Tales from the Courts – Has Chief Justice Gibson Brought the JUSTICE System into DISREPUTE? XXI

Chief Justice Marston Gibson

Chief Justice Marston Gibson

On June 19, 2004, Chief Justice Marston Gibson weighed in on the dispute that BU has been covering for some time. That of the Constitution vs the Legal Profession Act Cap 370A. BU has obtained a letter from the CJ to Mr Barry Gale QC, the president of the Bar Association  – see letter sent by the CJ to Barry Gale.

The history of the Constitution and the Legal Profession Act goes back to the very beginning of the Act and the formation of the BA. The BA’s first president, Mr Jack Dear QC (later Sir John Dear) realising that the Act was fatally flawed and would not stand up to a constitutional challenge, declined to challenge attorneys who opted not to join the BA, most notably Mr Bobby Clarke, who has never been a member of the BA and between whom and Jack Dear, there was no love lost. If anything there was a mutual and well-known animosity. Successive presidents of the BA have also declined to involve themselves in a face-to-face fight against the Constitution, until the advent of Mr Leslie Haynes.

Chief Justice Douglas refused to involve himself, as did Chief Justice Williams and BU has already published the minutes of the BA in which a consultation between the Registrar, Simmons CJ and Simmons CJ’s then prospective son-in-law and BA president Wilfred Abrahams (now Senator Abrahams) in which the advice of Simmons CJ was to, in effect, left it lone – see Tales From The Courts &ndash XII;Barbados Bar Membership Revisited – Registrar and Sir David Simmons, Wilfred Abrahams Exposed

In order to practice law in Barbados, it is necessary to satisfy the Government, not the Courts, that you have the required qualifications, whereupon you pay your fees for a practice certificate that is issued by the Government, not by the Courts. That done, you have the right to practice. The determination of whether or not an attorney has the right to practice is a matter for GOVERNMENT, not the CJ.

The Constitution of Barbados, Chapter III PROTECTION OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF THE INDIVIDUAL Section 21, specifically confers the right of association and assembly, OR NOT, except in specific cases, all of which involve matters of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or that is reasonably required for the purpose of protecting the rights or freedoms of other persons; or that imposes restrictions upon public officers or members of a disciplined force. Attorneys do not come under any of those classifications.

In which case, the BA is a trade union and the right to opt out of membership of the BA is a fundamental human right given under the Constitution that cannot be overset by any other legislation.

In pursuance of its report into this issue and the letter from the CJ, BU has taken advice from two senior judges within the Commonwealth who are authorities on constitutional law. These, having expressed their astonishment and dismay at the CJ’s letter, have posed two questions in relation to the CJ’s letter and BU now passes these on.

  1. On what authority does the CJ think he can revoke and nullify an attorney’s practice certificate?
  2. In as much as a ruling on the matter requires a declaration from the Court, such a declaration can only come as a result of proceedings in court in which there is an applicant (the BA) and defendant(s) the dissenting attorneys. Has any such proceeding been brought?

If the CJ does not have the authority to revoke the practice certificates of attorneys and no proceeding has been brought, then the CJ has acted extra judicially and outside of the scope of his authority. Worse still, as he is CJ, he has rendered it impossible for any member of the judiciary to hear such a case, because of prejudice. Worst of all, he has denied the Constitution.

We all know that the Constitution was changed to allow Marston Gibson to take on the job of CJ. However, the changes to the Constitution that would give legitimacy to his latest faux pas would put Barbados at odds with the dictates of the United Nations in respect of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual and cause considerable international censure and concern.

It is well known that the CJ has failed to obtain any support from the members of the Bench and support organisations, because he has shown no competence or understanding of the job he was hired to do, which is NOT to be an adornment on the cocktail circuit, as he seems to think. The only decision the CJ, the head of the judiciary, has given in his years in office has been to read a decision written by Williams AJ (ret’d). The CJ is yet to deliver a single decision under his own authorship. Instead, this head of the judiciary occupies his few judicial hours dealing with bail applications which, apparently, prevents him from responding in public to the concerns raised recently by the DPP, amongst others. He has seemingly decided that the role of CJ should be that of a glorified magistrate.

His letter to Barry Gale must be seen, therefore, as being political and not judicial and an attempt to garner support from those licensed legal practitioners who have chosen to be members of the BA (which is their right under the Constitution, in the same way that it is the right of other licensed legal practitioners NOT to be members of what is in effect a trade union).

Therefore, by acting extra-judicially, the CJ has conducted himself in a manner that constitutes gross misconduct and that brings the judicial system into disrepute.

Bajans of all walks of life have long been aware that the CJ has exhibited a total lack of competence and has no clue what his job is, or should be. It is time he went, which was not going to be so straightforward, until now. Now, the PM has all the grounds he could possibly need to either demand a resignation or to start the process of dismissal of Marston Gibson. And as Barbados’ foreign investment continues to decline to the extreme prejudice of the country and its peoples, we call on the Prime Minister to invoke the very Constitution that the CJ has decided to ignore (or doesn’t understand) and get rid of this blot on our justice system.

138 thoughts on “Tales from the Courts – Has Chief Justice Gibson Brought the JUSTICE System into DISREPUTE? XXI

  1. @David “We all know that the Constitution was changed to allow Marston Gibson to take on the job of CJ”

    Our grandparents who were not well educated, but who were very wise used to say that “if ya start wrong ya have to end wrong”

    We had no business changing the Constitution to accommodate Prime Minister’s Freundel’ Stuart’s friend/schoolmate.

    I worried than, and I worry now that this man had spent too much time away form Barbados, in the United States, and was no longer familiar enough with Barbados’ Constitution.

    But who have to listen to me? I am only a

    Simple Simon.

  2. “It is well known that the CJ has failed to obtain any support from the members of the Bench and support organisations, because he has shown no competence or understanding of the job he was hired to do, which is NOT to be an adornment on the cocktail circuit, as he seems to think.”

    Pray tell how the CJ has demonstrated his incompetence. There is no evidence that Bajans from all walks of life think that Sir Marston is incompetent. This attack is in very poor taste and it clearly shows that many of his detractors prefer a CJ who is snobbish and aloft and perhaps more palatable to what they consider to be more socially acceptable to them. Sir Marston inherited a judiciary steeped in poor management and he is expected to clean it up in just so.
    Let’s face it many of his detractors believe he is from the wrong side of the tracks. When we make such attacks we should at least show the evidence.


    Has read” have no right’ We are not to pay for Right, nor right, The CJ have no right nor Right , for the Rule nor rule in that manner,
    Paying for any kinds of right or Rights will then be dealing in fraud ,
    Natural Rights nor rights can only be taken after being dully convicted of a Crime or crime in a Court of Law, where the is an Injured Party.
    Who signed any thing against a lawyer that did not pay CASH, MONEY,or FUNDS.
    Sir Richard L Cheltenham then also need not have his renewed also on Whitepark road across from the GET HIGH COURT. Ralph Thorne QC also .

  4. This was obviously not authored by David. If we are right, then we can then assume that this comes from some one intimately connected to these issues. And William Skinner may very well have a point, that a tinge of the local variety of classism is at work here. Whereas the author may well be resting on several valid points of law, it seems to us that this issue has too much to do with protecting ‘rights’ of a class of people who violate the rights of the whole population every day. And even if we were to be persuaded that the CJ might not have been the best man/woman for the job. Then we’ll be at a loss be find a similar narrative in relation to previous CJs. No, we have no particular interest in defending lawyers’ rights when many more classes of people are ‘wronged’ more egregiously everyday, including by these very lawyers.

  5. This issue is also alive elsewhere and the matter is not at all open and shut. See the argument below in Belize:

    Attorney General Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington said that mandatory membership of the Bar Association is unconstitutional; but the association’s president Eamon Courtenay told the media on Tuesday that is not the case.
    “Since this matter has been raised, some of our members have done some research, and have already found cases where this specific matter has come up, and it has been found not to be unconstitutional,” Courtenay said.
    Current Bar Council Member and past president Jacqueline Marshalleck said that based on its preliminary research, the mandatory membership of other organizations has been found to be unconstitutional, but that is not the case with the Bar Association of Belize.
    The US Supreme Court has found that mandatory membership is not unconstitutional. And that is also the case with the European Court of Justice, Marshalleck said.
    The question, however, of its constitutionality has not been looked at in the Caribbean. Therefore, the Bar is seeking an outside legal opinion on that matter, she said.
    On Monday, the Bar Association held a meeting and came up a four-point plan on how it will go about the matter of the Attorney General’s proposed amendment.
    Marshalleck told The Reporter Thursday that Bar members unanimously agreed to prepare and submit to the Attorney General comments on the draft Bill.
    In addition, the Bar has proposed to organize a committee that will include members of the Judiciary and officers from the Attorney General’s office to discuss the proposed amendment.
    Last Tuesday, Elrington, speaking on the rationale for the proposed amendments to the Legal Professions Act, said to the media:
    “We are convinced that as it is presently constituted, the Legal Professions Act is unconstitutional as it relates to the requirement that all members of the profession have to belong to the Bar Association.
    Under the constitution, we have freedom of association. We should not have to belong to the Bar Association.”
    Elrington went on to say that he takes issue with the fact that attorneys are “forced” to belong to an organization that “does little, if anything, to promote the interest of attorneys at law.”
    Attorney Godfrey Smith, S.C., writing in his Flashpoint blog, agreed with Elrington’s sentiments and said: “
    “There is more than a kernel of truth in the Attorney General’s accusations. But it is far from being the whole truth”
    Smith suggested some of the things that the bar could have been doing for the society, such as developing a legal-aid website “that encourages public self-help by providing free templates for things like wills, simple contracts, leases, bills of sale, deed polls, statutory declarations.”
    Smith also said that the association could have provided high school scholarships annually.
    “Reforms could have been initiated so that, as an example, persons wishing to divorce each other (without ascribing blame) could do so without requiring the services of an attorney.”
    Courtenay and other members of the Bar have refuted the claims that the Belize Bar Association has not been doing anything.
    “The Bar was very disappointed in some of the things that have been said, some of the criticisms that have been levelled…” Courtenay complained.
    “We believe that the best way to deal with this is to seek to engage the Attorney General, seek to engage the Government on some their concerns.”

  6. @Pachamama. “……it seems to us that this issue has too much to do with protecting ‘rights’ of a class of people who violate the rights of the whole population every day…”

    Many, yes. Not by any means all. That said, valid point, though I give qualified agreement only.

    @David. I saw the letter a little while ago, like a couple of weeks. I did wonder how long it would take for you to get your hands on it, as you seem to have insider information denied to, or ignored by, the Fourth Estate. While I hesitate entering the fray because of time constraints at the moment, the questions raised by the learned senior judges are precisely those I would posit myself. I would have to agree that this is a matter requiring a judicial declaration that can only come as a result of legal proceedings with a right of appeal even to the CCJ, of which there have been none. I would agree that the letter now makes it impossible for any judge to hear the matter, due to bias and prejudice, whether they actually agree with the CJ’s interpretation of the law, or not. I would agree that the courts have no say in the issue of practice certificates and that it is a matter for the executive. It therefore follows that the courts have no right to deny audience to someone with a practice certificate, absent a legal process resulting in that practice certificate being revoked. As I have said many times before, the independence of the judiciary is not absolute, so long as their salaries perquisites and pensions are paid by the taxpayer. In all the circumstances, therefore, I am forced, reluctantly, to consider the fact that the CJ may well have acted extra judicially and outside of the scope of his authority. Whether this constitutes gross misconduct or not is a question for a finding of fact and law by the proper commission of enquiry which I believe is the Privy Council, but it may be the CCJ and I do not have the time to look it up right now. But it is certain that such a commission ought to be required now by the PM if for other reason than to have clarity on this issue that has become a festering sore.

    As for Marston Gibson himself, I enthusiastically (and wrongly) espoused his appointment. I repeat yet again that I was wrong to do so, although I was not necessarily wrong in supporting the amendment to the Constitution that paved the way. The change was not necessarily wrong, but the person has certainly abundantly proved to be a disaster, and that is not putting it too strongly. Ross has intimated that Gibson must go….. and I agree. Give him an ambassadorship or something like that to save face, let him keep his knighthood…… and move on and find someone who can do the job. Even the membership of the BA, with the possible exception of his new BF, Barry Gale, will agree with that. If he won’t go for it, then start the Constitutional process, which requires his suspension, and make sure that it takes until he is 70, like the court cases do in the justice system of which he is head. So we continue to pay his salary….. so what? If we can get the courts working again with an acting CJ at the helm, then we will have the money from our foreign investments to be able to afford it.

    Back to work for me now explaining to people why their cases are taking so many years to come on for hearing and to get decisions and to explain to my bankers why my cash flow is so lamentable, necessitating selling assets.

  7. “In which case the BA is a trades union’

    ‘It is effectively a trades union”

    Now which is it and what is the argument that it is? It is certainly not a registered trades union.

    Now the CJ’s letter to Gale…it does not state that HE is revoking anything. It says he will write to the offending attorneys and inform other judicial officers. The revocation would have to come from the Bar Association as a corporate body surely. As such it reports to the CJ who is also the first line for appeals under the Act – and it is in that capacity that the CJ is writing.

    There is a good deal of question begging in this post. I realize it’s a BU hobbyhorse but essentially we’re back to square one. If you don’t like it, contest it.

    Of William Skinner

    “This attack is in very poor taste”

    Now come on Mr Skinner – BU does it all the time. And of course people from “all walks of life” would not be knowledgeable. I don’t know about your “wrong side of the tracks”: What I do know is that(bless him) the CJ has lost the confidence of most attorneys and certainly some members of the judiciary – for the reasons stated in the post. He is a nice man but, sadly, a poor choice.

    Another ‘leaked’ letter? Wonder how that one got out. Any ideas BU?

  8. And now I’ve seen Amused’s post – I don’t accept the bias argument but then I have more faith in (most of) our judges than he/BU. As to whether the CJ should go…well, what I want is that he should act as a “good and faithful servant” in that position should. But if he did go I don’t think the ‘science of law’ in Bim would be the worse for it.

  9. @David. Another couple of points that may assist on this.

    I read in the Nation about 6 weeks ago something from the BA that discusses the independence of the judiciary. This independence resides in the individual judge him or her self. The CJ has no power to make a decision on a case, unless he himself is judging it and he has no power to exert any influence over another judge who is trying a case. It seemed to me at the time that the meaning of jurisprudence is not clearly known by the author of that article.

    By extension, therefore, the conduct of both the CJ and Barry Gale is highly improper in the present context. The CJ has chosen to receive from Barry Gale a private letter which can only be seen as a request for a legal opinion. It is highly improper for the CJ to have involved himself in this issue. And he has responded to Barry giving an opinion masquerading as a judicial decision on a matter on which no proceedings have been filed and no defence has been obtained. The merits of the BA vs certain attorneys notwithstanding, the conduct of both Barry and the CJ is highly improper and a commission of enquiry now has got to be held to remove the CJ from office if he does not, as he should, tender his resignation. So I repeat, whether the BA is right or not in its interpretation of the law, is not relevant here. What IS relevant is how the CJ has conducted himself, not only as CJ, but as a judge. Reprehensible and unacceptable conduct that if he does not voluntarily resign over, he must be required to explain himself and to state on what authority he has acted as he has so acted.

  10. @ Amused

    Yes, we might have been inartful. How would you describe the evidence, not proof, that lawyers routinely ‘comingle’ client funds etc. And is not a single breach of trust generalizable to the entire population?

  11. @Ross. I am respectfully requesting that you revisit your opinion about bias. I have not in any way impugned the fairness and lack of bias of the sitting judges in their individual capacities. That said, if the head of the judiciary has issued such an instruction through the Registrar by which he seeks to instruct the judiciary, then, whatever their personal feelings on the matter may be, the APPEARANCE of bias exists. My observations in the past on the judges is restricted to quality and timeliness and I have never, even by inference, suggested an element of bias in relation to any of them.

  12. “He has chosen to receive a private letter”

    Sorry Amused. How can it be a private letter if from the President of the BA to the CJ to whom under statute he reports? Aren’t you really grumbling about someone who has had the guts to throw down the gauntlet to you. Now pick it up.

  13. I don’t think there’s even the semblance of bias. Judges sit in judgment on other judges every day. That’s their job.

  14. @Pachamama. I agree that it happens and that it is a disgrace and that there is no excuse for it ever. However, I do point out that it is SOME lawyers and by no means whatever ALL lawyers. Personally, I would be quite content to see the ones that do sent to Dodds for the rest of their natural lives as they bring the profession into disgrace and disrepute. Basically, they are no better than the many defendants charged yearly with theft – and they are deserving of the same treatment, without exception. I would go so far as to say that these lawyers are worse then casual thieves, because when they act in this way, they betray trust as well.

  15. @Ross. If you don’t see my point, that is your right. I see no gauntlet that I feel I need to pick up. I gone. Got of lot of work, some of which I may actually eventually get paid for.

  16. Simple Simon

    I am sorry if the Barbadian Constitution is written in stone because this obviously signal little or not change to the existing system. A Constitution ought and must be designed on the process of growth and not the state of being, you and your antiquated thinking friends expect it to be.

    • @Amused

      Thanks for insight as usual.


      Interesting, a matter which a burgeoning legal profession in Barbados must take pride at some point to resolve. It is a black eye for Barbados. Any blog which is posted without being attribited to an author is endorsed by BU. To say that the Barbados judiciary continues to slide since the appointment of Marson Gibson we believe to be accurate.

  17. Simple Simon

    You have accused the PM of changing to Constitution to accommodated his friends but you fell short of informing persons like myself who aren’t quite familiar with the process there in Barbados, how he did it. Simple, if what you’re saying is true: then how comes there wasn’t a greater moral outcry against this egregious breach of the people’s trust, especially by the legal minds in Barbados?

  18. Simple Simon

    Does this lack of social activism on the part of the Barbadian public speaks to quality leadership in Barbados? We have had a march at a time when intelligent minds would have thought that there would have been a great turnout, to David and Bobby Clarke’s disappointment.


    Attorney General Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington said that mandatory membership of the Bar Association is unconstitutional;@ @ Agree, Rights and rights , Right to contract ,

    To joint it American Style
    To hide the Bad lawyer just by paying dues to say they are in good standing , Crooks den.

  20. @ Amused

    And with all due respect to you, it seems to us that all the people that were exposed were somehow able to avoid the normal operations of ‘justice’ of which you so eloquently spoke. And yes it is a dangerous development when we get to the point of denying the rights of a class of people because of the reason cited by us. We are very uncomfortable with that. But how else can we deal with these issues.

  21. Reading Jeff Cumberbatch’s post, I can only say that this matter seems to be occupying the minds of jurisdictions elsewhere. I am still waiting on somebody to tell me how, when and where , Sir Marston has been “grossly incompetent”. I maintain that had he come from the acceptable social class the attacks on him would have been almost non-existent. He is by far the most publicly engaged CJ we have ever had; he has no airs or pretense to airs and he brings a refreshing presence to the office. I do not know of Sir Marston being involved in shady land deals or carrying any political baggage. I know of no decision that he has made that has thrown the judiciary into disarray. Nobody to date has given any example of improper behaviour on his part.Sir Marston has not to the best of my knowledge been involved in the disappearance of any citizen with high political connections. He has not been accused of using high office to tap citizens’ phone calls. I maintain that this attack is coming from sources who find him socially unacceptable and are pissed off because they don’t have a direct line to him and his office. It reminds when the current Governor General was made a judge. Some of his colleagues were “appalled” that a “barefoot boy from St. Andrew” (I think) could be elevated to such heights. Knowing personally of Sir. Marston’s roots, I can assure all his detractors that it is not in his DNA to allow such baseless and essentially wicked attacks to stop him from executing his duties without fear and cleaning up one of the most corrupt professions that we have in our beloved island state.

  22. Until they, the interchangeable governments in Barbados, make badly needed changes to the grossly overrated British system that is steeped in constitutional nonsense that they themselves most often are unable to translate………it will always be chaos and confusion in Barbados, those laws no longer suit the times you live in.

    The CJ should really be busying himself with unclogging the judiciary of all these decades old cases and let the CCJ handle these ‘unconstitutional’ matters……….the former CJ SImmons has done more than enough irreparable damage to the judiciary and that is what should be occupying GIbson, fixing that damage.

    • @William

      You are way off base. The KPI which we cannot lose sight is the state of justice in Barbados. The criticism of Gibson about his competence must be judge against a court which has not improved since his appointment.

  23. Well Well

    You have failed to accept the fact that the system of governance in Barbados, is an imperfect system with imperfect people operating within it. And it is not the system we need to overhaul completely, but there is an obvious need of transparency, accountability, answerability and the appropriate checks and balances; to bring the impropriety of its members under control.

  24. The Government got the man they wanted by going as far as amending the law to accommodate their handpicked person. Those of us who objected here on BU were vilified by a number of half and in some cases full idiots. Now the fowls have come home to roost: at least amused is decent enough to admit that he was wrong.

    By the way, the law was not amended with enough precision to qualify Sir Marston to be appointed as Chief Justice. He still did not qualify based on the amendment but we have a lawless Government and a population that is prepared to accept anything.

  25. @Pachamama | July 11, 2014 at 11:03 AM | As always, a pleasure to read your contributions, even when I sometimes disagree. Yes, you are right that many who have been exposed have somehow wriggled out of it. And it is shameful. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you have said.

    How do we solve it? How indeed. It seems to me that the solution lies in the hands lf the prosecuting and investigating authorities, namely the Police and the DPP. If they do their jobs as they are supposed to, then these people would be guests of Dodds. I assure you that these issues when the arise, or are exposed, are as offensive to lawyers as that are to most Bajans. That is the best I can offer.

    @Well Well | July 11, 2014 at 11:34 AM | . Agree for the most part. Take issue with one statement only in regard to the “British” system. Britain has not got a Constitution. It relies on a series of acts, starting with Magna Carat. The governing principal of British Constitutional Law lies in the existence of the monarchy and the power that this denies to the executive. I would think that the founders of our independence followed the American example of having a Constitution that requires 2/3rds of Parliament to change. In so doing, they were likely conscious of the fact that many sovereign independent nations might choose at some time to do away with the monarchy and it would seem to me that this was their way of providing a framework for checks and balances on absolute power, by putting in place a “rigid” constitution. “Constitutional” changes in Britain do not require a 2/3rds majority, merely a majority. I speak under correction, but I believe that the Barbados Constitution was mostly drafted by a Bajan. Sir Roy Marshall.

    @William skinner | July 11, 2014 at 11:14 AM | Thank you for the shopping list of what Marlton Gibson has NOT done. I wish to add to it “HIS JOB”. And he is NOT from St Andrews, but from Christ Church – you have clearly and scandalously confused him with that excellent and eminent jurist, Sleepy Smith. As for Gibson not giving up, it appears to me that he may have to choose between going and being pushed out for cause, which cause, by his letter, he has so obligingly provided..

  26. Hopefully we have learned our lesson and appoint a ne CJ who has worked continuously as a lawyer in Barbados.

    A person who works for years in the USA justice cannot be competent as a CJ in Barbados unless he is a genius with a photographic memory.

  27. Amused…….i am shocked, how did they manage to merge the english legal system with the American system, that was quite a feat. I vaguely remember the name Roy Marshall. If they were so hellbent on using the US system, they should have copied the 3 systems of government that dictates total transparency with checks and balances, not just the half-ass part that keeps everything bogged down for decades.

    The problem i have is with the stubbornness and determination of the DLP/BLP governments not to make changes to constitutional laws don’t care how destructive they have become to taxpayers, the politicians are not flexible enough as it pertains to changing laws to benefit the people, but quickly and in the middle of the night introduce laws to benefit themselves.

  28. Hants……trust me, you do not want another David Simmons in the judiciary of Barbados, they will never be able to undo what is happening there, maybe Gibson will read this and see the error of his ways and…………we can hope.

  29. Well Well
    What difference would it make to overhaul the entire system of governance in Barbados, when this in itself would do little to address the faults and failings conducive to humankind? It seems as though you’re underestimating the inventive ingenuity of those selected group of people who are motived by the personal- interest rather than the collective interest? Now, even with a system of governance as perfect as that of the United States of America, there is still those group of people who dear to undermine the system, but more often than not, thanks to the CHECKS and BALANCES that cacompany the Republican System of Governance, there are caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The objective should be to rid the system of governance in Barbados, of the pervasive corruption which some here have spoken of, than it should function as it was intended.

  30. Well Well
    You ought to know that without the appropriate constraints ( Checks and Balances) to curtail man’s passions ( Self – interest), the overall transformation of the system of government in Barbados would be to no avail. Listen! The passions of man’s would not conform to the dictates of REASON and JUSTICE without some kind of CONSTRAINTS Well Well.

  31. Well Well

    The system should work as such: when you identify an area of corruption address it immediately. I know this may appear as though it is a reactionary measure, rather than a proactive response, but the system seems to be too cancerous at this stage of the game.

  32. The British constitution is unwritten. It is still a constitution. Its metes and bounds have been determined by statute, by case law and by custom.

  33. @ Amused
    But it is of little comfort in complaining to the devil about satan, LOL. Lawyers are part of a fraternity which includes prosecutors, the police, judges, magistrates, lodges, prison officials etc. On its face, your suggestion seems highly reasonable but as a practical matter it is destined to deliver more of the same, forever. There maybe a case for breaking out of this chronic dysfunction, national inbreeding. No amount of additional laws or regulations can kill the demons-at- large within the legal establishment. Our best judgement suggests that you are well aware of this. Do you really think it is, for example, inconceivable for attorneys, senior attorneys, and judges, who are sitting on matters in which there could be conflicts, in this small island, not to discuss and maybe decide matters outside the court?

  34. STOP THE WINING and except the fact the Barbados Judiciary is CORRUPT like most other Barbadian organizations, politicians etc.

  35. Well Well only a Bajan who has been successfully practising Law, i.e. a Lawyer/magistrate/ judge can be a competent CJ in Barbados.

    That is common sense.

    I will leave this debate to those who are netter educated than I am.

  36. @Well Well | July 11, 2014 at 1:15 PM | When I was reading law, it was the method of teaching, in independent countries like Barbados, to make a distinction between places that have a constitution, calling it a “rigid constitution” and those that had no constitution, but relied on a series of acts or charters, like Magna Carta, the Petition of Rights, the Bill of Rights, the Act of Settlement and various Parliament Acts, as having a “flexible constitution”. However, if you ask legal practitioners in the UK, they will tell you that they do not have a constitution – and it is their country and their laws. Therefore, I am at a loss to understand how the UK and the US systems could have been “merged”. With respect, I agree with Domyet. Acts can be challenged if they are in contravention to the Constitution – and that is the check and balance. It is also peripherally what this present blog is about. The constitutionality or unconstitutionality of the Legal Professions Act. What the blog is principally about is the extra judicial act of the CJ that seeks to usurp the authority of the Government. I do agree with you about David Simmons.

    @Domyet. Excellent. Agree.

    @Dompey | July 11, 2014 at 1:53 PM | Likely you are right.

  37. The Chief Justice, the Central Bank Governor and the Prime Minister. Three men in a tub, rub-a- dub-dub. Send them out to sea, and pull out the bung.

  38. @ Amused. I wrote:”It reminds when the current Governor General was made a judge. Some of his colleagues were “appalled” that a “barefoot boy from St. Andrew” (I think) could be elevated to such heights”
    I never said that the CJ was from St. Andrew ! I never confused anybody with Sir Frederick . I merely said that when the current Governor General(Sir Elliott Belgrave) Was made a high court judge they were some who questioned his background. I am quite aware of Sir Marston’s roots.
    We had a QC who exposed his ass to a female colleague and he is still there. We have a recently appointed white QC who used racial slurs in a confrontation with a black Barbadian; he is still there. We have lawyers who have stolen clients’ monies and they are still there.
    To date all the shots taken at Sir Marston are nothing more than the mouthings of those who think that he is a reachable target.I publicly challenge anybody on this blog or any other publication to prove that Sir Marston has done anything to undermine the justice system in Barbados or anywhere else.
    @ Caswell
    Politicians and or political parties getting the Chief Justice they want is nothing new. Your memory cannot possibly be that short.

    • @William

      You continue to blurt nonsense by twisting the point that under Gibson’s watch the delivery of justice has gone further South. If this is used as a measure of performance we are correct to question competence. It is why we can’t address the system issues in Barbados, too much emotionalism.

  39. @ David
    What William is saying is that the CJ is an ordinary black Bajan who has not been convicted of anything – and hence should be left to enjoy his position.
    Don’t you understand that we have NO IDEA of what PRODUCTIVITY means…?
    …somehow, Bajans are able to divorce RESULTS from any job…
    …be it prime minister or NCC worker….

    …and we talking shiite bout a WTE plant?
    Wuh if Bizzy has to bring in a white Englishman to run his two-bit electrical operation ….who the hell will he bring to run this WTE plant?
    …a Russian / Israeli/ German….?
    …and Bushie is talking about the office cleaners yuh….!!!

  40. @William skinner | July 11, 2014 at 4:39 PM | “I publicly challenge anybody on this blog or any other publication to prove that Sir Marston has done anything to undermine the justice system in Barbados or anywhere else.”

    And, Mr Skinners, I publicly answer your challenge. By issuing a extra judicial statement on a matter on which he has no authority, Gibson has brought the judiciary into disrepute and that constitutes gross misconduct.

    @Bushie. You are on a roll.

    @Pachamama, Apologies for not responding to your earlier comment. I will do so later.

  41. Amused……..as i said the new CJ should really concern himself with the backlog that is bringing the judiciary into ill-repute and chasing away international investors by the droves because it’s known that corruption has entered that institution and it is now at a standstill…….i do not see where he should concern himself with matters pertaining to the attorneys unless it’s helping in their disbarment and disciplining when they steal from clients, something we all know David Simmons refused to do, he allowed the lawyers to commit crimes for years, those lawyers who were so inclined, cause he himself is/was no better…from what i am hearing from those concerned the CJ should also be more concerned about the Judges who keep adjourning cases instead of bringing closure to these cases, the island is too small to be adjourning cases for 3, 4, 6 and 8 months, there must be something he can do about them since i am sure the judges collect their salaries from the taxpayer’s purses every month without fail and as it seems with very little conscience, yet it appears they are refusing to do their jobs. There must be something the CJ can do to bring things under control…these judges should not be a law unto themselves.

    I tend to agree with you and also Dompey, though i wish he would express his concerns to the DLP government of which it appears he’s a member…..maybe they will listen to him and make the required changes that he is suggesting.

    Regarding the constitutional laws that needs to be changed and/or addressed, I thought that was what the parliament was for regardless if they copied some constitutional laws from the magna carta or from the US justice system…….there seems to be a lot of gray areas….I honestly thought that since there is now a CCJ that these types of cases would be presented to the CCJ particularly since they move faster than the judiciary in Barbados and would be more balanced in their judgements unlike what i am hearing about the Judges in Barbados, sad and sorry to say.

    By the way word around is that since PM Stuart gave his girlfriend Michelle Weekes a Judgeship it is not sitting well with some of the other Judges because their are many more people more qualified and deserving, that is no excuse for Judges to bring mental anguish and torment to defendants and plaintiffs who seek closure of their cases by allowing them to prolong in the system for years, in saying that, Stuart claims he is honest and upright so what the hell is he doing making an already ugly situation in the judiciary much worse.

    William…….I understand from one source that CJ Gibson is trying his best but there are forces in the judiciary and both DLP/BLP fighting him all the way. In my opinion he needs to try harder even if it means finding a way to fire some of the Judges who are being unfair to the taxpayers, particularly the ones who are now helping the insurance companies clog up the court system further.

  42. Amused,

    I do not know, with respect, what was the learning in your days of studying law, but as Ross says above, it is NOT that Britain does not have a Constitution, its just that it is not to be found in a single written document as Barbados’ is, for instance.

    Why else would the Prime Minister in Britain be the leader of the party that secures the majority of the seats in general elections? There is no statute that covers this, it is purely a matter of constitutional convention.

  43. @ Bush Tea
    I may be wrong but I thought Bizzy’s new man was running the whole of Williams Industries, not just electrical.
    Also, the waste to energy plant is Cahill, although Bizzy may well have I finger in that pie, I suppose.

    • @DD

      One has to assume the government did its due diligence. Bear in mind Cahill brought partners to the meeting who have good brand name e.g. Westinghouse.

  44. What government do what due diligence what, when did the DLP/BLP governments of Barbados ever do any diligence, they are just lucky that all of them have not been hauled off in handcuffs to serve quality prison time in one of the metropolis’ YET……..it’s not too late though.

  45. @David

    “One has to assume the government did its due diligence.”

    Please keep posting the JOKES, they make my day.

  46. I am quite happy to see that one or more of the politicians are monitoring BU and i managed to hit a NERVE……lol

  47. @ St George Dragon
    You are likely correct….Bizzy’s man may be running Berger King also…. 🙂
    …besides…you know that Bushie likes to talk a lotta shiite too….
    a habit picked up from Hants after he (Hants) has had two drinks…..

  48. I agree with those who say that Corruption reigns in Barbados.
    However, I want to draw attention to
    Two things that are happening in Barbados ,of course, among other things, that are impacting Barbados negatively.
    1 . The elevation of women to positions of authority in Barbados
    2. The idea that someone with a degree can go into a job where experience is necessary and because that having earn a degree , they become super human , they are to bypass everybody else and just assume positions where they lack the practical everyday experience. Having a degree is all that matters. This is causing real problems in both the private and public sector because such persons look to lord over others and they can hardly do the job in a lot of cases

    Its about money

    It is interesting that most of these people are women
    Some women use whatever means necessary to get a degree
    The question often asked is -where are the men ?
    Men seem to be outnumbered in many social activities and at institutions of learning -(tertiary) Are they pushed out ?

  49. @Well, well. You really mean to make me work. Okay. You have raised some points, mostly valid. The points I either disagree with or have no knowledge of are:

    “……cause he himself is/was no better…from what i am hearing from those concerned….” I have no knowledge of that.

    “….the island is too small to be adjourning cases for 3, 4, 6 and 8 months….” I think you mean years. If you don’t, you should.

    Paragraph 3. Accept that a change in the Constitution requires a 2/3rds majority, which the Government does not have. Also, I recommend that you read the Constitution and, having done so, you may agree with me that it really does not need to be changed. The Constitution is designed to protect the country and the rights and freedoms of its people and to rank as superior to any laws, especially those by which these may be threatened. Now, the Legal Professions Act can easily be changed by simple majority of just one, or two in the case of the present government. Also, while the CCJ can certainly rule on the interpretation of the Constitution, it cannot change it. Also, I will need to read the Treaty of Chaguramas in detail to see if there are grounds for an original application to the CCJ in this case, as I am satisfied that no judge in Barbados can now try the case, due to the CJ’s letter.

    I disagree with you on the subject of Michelle Weekes. She was an obvious, and expected, choice and one, moreover, who enjoys the respect of most members of the legal profession, with one glaring exception who has voiced his disapproval on BU, for reasons passing my understanding, but which sound suspiciously like sour grapes either on his personal behalf or that of a disappointed friend. Also, how does anyone actually know that she is the PM’s girlfriend? I certainly do not know it and there is little that escapes my attention in Barbados and that certainly would not. But whether she is or not makes, to my mind, no difference…..she was the obvious choice and now we wait to see if she will fulfil the promise she has shown in the past. I do not accept that Weekes J’s appointment has caused discomfort to members of the Bench…..sitting members of the Bench, that is, as opposed to a former Chief Justice with whom she did not see eye to eye, and rightly, and who seems to hallucinate that he is still CJ, poor old soul. But if it has caused discomfort to any members of the Bench, we have to consider that it may be through fear that her efficiency and timeliness will make them look bad.

    Other than those points, I agree with you and, tempted though I am, I will leave Mr Skinner to answer your questions to him. I am agog to see his reply.

    @Pachamama | July 11, 2014 at 2:58 PM | Have to agree with you, but have a reservation/disagreement on the statement about lawyers deciding matters outside of the courts. My mentor stressed two things to me. First is that if you cannot manage to reach an out-of-court settlement that your client is content with, it is not your finest hour. The second is not relevant here. Counsel cannot discuss a case with the judge in the absence of opposing counsel. In effect, this is precisely what the CJ has done here.

  50. Amuse,

    I would vehemently disagree with you on the point which you have made regarding the amendment to the Barbados. Now, that I have resided in America close to some thirty years and have had the opportunity to read and understand the American Constitution in it entirety, I cannot possible see how the Barbados Constitution does not need any changes. Amuse, any constitution ought and must be able to evolve to reflict some aspect of the period which we’re are living in, and the American Constitution has done this throughout its existence. I could point to many examples, where the American Constitution was wrong and it amended that wrong to make things right: slavery, women suffrage, minors rights, Abortion are but a few examples. So don’t tell me that the Barbadian Constitution need no such changes!

  51. @Amused July 11, 2014 at 9:06 AM “As for Marston Gibson himself, I enthusiastically (and wrongly) espoused his appointment. I repeat yet again that I was wrong to do so… but the person has certainly abundantly proved to be a disaster”


    But you did not listen to me, because I am only a

    Simple SImon

  52. @Dompey July 11, 2014 at 10:07 AM “Simple Simon I am sorry if the Barbadian Constitution is written in stone because this obviously signal little or not change to the existing system. A Constitution ought and must be designed on the process of growth and not the state of being, you and your antiquated thinking friends expect it to be.”

    Dear Dompey: I’ve never responded to you because I realize that you are an idiot.

    David I am sorry for calling one of your customers an idiot.

    Dear Dompey: There is a process for changing Barbados’s Constitution. Ya jest can’t get p in the morning and change de ting just so.

    The ten commandments written in stone too and I don’t hear you complaining about them

  53. @Jason Price July 11, 2014 at 8:24 PM “Two things that are happening in Barbados ,of course, among other things, that are impacting Barbados negatively. The elevation of women to positions of authority in Barbados”

    Dear David: Are we getting two idiots fr one price today?

    First Dompey

    Now Jason Price

  54. Amused

    OK…you mean me. How HOW can you, the ass-licker extraordinaire, NOT take the view you do? But I will restate the case…

    Someone who is reckoned to be the g/f of the PM is made a judge. On the face of it, the appointment is tainted. The only question is whether the judge can be seen to be at the top of her game so that the appointment is totally justified on merit. If the answer to that is ‘yes” – fine. As I said then – even PM’s and attorneys are entitled to fall in love and not have it held against them.

    But knowing the way of the world on BU – that the appointment was not the subject of comment from and within the “family’ (gawd) I find totally incredible.

    For you to suggest I am self-interested is a willful and deflective slight – but then I suppose you’re still smarting that you forgot your constitutional law. Poor thing.

    Now one other thing – apropos of the Gibson letter you are repeatedly puling yourself up by the bootstraps. My view is that you are totally WRONG and instead of asserting as fact that which is yet to be proved – and which you have failed to prove – the more modest approach might just be to say that what you are saying is an opinion only. Is that beyond you? Of course I do realize it would run counter to the post – and despite all the posturing between yourself as Tweedledum and David as Tweedledee, the fact is that your withered hand lies behind it. “I must go and earn some money”…gee what a joker.

    Wiliam skinner

    Your repeated reference to origin is totally misplaced and a mere deflection. On the whole, however, I agree with you that the CJ has not done any obvious harm to the system. You can’t harm something if you are only tangentally a part of it. The response to Gale is, however, encouraging in this respect. It certainly beats silly letters written to the gallery wittering about grasping lawyers which, at the time, the BU family and poor Amused were so excited about and when for them then all things seemed possible with this man at the helm. They were wrong then and they are wrong now.

    • Here is an interesting observation by the Chief Justice made in 2011:

      Chief Justice sees need for techonolgy

      Posted by TrakkerNews on October 28, 2011 in Barbados, News | Bridgetown.

      Chief Justice of Barbados Marson Gibson, says technology must be  embraced if the court system  in Barbados is to deliver justice in a speedy manner.

      Chief Justice Gibson is also encouraging  the use of computers by magistrates for more efficient communication.

      "In an era where people tweet and email, magistrates should not be hobbled by this lack of technology especially as it impacts on the sentencing," Gibson said.

      Delivering the Fifth Distinguished Alumni Lecture on the topic Crime and Justice In 21st Century Barbados: New Challenges, New Responses at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies.

      Gibson said " My real plea is for the entire court system to start thinking seriously that technology is not our enemy, it is our friend".


    • About the issue of Alair ‘’mooning’’ Justice Dr. Sonia Richards didn’t the Chief Just promise to look into the matter? BU is not aware of a position taken by him. What BU would ask the CJ is why does he not use his office to ensure the matter which provoked Alair to show his botsy at Richards is dealt with. Both Dottin and Hinds have left the force BUT the case which challenges the promotions of several officers continue to impact the ability of the Commissioner of police to marshall his forces, he is on record expressing displeasure about it.

      BU is about delivering justice as the measure of the CJ’s competence, so far a big fail.

  55. We consider that everybody in any position in Barbados is at best mediocre and/or failing, if the general trajectory of the society can be used as a benchmark. To us this is culturally bound. Meaning when all the institutions in the country are not doing well and have not been so doing for a long time surely no one man or woman can hardly be expected to exceed expectations. Mediocrity becomes the new national password. In those circumstances we fail to see the utility of pointing at any one perceived failure. ‘It’s the system stupid”

  56. @ Amused
    Unlike some, we hold you in high regard. We believe that you are genuinely well-intentioned. But to suggest that there are not all kinds of interactions between parties may reflect well on the standards we would wish were in place in all ‘professions’, but our experience teaches us that that lofty standard is NOT strictly observed, as a practical matter.

    • @Pacha

      And how does one go about changing the system? Gibson was one of the people selected from outside the inner circle to bring change. The system will change when men in Gibson’s position show extrodinary leadership. And for the record BU supported his appointmemt.

  57. @ David
    It certainly cannot be done in a piecemeal fashion! All kinds of people come talking about ‘change’ or that mantel is imposed on situations. They hardly talk about transformation. For centuries policemen in Barbados have been beating working class people and denying us our rights once in their custody. And all the CJs this country has ever had would have known or should have known this. That status quo still remains 50 years after independence and everybody in the criminal justice system known about these illegal beatings and torture to force confessions. Now, if such a glaring mal-administration of ‘justice’ cannot be changed in Barbados what else could be? But even if that could be changed and all other things remain equal it would make no real difference to the society. We need to go deeper and wider than the crucifixion of any one person. It maybe better to crucify them all!

    • @Pacha

      When BU posts about the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Prime Minister and his cohorts etc, do you offer the same view? No, the CJ is a good POSITION because delivering JUSTICE now, today, is a priority.

  58. Simple Simon

    What has the Ten Commandments to do with the point I was try to driving through your very hard skull? The Ten Commandments are absolute divine directives, which many theologians past and present have argued are still applicable to our modern life. And it is senseless on your part to compare the divine law with the civil law, when in essence, the civil law, especially in the Western societies, derived it sense of morality from the Divine. Simple, what an appropriate name for you, are you cognizant of the fact that the entire concept of Western jurisprudence is predicated upon the biblical concepts of a eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth? And to further inform you thinking if I may apply such a definition to what you’re trying to do here: the followers of the Hebrew Scriptures live by Commandments, laws, ordinances, statutes and testimonies brother, and not just the lone Ten Commandments.

  59. no body can changed this system…by nature barbadians are stiffed neck self centred people,,,When CJ Gibson had decided to take this post,,,somebody should have warned him that the link of protectionism is hardened anyone who dare tries to get in the way of movement would be destroyed,,,,,,the case against cj marston gibson is one being manufactured as many in the judicial system even though they outwardly decries the ineptness and incompetence of those who dwell in the system ..feel completely at home in living within such an enviroment. where everyone can make their own rules,,,, as for marston gibson,,,,,,he now is being demonize as being as intruder ,having no knoweldge or understanding barbadians or in the case of the judicial system..barbarism..

  60. Pachamama

    Now, you’re beginning to talk nonsense because throughout the world, police have been and continues to victimizing working class people. Pach, can you with any degree of honesty, point to any society in the world today where police haven’t prey upon the poor and marginalized elements? It continues to happen in the world’s most progressive democracy and at a time when it ought not happen one would have thought. So let’s not use the Royal Barbados Police Force as a case study to validate your half – baked argument Pach.

    • @Pacha

      A big problem we have in Barbados is the extent to which we personalize issues. Gibson was appointed by government I.e. Governor General with consent by the Prime Minister, he gave us his vision when he accepted the position which meant – we hope – he had a realistic expectation of achieving. If fir whatever reason he has been encountering roadblocks – unjustly so – he owes it to himself professionally and morally to apprise Bajans of his situation. Individuals in the private sector resign everyday if they are not able to achieve personal goals, the ambitious ones anyway.

      Finally, to the political partisans who are sure to raise their talking heads, when BU was sending flack the way of former CJ David Simmons what was your view at the time? We have reached a point where our leaders have to be held accountable by the citizenry, blindly following the chief is over.

      On Saturday, 12 July 2014, Barbados Underground wrote:


  61. @ David
    Seems to us that the present CJ has come in for a disproportionate amount of our ire. But if you are right that we cuss them all, and we agree, what then is wrong with going to crux of the matter with a more general critique? How are our general positions so different? Why is transformation so necessary in the justice system and not for the people who enable them and does this not go the underlying system as a whole?

    • @Pacha

      We have to learn to run and chew gum at the same time. Critique by all means but there is nothing to suggest we have to do so at the general level only because as you know, individuals ultimately have to drive the change to the system.

      On Saturday, 12 July 2014, Barbados Underground wrote:


  62. @David

    We wish you well with that. Now pray tell, how could your change somebody like Dompey, without intervention? LOL

    • @Pacha

      Those we dwell on the fringe will always be with us, it serves to remind us that this is an imperfect world.

      On Saturday, 12 July 2014, Barbados Underground wrote:


  63. Pachamama

    Would agree that some of the working class people needed to be beaten by the police and especially, those elements from the trouble spots in Barbados? I would go on the record by saying the during my association with the Royal Barbados Police Force: I have witnessed quite a few people who had gotten their tail cut in my presence, but I can unequivocally, assure you that these weren’t honest working class people. And more often than not, the majority of the people who had gotten their ass cut in my presence were out of controll rebellious Barbadian youth from the Bush Hall, Silver Sand, New Orleans and surrounding city localities. Now, I am not saying what some members of the RBPF did was Right but it surely kept Barbados safe in the 70’s and well throughout the 1980’s. Where is Lion Man? Oh! he is resting with the Lord I would hope!

  64. @ David

    When you seek to transform a system you got to do more than walk and chew gum. The danger we face is to be too focus on the personality cultism, negative or positive, which passes for what it has never been – genuine transformation!

    • @Pacha

      Who can disagree with your last comment? Our ability to reinvent our society sees a path back to holding individuals accountable and nurturing an environment that will motivate those with the talent to make change. What we have in Barbados is an absence of real leadership therefore the chronic negativity to which you refer. We have to hold key figureheads to account and CJ Gibson is one of these people.

      On Saturday, 12 July 2014, Barbados Underground wrote:


  65. @David
    Of course we do not only have the evidence given by our own Dompey. We have the great Jonny Cheltenham who said publicly that more than 90% of the cases brought by the police were base on confessions, as the only evidence. We can easily assumed, no pun intended, that some portion of these were forced physically. But this has always been backward. The new and evolving methodology is to unfairly use psychological tricks to get the same results.

  66. Pachamama, correct me if I am wrong but somehow the idea cross my mind that you’re what the contemporary philosophers would call an Utopian- Ideologue. Google the definition and then tell me if I should ready my bed from Black Rock?

    • @Pacha

      The issue about the beating recently is a case where angry citizens in a neighborhood transformed to a garrison mentality to confront the police. There is a social dynamic taking place on the island which is leading to nothing positive and so far there is a worrying lack of intellectual capital being allocated to the matter.

      On Saturday, 12 July 2014, Barbados Underground wrote:


  67. @ David
    People like Dompey would have done untold damage to the country by illegally beating people in custody and the system knowing about it for centuries and doing nothing. The response and circumstances you cited must now mean to the likes of Dompey and his ilk that more and bigger guns are now to be introduced into these conflicts, we guess. So the nation is to be at war with itself.

    David, are you following the events in T&T where the military has intervened to defend their members from gang violence? The region ill! We are heading down a very slippery slope.

    • @Pacha

      The big three in the English Caribbean are leading the way and gives small states like Barbados an opportunity of looking in the reverse mirror. If there was ever a time when the urgency of now must take root we are here.

      On Saturday, 12 July 2014, Barbados Underground wrote:


  68. Pachamana

    You ought to really thank the men and women of the Royal Barbados Police Force both past and present for their service to Barbados. Because these men and women who wore and continues to wear the uniform, have ignored their medical necessities, wives and children cats and dogs to ensure the public safety in Barbados. (I am speaking from firsthand knowledge) So with that being said: it’s only when you’re around these courageous and valiant crime- fighters, that you’re cognizant of the important contribution their have made to the betterment of Barbadian society. And like any organization there will always be the bad apples Pach. So try using the education the taxpayers of Barbados have afforded in a more productive way, before you start to run off at the mouth about a topic you obviously have little or not understanding of. Because you’re in no position to moralize on the way in which these crime- fighters have conducted themselves in the pursuit of their job. Until you put on the uniform of course. And lastly, your analysis of the RBPF, it’s kinda like a man who has never been married, but somehow he has the audacity impudicity to counsel a married man on his marriage. Pach, I often say that theory and speculation can get you but so far….

  69. Pachamana

    A word of guidance: it is important that you try your very best to see the positive rather than the negative in any given issue and the order in the disorder, no matter have minimum it may appear because right now, you’re beginning to appear as though you’re the eternal- pessimist. Now, don’t take my word for it, but it certainly appears as though you and Bush Tea are cut from the same fabric. Join at the hip as the Americans would say. You follow what I driving at brother? If you want to be respected on the blog, try being a little more balanced in your analysis.

  70. Amused……I will take all that you have said under advisement and hope Ms. Weekes makes a difference in the current trend among some of the Judges, i am trying not to paint all with the lazy brush, but it’s getting difficult.

    Hopefully when all the Judges return from one month’s vacation in August at taxpayer’s expense, they will do so with the intent of clearing their dockets of these decades (in some cases) old cases.

    How can the Judges in good conscience accept such fantastic salaries with the perks of a free vehicle, not sure about the housing arrangements, not to mention the status that comes with these positions and all at taxpayer’s expense and then don’t do the work that is expected/required of them, it’s troubling.

    Right now i know of people with serious injuries some that are life threatening and who are waiting on these personal injury cases for closure so that they can get the required treatment that can keep them out of wheelchairs or save their lives, when Judges decide to continuously and for years adjourn cases that will decide if a person lives or dies they cross a line…….not only the plaintiffs are affected but also lawyers will eventually be unable function effectively for their clients because they cannot find closure. The insurance companies are the ones benefiting from this type of Judge’s behavior that has and is ruining many lives, I hope not all Judges are doing this but I hear otherwise………all those cases affect someone regardless how frivolous or serious. To think that no one in the governments or CJ’s office have thought it necessary to reverse the trend is disgusting and reeks of the stink stench of politics.

  71. @ Well Well,

    The entire system needs modernisation and Management.

    There is a need for trained managers to coordinate and schedule the cases using scheduling software that is customised to suit the needs of the court system.

    Up until recently I worked for a company that employed over 500 people and they used custom scheduling software to schedule an average of 1500 projects per month.

    Competence or laziness of judges is a separate issue to which I cannot speak.

  72. Hants……..I don’t even know how to answer you, it’s not like the employees in the judiciary have never scheduled cases before but somehow with the new court their system of scheduling has gotten worse, just ask the frustrated lawyers….I bet you even with a new scheduling system they will find a way to screw it up, most often the problems lie in the attitudes.

    Regarding the Judges and their reluctance to bring cases to closure, i know for a fact that insurance companies like to nitpick just so they don’t have to pay out claims and their lawyers would forever hold up and prolong the process, but in saying that, that in now way excuses the Judges from the continuous adjournments, there comes a time when Judges tell lawyers ENOUGH……just let’s wrap the case up and the lawyers have no recourse other than to comply instead of coming up with some useless excuse to prolong the agony of a case going into another decade……but these Judges in Barbados apparently have no problem with that, they help the damn lawyers prolong the cases for years totally unresolved and in an attempt to further frustrate the parties involved, I am told they are trying to assign cases to respective Judges and that Judge is supposed to see the assigned case to it’s completion, but for some reason that is also not working….so go figure..

    In my opinion, the Judges need to get all those old cases they have 1 year and older resolved so they can start with a fresh slate, but if they continue to adjourn cases for decades, the court system is lost and no investor would even want to hear the name Barbados ever again.

  73. would like to introduce the next CJ of Barbados,,the one person who have all the answers to barbados justice dysfunctional judicial system ,,the one person more knowledgeable.than the encyclopedia Britannica,,and one who would be present at every cock fight and lick mout show,,,,,,, the most intellectual dishonest nincoompoop WeLL<, WELL,,,

  74. The only decision the CJ, the head of the judiciary, has given in his years in office has been to read a decision written by Williams AJ (ret’d). The CJ is yet to deliver a single decision under his own authorship. Instead, this head of the judiciary occupies his few judicial hours dealing with bail applications which, apparently, prevents him from responding in public to the concerns raised recently by the DPP, amongst others. He has seemingly decided that the role of CJ should be that of a glorified magistrate.

    Just asking a stupid question but how can this statement on which the attack on the CJ is based possibly be true and the list of published decisions available on the internet says otherwise?

    As a novice and pretty ignorant of the workings of the court perhaps I am guilty of the error but it would seem as though David should be apologizing to the Honourable gentleman for getting his facts so screwed up!!

    I have heard, but I don’t know if it is true that all of the decisions are not published on the website so there could very well be more.

    http://www.lawcourts.gov.bb/Lawlibrary/Courts.asp?Crt=Court of Appeal&CrtYear=2011

    5/9/2014 Levere King v Lester Massiah [Unreported]C.A. B’dos Civil Appeal No 4 of 2010;2014-05-09
    Gibson CJ, Moore, Mason JJA

    10/4/2013 Joyce Griffith v Phillip Nicholls [Unreported]C.A B’dos Civil Appeal No 22 of 2009;2013-10-04
    Gibson CJ, Mason, Burgess JJA

    10/23/2013 E. Pihl & Sons A/S (Denmark) v. Brondum A/S (Denmark)[Unreported]C.A. B’dos Civil Appeal No 24 of 2012; 2013-10-23
    Gibson CJ, Burgess, Goodridge JJA

    10/23/2013 Cellate Caribbean Limited et al v Harlequin Property (SVG) Limited [Unreported]C.A. B’dos Civil Appeal No 3 of 2011; 2013-10-23
    Gibson, CJ, Moore, Burgess JJA

    10/4/2013 Jeffrey Ray Burton et al v The Queen [Unreported] C.A B’dos Criminal Appeal Suit Nos. 1 & 4 of 2011; 2013-10-04
    Gibson CJ, Moore, Mason JJA

    10/4/2013 Jeffrey Ray Burton etal v The Queen [Unreported] C.A. B’dos Criminal Appeal Nos. 1 and 4 of 2011;2013-10-04
    Gibson CJ, Moore, Mason JJA

    2/20/2012 Transport Board and Jonathan Boyce v Dennis Penniston[Unreported] C.A. B’dos Civil Appeal No. 9 of 2010; 2012-02-20
    Gibson CJ, Mason, Burgess JJA

    11/28/2012 Carl Norman Corbin v Commissione of Police [Unreported] C.A. B’dos Court of Appeal Magisterial Suit No. 5 of 2011; 2012-11-28
    Gibson, CJ, Moore, Burgess JJA

  75. @John. Did the CJ write the decisions? I think you will find he did not. No need for BU to retract. Did he even read the decisions, or did the person who wrote them? Check your facts. He merely chaired the panel.

    @David. I see from today’s Nation that the BA is likely going to instruct the CJ’s new BF, Barry, to sue the CJ. So it cannot be discounted that the CJ acted extra judicially in attempting to usurp the authority of the executive in order to drum up votes to vote “no” to suing him.

    Now, how much further does the CJ need to bring the courts into disrepute before Freundel takes action to remove him? And Freundel is the only person who can take that action.

    So, Prime Minister, what are you going to do? You have to do something!!!!! No option of sitting on the fence this time. After all, Prime Minister, it was you who said in relation to the justice system, “Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.” Well, PM, Barbados has ears to hear…….AND WE ARE WAITING!!!!!

    • @Amused

      With the Courts in dire traits given a heavy case backlog one is correct to assume a priority of the CJ would be to call the Judicial Council to order. Is our expectation resonable or can this be contrued as an attack on Gibson. Yes it is an attack on his competence.

  76. Amuse

    It seems insane to vest an unilateral authority in one man in an instance such as this. I know little about the Common Law or was it the Roman Law of which the Constitution of Barbados was written?

    That the problem with the judicial system in Barbados, the PM is given the unilateral authory to remove the CJ in instances of misconduct or willful incompetence, rather than the House or the Senate, which is often the case in America.

    • Ignorance surely knows no bounds. Is the convening of the Judicial Council an arbitrary decision or one bound in law.

  77. It would not be hard to understand the CJ reluctance to having those meetings,,, where he might have concluded that such meeting were non productive and a waste of time….,,,,, now the bar association is crying foul ….but the answer might lie in the fact that such meetings which were meant to produce positive have over the years fallen short on the goals which were ironed out in the meetings and specifically intended to make positive changes ..and for one reason or another …were not channeled in the directions intended to deliver easement within all areas of the judicial system ..as the continuance of doing business as usual were prioritized on every one’s agenda, ,in the case of Too many chiefs vs too little Indians….


    WELL WELL , there are also many cases dealing with land lord and people fighting over land and houses who dont hold clear title to the land and many just not paying rent on broad street and its a stand off, crooks looking to crooks, the crooks and neither are the owners, So many case are not even filed and some just in lawyer office not looking to expose both sides,

  79. yes david ac agrees ,,with your comment,,surely the ignorance shines bright in the fact that these articles only shows one side of an issue and as usual ..the BU jury makes decision ,,,only in the BU court of jurisprudence such exist ,,ONLY in the BU court of LAW would such ignorance ABOUND….

  80. David

    Listen my friend: little can be gained from insulting the intellectual stance of a person, who may not have had all of the facts on a give issue, especially if it isn’t that person’s area of expertise. It would serve the blog better to correct that person without resorting to remarks which are intended to undermine that person’s confidence. I certainly hope that you would inform my thinking, if I am making a fool of myself rather than resorting to insults to show my lack thereof, as I often do here when Bush Tea makes a fool of himself. Listen! David, beyond our area of expertise, a lot of us are as ignorant as the unlettered man.

    • The read of the Nation article this morning clearly paints the meaning that the convening of the Judicial Council is a mandatory function hence their (BA’s) desire to take the matter to the Court. It is as simple as ABC.

    • @Lemuel

      The quick answer is BOTH. In fact a recent thought floated into our heads and that is Wilfred Abraham, a recent former BA President is now an Opposition Senator. What a perfect forum and office to promote the deficiencies of the system for the better. Yet his silence is deafening, one can only assume the reason is collusion.

  81. David

    Before I go to church this morning, I think it is fitting to leave with this quote I found inscribed on the wall of my son’s school several years ago: ” A man who wouldn’t read a good Book, is no different done a man who can’t.”

  82. david cannot make an corrections ,,the articles are artfully written to provoke argument and division based on personnel biases,,nothing to do with substance or fact finding….therefore ignorance will continue to soar . coming from all and sundry as input swells and the need to score points on perception and not on truth takes hold….it is a game which i find intriguing yet concerning …

  83. David, it is the intellectual integrity that matters most and not the craving to inflate one’s ego at the expense of someone else short- sightedness. This kind of an attitude serves no better than to poison collegial spirit on the blog.

  84. Thid world polotics for a third world county. This terminology was originally coined just after WWII with the “first world” countries being roughly all the countries that were aligned with the United States after WWII with more or less common political and economic structure (capitalists); the “second world” countries were all those that roughly aligned with the Soviet Union in terms of their political and economic structure (communists and socialists); the “third world” countries were just everybody else.

    This “everybody else” meaning included an awful lot of countries that were underdeveloped or poor. Through time, this has given rise to the misconception that “third world” means only countries that are underdeveloped and poor, even though there were, and still are, many countries in this group that are very well developed and a few of them are among the wealthiest nations in the world.
    Time for us to do our jobs, in a timely manor. Those opening up enuff time to just do nothing, are holding this country back. If they can’t do the jobs then they must go.
    David, no one likes to look a fool, let alone look inferior. It’s Like being examined in public by the public with no cloths on. Who will turn up…??

  85. Life Changer

    Correct me if I am wrong but I thought Communism was a direct response to the industrialization which was so pervasive throughout Europe in the middle to last 1800’s, coupled with treatment of working class? Remember also that the Communist ideology took rooted in the America’s as a direct response to the European Economic Colonialism as well as bear in mind that Russia have had little or no history of a colonial past.

  86. The Bar Association has waited very……….. long to turn the spotlight on the incompetent ‘jack ass’ in the form of the Chief Justice Martston Gibson.

  87. Life Changer

    We also saw the spread of Communism across the planet, during the Cold War years and the proliferation of nuclear weaponry between western and eastern block countries.

  88. Who is more stupid the Chief Justice who would not convene the meeting or the Bar Association who took SIX YEARS to realize that the CJ did not convene the meeting. This is the same Bar Association whose only problem with the muni tax is that it would stop THEM FROM MAKING ? STEELING MORE MONEY!!!

  89. @ Lemuel
    Things so bad bout here …that it has now become a question of the degree of brass bowlery…
    Fortunately, we have ac and Dompey to provide clear indication of where the bottom delimiter lies…. 🙂

    What you expect? Is she not married to a lawyer…?

  90. Let this be a word of warning to Bajan high acheivers in the Diaspora.

    Stay to heck where you are and make Barbados a vacation destination.

    CJ Gibson should have stayed in the USA. American Law and court system is so different from Barbados court system that you would have to be a genius with a photographic memory to be a competent CJ.

    It was a mistake to appoint a de facto American to be a Bajan CJ.

    Worse yet he faced the monumental task of fitting in to a system that is mired in laziness and incompetence.

    The CJ could follow my lead. “look after your own brass”. Find a way to extricate yourself from the quicksand you are in and maintain your dignity.

  91. Lemuel

    Eh? People in glass houses…..?


    Amused is quite right on the issue of who did/does what.


    Of course you are right. BUT it does cause me to ask you – ‘Why then did you make yourself a bloody nuisance when I tried, without an ulterior agenda, to analyse delays and propose solutions on BFP?’ You contributed nothing other than a few teeth from your very loud mouth and some very putrid bile.’

  92. Amused | July 13, 2014 at 5:11 AM |

    @John. Did the CJ write the decisions? I think you will find he did not. No need for BU to retract

    robert ross | July 13, 2014 at 10:43 AM |

    Amused is quite right on the issue of who did/does what.

    Have the two of you actually read what David/Amused said about the Honourable Gentleman?

    Let me quote it to you again.” …. this head of the judiciary occupies his few judicial hours dealing with bail applications which, apparently, prevents him from responding in public to the concerns raised recently by the DPP, amongst others. He has seemingly decided that the role of CJ should be that of a glorified magistrate.”

    This simply cannot be true given the decisions to which his name is attached.

    The CJ may not be any saint but this article smacks of a deliberate attempt to scandalize his name based on a deliberate lie.

  93. Amused…….the CJ must be seen to seen examples, so I agree with your assessment, he knows fully well that what is done in Barbados and everyone takes a laid back, uncaring stance, no one complains and the system just degrades further and further, he would not even be able to attempt in New York, particularly in Long Island’s court system, without serious consequences.

    AC……..you are just jealous that you are unable to think COHERENTLY. …lol

Leave a comment, join the discussion.