficient read timely manner.
BU is heartened to read the comments of retired judge Peter Williams who questioned the long delays of our Courts to deliver decisions – read article Judge Blasts delays. What makes the current state of affairs most unsavoury is that historically members of parliament and prime ministers have been lawyers, it is the same today. Prime Minister Stuart is a former Attorney General, the leader of the opposition is a former Attorney General. The current Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite made his reputation – if indeed he has acquired one – working in the offshore sector and must have an appreciation for the impact tardy court decisions will continue to have on the sector. In summary, based on the composition of our policymakers there is no excuse for the state of Barbados Courts. It is worth mentioning the poor state of the court system spans the Caribbean.
For those who question the motive and credibility of BU frequently highlighting matters to do with the judiciary, we take no pleasure inviting them to read retired Judge Peter Williams insider perspective. Barbadians surely – and this includes the media – must begin a more strident probe why stakeholders have not been able work together to address the problems affecting the court system. What does it mean? Is it an inability to problem solve? Does it have to do with a legal fraternity intent on holding its narrow interest over country? What is it!
The appointment of Marston Gibson has done NOTHING to indicate there is light at the end of the tunnel.
The current situation is crying out for leadership but from where will it come.