Tales from the Courts – CJ Gibson Hammered by the Court of Appeal XXXII


Barbados Supreme Court of Barbados

BU is awaiting the remainder of the posted document because true to expectation it is not yet available on the Supreme Court of Judicature website and it is not readily available in soft copy. Yet, the losing attorney, Barry Gale QC, has commented on it in the press. “It” is the decision of the Court of Appeal (Justices of Appeal Burgess and Goodridge and Justice William Chandler (ag)) in overturning the decision of the Chief Justice, sitting as a judge of the High Court, in the Banks Holdings Limited matter. The only decision that the Chief Justice has actually authored since taking office years ago.

To say that the Court of Appeal has ‘KOed’ Chief Justice Marston Gibson would be to understate the case by a considerable margin. The Court of Appeal has in fact decimated the Chief Justice. It constitutes a serious indictment of the judicial competence of the Chief Justice in the starkest possible judicial terms. In other common law jurisdictions, such an overturning and judgement would cause any self-respecting judge to resign with haste.

So what have we got? We have a chief justice who has: (a) singularly failed to solve the enormous backlog of cases before both the High Court and the Court of Appeal; (b) who has himself been sued for abuse of power and gross misconduct; (c) who has indulged in press statements prejudicial to a case before the Court of Appeal of which he is head; (d) who has spent his judicial time dealing with bail applications, rather than trying cases; (e) who has usurped the authority and rights of the executive in his issuance of certain practice directions; and (f) who has now been made to look like an untalented first year law student by the Court of Appeal. Indeed, the sole talents and accomplishments of the Chief Justice seem to have been cocktail parties, overseas trips and getting his name and photo in the press – in that order. Oh, and let us not forget embarrassing both himself and the country in the region and internationally.

Once again, BU apologizes that it is only able to post a part of the judgement, but will, in due course and as soon as we receive it, post the remainder.

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30 Comments on “Tales from the Courts – CJ Gibson Hammered by the Court of Appeal XXXII”

  1. Violet C Beckles July 16, 2016 at 10:05 AM #

    Indeed, the sole talents and accomplishments of the Chief Justice seem to have been cocktail parties, overseas trips and getting his name and photo in the press – in that order. Oh, and let us not forget embarrassing both himself and the country in the region and internationally.@@@

    Well that sounds like the rest of DBLP government , So he is in good company, No one leaves office in Barbados for they all crooks and will take a pay check to the end of term,


  2. Donna July 16, 2016 at 10:41 AM #

    “Oops! Ah mek anudder mistake!” ( Doctor Ah Ah, the dentist.) Am I right in believing that I should now be SURPRISED if our arms of government get ANYTHING right in this country? Is this the man whom the government fought so hard to bring home for this position?

    A prime minister “hit for six, an attorney general with unbridled tongue, and a clown of a chief justice spell even more disaster for the administration of justice in Barbados. How am I supposed to have faith in this system? What comfort is there in leaving it to the law?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gabriel July 16, 2016 at 11:45 AM #

    Once more,we are under the curse of something to be saddled with poor examples of senior servants of the people……PM Stuart,AG Brathwaite,CJ Gibson and DPP Leacock.


  4. TheGazer July 16, 2016 at 12:05 PM #

    It begs the question “Given that we are a talented and brilliant people why are we our top leaders falling down on the job?”Perhaps we need to remember remainder of the phrase “The cream rises to the top”.


  5. Donna July 16, 2016 at 12:21 PM #


    The answer is that the cream is prevented by artificial means from rising to the top.


  6. David July 16, 2016 at 2:02 PM #
    Douglas Trotman with C. Malcolm Grant and 96 others.

    July 13 at 10:26pm ·

    In search of Justice… We are equal before the law?

    Two letters, written by me on behalf of clients, were hand delivered this week to two of my colleagues.

    These letters challenge the validity of the law under which they were called to the Bar to practice law in Barbados. There are wider implications as well!

    My clients have granted me permission to say this much. You the Facebook Bajan public should stay tuned to see how equal we all are before the law.

    We need the FOIA as soon as possible.

    Let’s join hands and save Barbados.

    LikeShow more reactions



    22Corey A Lane, Colin Daniel and 20 others

    1 share


    Carson Cadogan

    Carson Cadogan I will keep an eye on this space.

    Like · Reply · 1 · July 13 at 10:30pm

    Carson Cadogan

    Carson Cadogan you know we had a conversation about four people one of whom was in the news about three days ago.

    Like · Reply · July 13 at 10:31pm

    Douglas Trotman

    Douglas Trotman We lawyers take and follow the instructions our clients give us! Now we wait!

    Like · Reply · 1 · July 13 at 10:32pm

    David King

    Write a reply…

    Jacqueline Kim

    Jacqueline Kim I am definitely keeping my eye on this space because….never mind.

    Like · Reply · 1 · July 13 at 10:32pm

    Na La

    Na La Tuned

    Like · Reply · July 13 at 10:42pm

    Christopher A Oliver

    Christopher A Oliver Hmmmmmm peak my curiosity

    Like · Reply · July 13 at 10:47pm

    Wendell Callender

    Wendell Callender the issue of equality, justice , fairness and undue interference of the political class has been in the news recently. Let’s see what happens!

    Like · Reply · July 13 at 10:48pm

    Richard Watson

    Richard Watson Only recently? Where have you been living?

    Like · Reply · July 14 at 11:33am

    Wendell Callender

    Wendell Callender Why don’t you read carefully?. Has been in the NEWS!

    Like · Reply · July 14 at 11:40am

    View more replies

    David King

    Write a reply…

    Arturo Edward

    Arturo Edward Like with the Rock Hard Cement, NOTHING will happen

    Like · Reply · 1 · July 14 at 12:05am

    Richard Watson

    Richard Watson Save Barbados from who or what really? One set of bandits to end up with another set?Really! Get real!

    Like · Reply · 2 · July 14 at 12:28am

    Leslie P. Lett

    Leslie P. Lett “For the nation-state cannot exist once its principle of equality before the law has broken down. Without this legal equality … the nation dissolves into an anarchic mass of over-and underprivileged individuals. Laws that are not equal for all revert to rights and privileges, something contradictory to the very nature of nation-states.” [Hannah Arendt, ‘The Origins of Totalitarianism’]

    Like · Reply · July 14 at 2:03am

    Mark Adamson

    Mark Adamson Good night, Douglas and others. I await any publicized follow through action on your or their part.

    Like · Reply · July 14 at 7:10am

    Ricardo Archer

    Ricardo Archer I want names!

    Like · Reply · July 14 at 8:03am

    Douglas Trotman

    Douglas Trotman The BB network doesn’t have the back story?

    Like · Reply · July 14 at 11:48am

    Ricardo Archer

    Ricardo Archer no

    Like · Reply · 3 hrs

    David King

    Write a reply…

    Roland Clarke

    Roland Clarke Interesting enough, I work in a profession (energy consultant) that does not have any protections, labour unions, national registration, licenses, etc. I depend strictly on my performance, reputation, an updated CV, marketing, and sales. I face compet…See More

    Like · Reply · 1 · July 14 at 8:57am

    Douglas Trotman

    Douglas Trotman This is not meant to be secretive. Letters have been sent to Ms. Mia Mottley and to Justice Randall Worrell. Other persons may be affected as well.

    This revolves around the Sam Lords Castle case with CLICO and SLC Recovery(a company controlled by Pa…See More

    Like · Reply · 4 · July 14 at 3:11pm · Edited

    Wade Gibbons

    Wade Gibbons And in that other matter too, Trottie.

    Like · Reply · 16 hrs

    David King

    David King Then your challenge should be directed to the AG, BA and Registrar of the Court.

    Like · Reply · 15 hrs

    Douglas Trotman

    Douglas Trotman Will all be done in time…

    Here’s a note from the ‘net!


    Like · Reply · 19 mins

    David King

    David King Where is the link?

    Like · Reply · Just now


  7. Amused July 16, 2016 at 6:11 PM #

    I have seen this judgement which has been making the rounds of the fraternity. Everyone knew that Gibson’s decision was way off base, but no one expected the Court of Appeal to step up to the plate and smash him out of the ballpark. All thought that the decision would be overturned in polite and face-saving (for Gibson) terms typical of the PC Barbados. The Bench has, for some time, been extremely dissatisfied with Gibson, which has seemed to cause it to indulge in correct judgements, instead of the usual cover-up.

    I have to say that I am astounded that Gibson has not had the grace and dignity to resign. I realise that he is in a predicament as to where he will go next and under what conditions and I do sympathise with him in part. However, my main sympathies are with litigants and the people of our country who have seen our banana-republic courts reduce our foreign investments to banana-republic standards.

    There has to be a resolution. Gibson is covered by judicial immunity in the present case. However, he is not covered by judicial immunity in the case brought against him and he certainly has no defence in so far as his practice directions are concerned. As for his comments to the press about a pending case before the Court of Appeal, well…..it all adds up to gross misconduct. Therefore, Gibson needs to resign or the buck stops at the PM’s door. But there has to be resolution and very soon. Now, we all realise, I am sure, the benefits and deficits that accrue or otherwise between resigning and being fired, but that is not our concern. Our concern is watching the backlog getting larger and larger, our regional and international status being further impaired and our foreign investments going down the toilet. Against these national disasters, the problems of Gibson pale into insignificance. We and the PM have to look at the big picture and not the personal problems of one man. Surely the national good supersedes that of Gibson.

    So, while I have no problem with Gibson’s judgement and its inevitable reversal by the Court of Appeal. What I do have a problem with is that there does not seem to be a single aspect of his job that Gibson is capable of performing. It makes Barbados a laughing stock yet again. Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. David July 16, 2016 at 6:21 PM #

    A read of the partial judgement appears to even the untrained legal person the CJ struggled with applying a basic level of interpretation. How many cases has the CJ presided/delivered judgements solo?


  9. Bush Tea July 16, 2016 at 9:01 PM #

    @ Amused
    What is with all the sanctimonious diatribe boss?
    How is Gibson any different from EVERYTHING else associated with your profession locally?

    The man is a big joke …yes! BUT so are 98% of all the rest o’ wunna…
    Sounds to Bushie like a lotta black-ass pots calling a kettle black yuh….

    Wuh look how comfortably he has fit into the lotta shiite wunna got down there wunna calling a “judiciary”…. His problem seems to be that he actually tried to do something…. poor fella…
    Of course we all know that the SOP of wunna culture is to DO NOTHING, DELAY, and obfuscate ….. until elected as PM…. or forced to pay back client’s money.

    Left the damn man do!!
    When you decide to call for a complete OVERHAUL of the total shiite system, Bushie will be right behind you …with a ‘lens …(de whacker get tek ‘way).


  10. Tron July 17, 2016 at 4:16 AM #

    Those who complain about the CJ should bear in mind that this is a political position, like AG or minister of justice.

    The man had no experience in judicial management before appointment, just family law at a lower foreign court and some scholarship decades ago.

    In other countries you would replace the man. In Bim you get a medal for that.

    Everyone with a rest of clear mind excludes local judiciary in business transactions. If you go to the Supreme Court you have already lost in economic terms.


  11. William Skinner July 17, 2016 at 6:32 AM #

    “Oh, and let us not forget embarrassing both himself and the country in the region and internationally.’
    Pray tell how the above happened. Please list the times, places, and actions that led to the CJ “embarrassing himself ,the country and the region internationally.
    Just state the facts, thanks.


  12. Hants July 17, 2016 at 11:03 AM #

    “There is an appeal going on in the High Court of Barbados that would not be taking place were it not for Knox taking her case to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).”



  13. David July 17, 2016 at 11:15 AM #


    As you know BU has covered the Kingslands Estate matter for many years (Donald Best tossed in for the side show) and the local media for whatever reason has instituted a blackout. It is good to see Hoyos has seen a way to force this matter to the daily. He should however declare his interest in the matter.


  14. Frustrated Businessman aka 'Nation of Laws' my ass. July 18, 2016 at 7:10 AM #

    The number of lawyers with management skills in this island can be counted on one hand. Barbados needs practical managers, we already have more than enough impotent thinkers.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Gabriel July 18, 2016 at 12:27 PM #

    A PM who is a lawyer,a former AG, relieves himself of internalized ignorance and is amazed to be instructed by a junior counsel who affirmed that this QC did not know the content of the Bail Act,that he was not only hit for 6 but given out by the umpire of public opinion.
    A CJ who was overturned by an Appeal Court for mis-applying the Law of the Land.
    An AG who relieves himself of internalized ignorance in 1)Second guessing the Rt Hon E W Barrow and the Supreme Court of Judicature in their right and proper decision to admit an approved Attorney at Law to practise her craft in the Realm of Barbados,and 2)the said AG unmindful of his role as AG,second guessing a Justice of the High Court in granting bail in accordance with the Bail Act and appears to seek a decision to grant special privilege to a suspect who is alleged to have committed a crime.
    Now there is the the Court of Appeal which by its act or acts appear not to know the Law of the Land as interpreted by the CCJ.Barbados cannot be comfortable with these pronouncements.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Gabriel July 18, 2016 at 5:22 PM #

    One would hope that Barbados was represented at this conference.Meanwhile the CCJ is modernizing its systems to benefit both its deliberations on a timely basis as well as to serve the interest of the citizen.



  17. Gabriel July 18, 2016 at 5:37 PM #

    Further details on the speeding up of intra state acceptance of certain legal documents:



  18. David July 18, 2016 at 5:52 PM #


    Anybody who has visited the CCJ will be impressed by the professional behaviour on offer and especially the technology.



  19. Jeff Cumberbatch July 18, 2016 at 6:12 PM #

    “A CJ who was overturned by an Appeal Court for mis-applying the Law of the Land”.

    Gabriel, this is mere happenstance. Every judgment is subject to appeal and prone to being overturned except that of the apical Court, whose opinion is always right…not because of its cogency, but because there can be no appeal from it!


  20. Bush Tea July 18, 2016 at 8:16 PM #

    @ Jeff
    Every judgment is subject to appeal and prone to being overturned
    So are you saying ‘No big thing’… then?
    Surely you jest…

    Sound judgement, rooted in law and good judgement may be subject to appeal, but surely only to being overturned….unless you are saying that the whole ‘Law’ business is just a lotta ‘hit or miss’ rulings, ….where such decisions are arbitrary.

    Everything may be subject to appeal – and to being reversed, but shiite man, ….if the head of surgery is being over-ruled, who the hell should be going back under his knife?

    He owes it to the public to offer his resignation ..and to go his way in peace.


  21. David July 18, 2016 at 8:38 PM #

    The full judgement now updated.


    What are you saying? Do you not agree that the CJ erred badly in his interpretation of the Companies Act?


  22. pieceuhderockyeahright July 18, 2016 at 9:21 PM #

    @ The Honourable Blogmaster

    Surely that is certainly a rhetorical question?

    I do not see Jeff answering that one at all especially with that “erred badly” tag line

    I see him now saying something like “I am saying that as with all decisions, it is the prerogative of the parties to appeal AND it is within the power of the new justice to overturn the findings of the first court”


  23. de pedantic Dribbler July 18, 2016 at 10:00 PM #

    @David what of the technical point related to ANSA’s ability to bring the legal action in the first place? As I understood it they were precluded from bringing a suit based on any information they discovered during their due diligence review and the details of the CDPA was unearthed then.

    Was that claim dismissed by the courts? I missed that.

    A CJ is not infallible. But being overturned is a tad hard on the psyche for one of that stature.

    The question of his resignation becomes moot because of all the other issues he faces but were this his only issue it surely would not warrant talk of resignation.


  24. Gabriel July 18, 2016 at 11:12 PM #

    .Jeff says its mere happenstance but we are all agreed that it’s unfortunate when the titular head of the Judiciary is told by his juniors in Appeal,that he has been weighed in the balances and found wanting…..as Decanus Emeritus 1 would have said ‘Mene,mene,tekel upharsin’.


  25. Jeff Cumberbatch July 19, 2016 at 7:54 AM #

    @Bushie, if the resignation of a judicial officer should be consequent on his judgment being overturned, then we would have the judges of the highest court only. And, according to the CCJ, Barbados should not have a Court of Appeal!

    Law is inherently adversarial; if there were a single correct answer, then there would not be two sides in a dispute on the law and happens in most court of Appeal matters.In that circumstance, we could have the decision rendered by a computer.

    The CJ was only subject to the opinion of his “juniors” in this matters because he sat as a justice at first instance, as any other CJ in Barbados identically situated would be.

    Man overturned decision simply says that we, the higher court, do not agree with your decision in this matter for the following reasons. it is now up to legal scholars to analyze the decision in light of research to determine whose was more cogent.

    You all seem to think that Gibson was hopelessly wrong merely because the Court of Appeal disagreed with him? Or is it that you assume he cannot do anything right?

    “I see him now saying something like “I am saying that as with all decisions, it is the prerogative of the parties to appeal AND it is within the power of the new justice to overturn the findings of the first court”

    Piece. you know me too well!!

    @David, a “bad error” by a judge is not constituted by a difference in legal opinion only between him and the higher court, but rather by his or her failure to refer to relevant authority and precedent!!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Bush Tea July 19, 2016 at 8:52 AM #

    No two ways about it Jeff…
    You are ‘good as shiite’….

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Gabriel July 19, 2016 at 9:49 AM #

    Like Bushie says it succinctly….you good as sh..te.The final paragraph to David says it all…”but by a failure to refer to relevant authority and precedent”.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. William Skinner July 19, 2016 at 12:50 PM #

    @ Jeff,
    Thanks for explaining the issue .


  29. Jeff Cumberbatch July 19, 2016 at 6:08 PM #

    You are welcome, Mr Skinner!


  30. Hants July 20, 2016 at 1:39 PM #

    “Having lost the war for Banks Holdings Limited (BHL) of Barbados to AmBev of Brazil, ANSA McAl of Trinidad & Tobago learned last week that it could win one of the major battles. Except that it is now much too late.”


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