The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Exercises in Sovereignty, Self-doubt or Apathy?

It is offensive to the sovereignty of independent nations and therefore, politically unacceptable, to have a foreign tribunal permanently entrenched in their Constitutions as their final court.” Sir Isaac Hyatali

“…we recommend that appeals from our jurisdiction to the Privy Council should not only be retained but their retention should be most jealously guarded from assault from any quarter, whether or not Trinidad and Tobago calls itself a monarchy or a republic…”Minority Report of the Constitution Commission of Trinidad & Tobago (1974)

Arguments such as that advanced by Sir Isaac Hyatali in the epigraph above to the effect that retaining the Judicial Committee of Her Majesty’s Privy Council [JCPC] as the apical court in an independent regional jurisdiction is offensive to the notion of sovereignty have been forcefully met with the counter that it is equally an exercise in sovereignty to choose to so retain it, since that choice would at least have been effected after due consideration by the sovereign, even though the ultimate disposal of the issue does not accord with views such as Hyatali’s.

Such a thesis would, no doubt appeal to those in the region, such as last Tuesday’s electorates in Grenada and Antigua & Barbuda that were not of the view in sufficient numbers or, seemingly at all constitutionally, to accede to the Caribbean Court of Justice [CCJ] as the final appellate court for their respective jurisdictions.

Those results, though disappointing to this writer, were scarcely unsurprising. In relatively recent times, electorates have arrived at some outcomes that appear to defy the punditry and, in some cases, with all due respect to the so-called “voice of God” theory; common sense. I include among these, the successful Trump presidential candidature in the US, the Brexit yes vote in England and the recent decision of New Caledonia to remain substantially under French rule. We might also wish include here the 1995 decision by the wide margin of three to one of Bermuda to reject independence from Britain, the negative result of the Bahamian 2016 referendum to eliminate discrimination against women and those in the multi-question Grenadian referendum of that same year. I, somehow, had the sneaking suspicion that the two regional referenda on Tuesday would have fitted comfortably into this company. And so they did.

There will be the usual informed and uninformed analyses of what might have gone wrong, but in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday’s twin rejection of the CCJ, there is a sense of weariness and despair that this current regional experiment is now doomed to hobble into the next quarter of this century on the single leg of the four jurisdictions that currently avail themselves of its appellate jurisdiction.

In his essay “Power to the Caribbean people” published in The Aftermath of Sovereignty: West Indian perspectives, edited by Lowenthal and Comitas, the late Nobel laureate, VS Naipaul, offered the following thesis-

These Caribbean territories are not like those in Africa or Asia, with their own internal reverences that have been returned to them[selves] after a period of colonial rule. They are manufactured societies, labour camps, creations of empire and for long they are dependent on empire for law, language, institutions culture, even officials. Nothing is generated locally, dependence has become a habit…

Whatever may be the cogency of this assertion, it must also be recognized that the tawdry element of partisan politics also had a significant role to play in the respective outcomes on Tuesday. There exists a keen tussle between the lawyer and the politician for being considered as the occupation for which the hottest part of Hades is reserved, but that it might have been considered politically prudent and astute to foil the regionalist ambition to accede to our own court in favour of one created for a British Empire on whom the sun has long set, smacks of crass unthinking opportunism.

At a higher level of discussion, I was driven to wonder in a recent conversation as to what might have influenced the negotiations for the final draft of the text of the Schedule to the Antigua and Barbuda Independence Order (popularly referred to as its Constitution) to so deeply entrench the provision for the JCPC as its final court of appeal. Thus, the Antigua and Barbuda Constitution 1981 stipulates, where relevant, at section 47 (5)-

A bill to alter this section, Schedule 1 to this Constitution or any of the provisions of this Constitution specified in Part I of that schedule … shall not be submitted to the Governor-General for his assent unless

(a) there has been an interval of not less than ninety days between the introduction of the bill in the House and the beginning of the proceedings in the House on the second reading of the bill in that House;

(b) after it has been passed by both Houses of Parliament or, in the case of a bill to which section 55 of this Constitution applies, after its rejection by the Senate for the second time; and

(c) the bill has been approved on a referendum, held in accordance with such provisions as may be made in that behalf by Parliament, by not less than two- thirds of all the votes validly cast on that referendum…

Included among the specified provisions in Part 1 of Schedule 1 is that which confers a right of appeal to Her Majesty in- Council, either as of right or with the leave of the Court of Appeal in certain cases. Was this provision resisted at any stage, seeing that the discussions were about the imminent conferral of sovereignty on the former Associated State? Was its implications clearly understood by the national delegation? Was it discussed at all?

Contrastingly, the Barbados 1966 document seems far more concessionary to the state in question concerning its determination of a final appellate court. According to section 86 of the original 1966 instrument-

Notwithstanding anything contained in Part 1 of this Chapter, Parliament may make provision –

a. for implementing arrangements made, between the Government of Barbados and the Government or Governments of any other part of parts of the Commonwealth relating to the establishment of a court of appeal to be shared by Barbados with that part or those parts of the Commonwealth, and for the hearing and determination by such a court of appeals from decisions of any court in Barbados; or

b. for the hearing and determination of appeals from decisions of any court in Barbados by a court established for any other part of the Commonwealth….

It is not immediately clear what might have contributed to this stark difference in the respective texts, except that they are fifteen years apart.

For us, seemingly, the JCPC also existed, though with nowhere near the degree of permanence and entrenchment accorded to that entity in Antigua & Barbuda and, clearly, Grenada.

In 1976, my quondam lecturer and subsequently Faculty colleague, Ms Dorcas White, published an extended essay rhetorically titled “Jettison the Judicial Committee: You t’ink it Easy?” More than four decades later comes the equally rhetorical response, “No, Dorcas, we know it ain’t!”

Whether owed to popular apathy or an antipathy towards the regionally assembled structure, any jettisoning seems a long way off.

167 comments

  • A benevolent dictatorship that is successful requires that the dictator is not only highly intelligent but corrupt free. In the Caribbean there has been many candidates for the position of dictator however all so far have lacked one or both of the requisite qualities.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Listen bro i am no member of govt and can say whatever i dam please
    Mia Mottley over a ten year period make promises of goodwill to the people
    After winning the election she has come up empty handed either she was a liar or an empty vessel making loud noises having no promises of goodwill to deliver
    I purporse to say she was all of the mention yet you come here with a llist of my mouthings
    I suggest you compile a similar list of Mia promises marked URGENT and deliver them to her
    Again i reiterate as a citizen i freely speak my peace with no promises attached

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ the LUMINARY Jeff Cumberbatch

    Salve magister.

    I wrote this earlier so forgive me if I am repeating what is on the other page which I did not find.

    De ole man shall rise, in unaccustomed manner, to speak in opposition to you position on this CCJ matter.

    You and other pundits start at the end point in this debate about sovereignty and national consciousness and i am of the belief that, as it relates to these current dissenters, their begin point is not your own.

    I do believe that your freudian? slip captured, albeit unwittingly, that “begin point”, what you referred to as “the hottest of the rings of hades” reserved for the very ones, lawyers, who people perceive to be the agents of the lord (lowercase) of said place.

    The issue here has nothing to do with this utopian state of sovereignty and breaking of the colonial bonds.

    This is a clear and present fear of citizens for whom, taking the legal recourse from England and letting this repose locally, in what is perceived to be domain of “the Enemy of the People ” – politicians who are for the most part – lawyers

    WE THE PEOPLE, see this Privy Council to be the last uncontaminated bastion of law and order which successive lawyers, who I repeat, are usually our politicians CANNOT SUBVERT!

    This has nothing to do with Independence or the Rights to Self Determination/Government

    This is about our real fears WITH LOCAL COURT SYSTEMS WHERE YOUR CASE AGAINST THE STATE is not heard for 15 years.

    What We The People see is that when the ole boy network can use their erstwhile Cave Hill colleagues and speed track a request for the CCJ to hear a matter for Jamaican resident to vote in a Barbados General Election, then WE THE PEOPLE HAVE TO FEAR this Trojan Horse.

    I am sorry if I did not drink the coolaid today, which one fellow would call my bootlicking but…

    Begin at the beginning and one cannot go wrong otherwise, you are choosing pretty bandaids while the wound is going gangrenous.

    Liked by 1 person

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ the Honourable Blogmaster your assistance please with a second item here thank you

    Like

  • So Jeff

    What do you think about Caswell’s opinions of the CCJ as expressed in the Senate?

    @ John,
    I do not agree with him, An appellate judicial decision is not to be criticized for disagreement with its result but rather how their Lordships reached it

    Liked by 1 person

  • This is about our real fears WITH LOCAL COURT SYSTEMS WHERE YOUR CASE AGAINST THE STATE is not heard for 15 years.

    What We The People see is that when the ole boy network can use their erstwhile Cave Hill colleagues and speed track a request for the CCJ to hear a matter for Jamaican resident to vote in a Barbados General Election, then WE THE PEOPLE HAVE TO FEAR this Trojan Horse.

    @ Piece, I understand your concerns but the first is clearly not applicable to the CCJ itself! And the second had nothing to do with using an old boy network…elections were to be held in 3 days…the hearing could not be delayed!

    Like

  • @ Ping Pong
    A benevolent dictatorship that is successful requires that the dictator is not only highly intelligent but corrupt free.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Not true.

    The ONLY real requirement is that the Dictator be ‘corrupt – free’. (righteous)
    “Intelligence” can be hired, consulted, researched ..and even studied….
    but RIGHTEOUSNESS is available ONLY from a Righteous source.
    It is the predisposition (and the BALLS) to do the thing that is RIGHT
    – based on all available knowledge and instincts – without regard to consequences.

    Caswell was our best hope – and you (and some others) could have provided the intelligence…

    As it is now, it WILL be grass….for our donkeys.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Jeff
    ….elections were to be held in 3 days…the hearing could not be delayed!
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Hello ??!!
    There are PEOPLE on remand in JAIL for OVER 3 YEARS …..whose hearings are being delayed….

    It HAS to be the OLD BOY networks ….
    Piece was NOT born this Century….

    Liked by 1 person

  • “It wasn’t a big deal, but it was crystal clear the manager was going to defend his driver, one of his people.”

    I don’t want to digress any further from the topic than I have already done by responding to the “consortium,” but since you are so fond of slavery, your story can be viewed from that perspective.

    Obviously, the “manager was going to defend his driver,” who, in 1985, was probably still referring to the “manager” as “Mr. Tom.”

    And defending the driver was a small price the manager was willing to pay for maintaining the driver’s loyalty and provide him with the necessary motivation to work harder.

    I will “bet you anything” that the driver would have never been invited to the manager’s home for dinner or any other recreational engagement.

    I know the “drill.” I worked about 1 ½ years for a white owned company. The owner defended the older employees who were there from the inception of the business. They referred to him, for example, as “Mr. Trump” and his sons as “Mr. Donald” and “Mr. Eric.” These old guys would “genuflect” when the owner passed them and rather than solve problems at supervisory level, they would “run and complain” to “Mr. Trump” hoping he would “cut yuh backside” or say, “you’re fired.”

    And I’m not of the opinion the payroll arrangement was formulated out of some genuine concern for the employees……… but something had to be done to curtail the persistent borrowing before pay day.

    But the younger generation is some what different to their older counterparts….. that old “massa” shiite don’t work with them….. as I told the owner’s son of the company I worked for after he raised his voice at me for something I did not know anything about.

    A few years ago Bizzy Williams’ white friends (including Andy Armstrong) watched as he was struggling to secure his yacht to a mooring at Port St. Charles and refused to “give him a hand.”

    Why???

    Bizzy married Shelly and loss the friendship of some of his friends and the respect of those who chose to remain his friends.

    That is the reality of the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  • “I suggest you compile a similar list of Mia promises marked URGENT and deliver them to her….”

    Hmmmmm…..

    My friend, you’re the one who is obsessed with Mia Mottley and has been at the forefront criticizing her from “day one.”

    Therefore, you should preface those criticisms with a “list of Mia promises marked URGENT and deliver them to her.”

    Like

  • Some of the arguments put forward by some on this blog boggles my mind. Too many continue to conflate issues that are simply unsuitable for such an approach.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Enuff
    Can you kindly translate your 7.47 pm into English..?
    …or Bajan?

    Like

  • A few years ago Bizzy Williams’ white friends (including Andy Armstrong) watched as he was struggling to secure his yacht to a mooring at Port St. Charles and refused to “give him a hand.”
    Why???

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    Maybe they just could not swim or were not dressed to go in the sea.

    I heard it was in St. James that the boat ran aground, Fitts Village as far as I remember.

    It was alleged Bizzy was drunk.

    People on the road, all colours, stopped to watch the spectacle.

    I know people who stopped!!

    If you read Lowdown you will see how Lowdown reckoned Shelly fitted in!!

    Lowdown may well have been passing at the time or like me just heard about it and embellished it for his column.

    Bizzy and Lowdown date back to students at UWI, one an electrical engineer, the other an agriculturist.

    Bizzy once electrified the doorknob to his room and invited Lowdown over … for a laugh!!

    I don’t get the impression there was any love lost!!

    I used to read the newspaper along time ago and Friday Lowdown was a key event for me.

    Occasionally I will buy one nowadays but am past newspapers.

    Liked by 1 person

  • And defending the driver was a small price the manager was willing to pay for maintaining the driver’s loyalty and provide him with the necessary motivation to work harder.

    +++++++++++++++++++

    I was betting someone would tell me it was only to avoid an insurance claim!!

    Like

  • And I’m not of the opinion the payroll arrangement was formulated out of some genuine concern for the employees……… but something had to be done to curtail the persistent borrowing before pay day.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    A simpler option would have just been to say no!!

    I confess, I kind of embellished that part to see what response I could evoke.

    Like

  • Bizzy and Lowdown date back to students at UWI, one an electrical engineer, the other an agriculturist.
    Bizzy once electrified the doorknob to his room and invited Lowdown over … for a laugh!!
    I don’t get the impression there was any love lost!!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    … and I didn’t get that gossip at Cattlewash .. I read it in the Nation, when I used to read newspapers.

    Like

  • Enuff 68 must be hitting the bottle..lol

    Like

  • Jeff Cumberbatch
    November 11, 2018 5:56 PM

    This is about our real fears WITH LOCAL COURT SYSTEMS WHERE YOUR CASE AGAINST THE STATE is not heard for 15 years.
    What We The People see is that when the ole boy network can use their erstwhile Cave Hill colleagues and speed track a request for the CCJ to hear a matter for Jamaican resident to vote in a Barbados General Election, then WE THE PEOPLE HAVE TO FEAR this Trojan Horse.
    @ Piece, I understand your concerns but the first is clearly not applicable to the CCJ itself! And the second had nothing to do with using an old boy network…elections were to be held in 3 days…the hearing could not be delayed!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    To show the ole boy network, you could have mentioned that one of the persons who got the right to vote was Donville’s good buddy, the dentist whose son destroyed the painting in the US!!

    Doc Martin or some such name.

    But I agree with Jeff, the matter needed to be heard and decided.

    Seems it was pretty simple.

    Froon wanted out of the CCJ, sure sign the pressure the CCJ creates on the Judiciary here for delayed decisions was troubling the political elites.

    If Froon could articulate this coming up to elections, it is pretty clear the political elites want out!!!

    The Paladin syndrone!!

    Caswell was probably flying a kite … who has the time of day now for Froon and his visions for Barbados!!!!

    http://curacaochronicle.com/region/barbados-prime-minister-wants-out-of-ccj/

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ the LUMINARY Jeff Cumberbatch

    I forgot to say that the constituent actors within the CCJ are themselves people who have gravitated from within the jurisdiction and NOT LIKE YOU Luminary.

    Let me give you an example, a hypothetical one of course.

    Let me ask you this.

    Suppose a man were to come to you for advice on say a matter relating to the Office of the Chancellor.

    AND YOU KNEW THAT YOU WERE GOING TO BE THE CHANCELLOR, WOULD YOU TAKE HIS MATTER LUMINARY???

    No you would not kind sir because you, kind sir have ethics AND WOULD NOT BE CAUGHT DEAD DOING THIS SORT OF FILTH

    I am a simple man devoid of the wisdom and insights that men like you have.

    I try, by use of my simplistic reasoning, to acquire some semblance of intelligence, by posting here among articles that you wrote, to acquire “virtue by proximity”

    Let me explain how that SHOULD WORK according to my pea sized brain.

    The woman with the issue of blood thought in her heart that all she needed to do was touch the hem of the garment of The Christ and she would have been healed.

    So de ole man, Mariposa and Lexicon figure that, by commenting here, among wise men like yourself, we would similarly become wise.

    But I digress as usual.

    If the process to appoint judges to the CCJ had similar public hearings where de poor man could come out and put their matters to the designated reviewers, if the poor man’s voice was heard by these powers that be, AND THERE WAS MEANINGFUL ACTION, what you and others here want, would come about sooner.

    But, as it is, people just do not feel that the systems of the CCJ represent them.

    I am going to end here by giving you a secret of how Instances of Violence Worldwide can be decreased.

    The single most reported issue in the breakdown of marriages as recorded by marriage counsellors is “invalidation of feelings”

    Neither party permits the other to Express how a situation makes them feel.

    You more that most, know how pent up feelings, can ferment over time.

    Until we create mechanisms that permit people to be heard, as easily as I can hear 50 cents sing about The Roof, the roof is on fire…”, the instances of bigotry, racism, and violence WILL RISE.

    IF I do not feel that you “feel my pain, and you are going to help me find options to relieve my pain, YOU GOJNG FEEL MY PAIN!!”

    That sounds cryptic to many of its readers BUT THIS IS THE MINDSET OF ALMOST EVERY KILLING AND MASS KILLING THERE IS.

    And I know this because? The answer to that is …

    If ever time permits oh LUMINARY I hope that you could write a piece on ” The Power of Recall – Can it Work? And Mechanism through which it might.”

    If the people feel like they have no voice, the CCJ WILL NEVER BE EMBRACED BY THE POOR MAN.

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ the Honourable Blogmaster your assistance please with an item here for The LUMINARY Jeff Cumberbatch thank you kindly

    Liked by 1 person

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ the LUMINARY Jeff Cumberbatch

    One more observation and I will leave you.

    You might not know this but many lawyers and justices come to BU to read your pieces.

    A few come because of the Pending Legislation to close down BU but they dont know how to close down Facebook when a Blogmaster will moderate FB content when warned by FB.

    Many have advised Fumbles AND MUGABE, THE CAT IS OUT THE BAG and to close it down will give it strength so she is thinking about that.

    Others come and, though they have the ability to deconstruct? the premise of your posits, over the mechanics of the law, or the mechanisms that were relied on to formulate the law, they are afraid to post.

    Not because they fear your legendary prowess Luminary but because they fear to be seen to post their actual or even anonymice names.

    Now there is a thing most strange.

    Previously I wast posting about de poor man who does not feel he has a voice on this CCJ ting but simultaneously we have another, more erudite sector of our society, that is equally neutered BECAUSE THEY FEAR THE POTENTIAL NEGATIVE FALLOUT FROM COMMENTING ON BU.

    Does that not frighten you Luminary? that we have arrived at a place where the simplest of debates about sovereignty and self governance can be seen as so highly partisan that people fear commenting cause posting on BU is anti Mottley?

    De ole man going get de grandson to do a copy and paste on Firewalls for Dummies OF WHICH I AM ONE so all of you who so fear can install and use a firewall.

    Download VirtualBox from Virtualbox.org and tails.iso in the meantime and de ole MSN will talk to de grandson tonight and get him to do a likkle ting for wunna to follow.

    Look how we sons and daughters all have to hide to show how we feel about a country we love?

    I am sure that the Honourable Blogmaster will understand the purpose of this suggestion

    People need to speak out but they need to feel safe ok?

    Like

  • @Jeff

    Do you agree with this explanation by Senator Lisa Cummins posted to her Facebook page in response to the failure of the Bill to gain two thirds vote in the Senate last week?

    Lisa R. Cummins
    10 November at 08:42 ·

    There has been a lot of understandable debate about the death penalty bill that was before our Parliament and I want to take a moment to explain what the bill is and is not.

    The bill is NOT a move to remove the sentence of death from the books of Barbados. The sentence of death as a penalty REMAINS on our books.

    It is a move to comply with the rulings of the Inter- American Commission on Human Rights and the CCJ that in cases of murder, the fact that the law ONLY allows for a sentence of death is unconstitutional.

    What does it do?

    If you are involved in ANY kind of incident resulting in death, the law as it stands does not allow for our TV cases we all love to watch to be applied. So there is no 1st, 2nd degree or manslaughter provision by which different sentences can be applied. The death penalty is the only sentence. Think about that for a moment… Its not right and the courts have said so.

    The role of Parliament is to serve as the legislature so it makes and changes laws in the interest of our nation. This bill moved to change the law to fix the problems I identified in oversimplified manner and the rulings of the appellate courts that we must comply with.

    Imagine that just a few months ago during our election many were up in arms that the Electoral commission and the then govt REFUSED to comply with four court rulings instructing them that the law allowed for commonwealth voters to be registered in Barbados. We could not imagine how the Govt refused to uphold the ruling of the court.

    So here we are, in effect, refusing to uphold the ruling of two courts which have said we need to make this change.

    The effect?
    The assizes have opened and no murder cases can be called. They cannot be called because there can be no sentencing. Not as long as the death penalty remains mandatory. The key here is the word mandatory. Mandatory simply means there is no alternative to the sentence of death. Whatever the circumstances.

    So there is nothing to celebrate here. The accused killers of the breadman this week if caught will sit in prison and lime away their days in perpetuity if they fail to make bail and chill at the tax payers expense. Their cases cannot be called. There is no sentence available to them. Not even the death penalty that people may want simply, because it is still mandatory and as long as that is the case, Barbados is not in compliance with the rulings made by the higher courts.

    Think about the families, including maybe yours, who will have persons accused of a crime resulting in death of their loved ones who cannot find closure because this Bill did not allow us to change the laws and give judges the option of other sentences after trial.

    Think about the possibility that with the length of time the system will take to deal with this issue will result in many people leaving prison having already served their time while on remand – because they’ve been chilling in prison so long before their case was called – that they could get a sentence equal to time served. Where is the justice in that?

    I understand that many people simply hear the words ‘Death penalty’ and think that the govt is removing it from our books and growing soft on criminal behaviour. That is not what this is about. In simple terms the death penalty remains on our books BUT judges now would have the discretion to sentence to death for the most egregious offences and hand down a lesser sentence for offences with mitigating factors. That is not just the right thing to do, it is what the IACHR and CCJ have ruled that we have to do.

    Even before these rulings the privy Council weighed in and ruled that the length of time a person sentenced to death is on death row matters. It constitutes, according to the Privy Council, ‘cruel and inhumane punishment’ to have persons sitting on death row for eons. So time spent in prison matters after sentencing. If we are not careful we will also find ourselves being challenged about the length of time being spent in prison before sentencing and without even a trial. also think about that angle.

    I’ve also seen some comments on absent Senators. Barbados lives in the world. Our professionals travel on business all the time. Three of us have been traveling and still are. That’s the reality of doing business – we have to engage in the conduct of international relations and the national business at home and abroad must continue. So that point is moot.

    What took place last Wednesday in the Senate, in all its parts, was unfortunate. It was unfortunate for our justice system and for families with both lost loved ones and those with persons accused of crimes. It was unfortunate period.

    But what it shows is that there is a great deal of public education required about the workings of the government and its respective arms. Many people simply just don’t understand and in the vacuum the discussion is vocal but limited. It’s the same as the unfortunate case of two nations voting this week in small numbers against accepting the CCJ. What people dont understand they fear and social media often fills the gap with distorted information by persons who also dont know but at least have a platform to share misguided views.

    Public civic education needs to be an urgent priority so that we leverage an engaged population into an engaged knowledgeable population. In this death penalty discussion there is too much hype and it needs to be dialed back and replaced with a solid, simple conversation.

    Let’s see where we go from here in the peoples interest…

    Like

  • “Caswell was probably flying a kite ”

    Caswell needs to address the real issues destroying the country, like the corruption in the Mia government, she has corrupt ministers, senators and a whole lot of lowlife thieves on the taxpayer’s’s payroll……sucking the island dry when the people can least afford it.

    He needs to address the destructive corrupt lawyers in the bar association who rob, sell out the people and dish out injustice, the corruption and destruction in the supreme court, the bribetaking judges, the violations of the rights of the elderly in the supreme court, the violation of the rights of the injured in the supreme court…

    He needs to address the real issues negatively impacting the people’s lives…or he too is wasting taxpayer’s money.

    Like

  • Although it is an issue that Caribbean people will have to confront, address and deal with head on sooner rather than later, we just cannot blame the people for distrusting corrupt Caribbean leaders and those in positions of power over others, they are repulsive, corrupt and not to be trusted not even for half a second…none of them

    “Home Countries Bahamas
    Bahamas immigration directors implicated by FBI in visa fraud case
    November 8, 20182

    William Pratt (L) and Clarence Russell
    By Youri Kemp
    Caribbean News Now associate editor
    youri@caribbeannewsnow.com

    NASSAU, Bahamas — In a developing story first reported by Tribune Media, a US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sting operation has implicated the director of immigration in The Bahamas, William Pratt, and his immediate predecessor, Clarence Russell, in accepting bribes to provide Bahamian work permits and work visas to facilitate a smoother entry of Haitian nationals into the United States by making their US visa applications more likely to be approved.

    In documents obtained by Caribbean News Now, filed in US District Court in Washington DC, FBI special agent, Kevin E. Gounaud, revealed that a dual Bahamian-Haitian national, Edward Israel Saintil, has been arrested and charged with “Encouraging and inducing illegal entry of certain aliens into the United States”, in violation of 8 USC § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv).

    The initial charges set out in an affidavit filed by Gounaud state that there is “probable cause” to believe that Saintil has encouraged and induced an alien to come to, enter, and reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law”.

    Gounaud requested that the court issue an arrest warrant for Saintil, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 4(a).

    Page 1 / 29Zoom 100%wp-pdf.com

    Saintil came on the FBI radar through another Haitian national being watched by the FBI, Edna St Fleur, and the means by which she was able to get a US visa to travel to the United States via The Bahamas.

    It was there that an elaborate plot involving senior Immigration Department officials in The Bahamas, particularly Pratt and Russell, with both of whom Saintil claimed to have close working relationships.

    Saintil noted that he preferred Pratt over Russell because he was more of a “businessman” and that Russell had been brought in “to change the situation in immigration”. Saintil claimed that he used to work with Russell in the “passport office”.

    In a recorded conversation with undercover FBI agents, Saintil revealed that he facilitated Haitian nationals’ entry into the US via The Bahamas and presented the opportunity as a “path” to obtaining documentation for living and visiting the USA.

    It was also revealed that Saintil told undercover FBI agents who claimed that had tried entry into the US before but were denied because they had no work permits from their country of origin that, when applying for US B-1 visas through the US Embassy in The Bahamas, it is necessary to have some sort of status in the country from where you are making the application.

    Saintil, who is also a justice of the peace in The Bahamas, is also alleged to have provided false affidavits and identity certifications to Haitian nationals in order for them to obtain work permits easier in The Bahamas that would enable them to be looked at more favourably by US embassy officials there.

    Saintil also claimed that he had six or seven other approved work visas from or about December 2017 in his car and that he was withholding these cards from the recipients because they owed him money. In these instances, rates for work permits from Saintil could range from anywhere from US$2,500 to up to US$15,000, particularly in the case of Chinese- and Spanish-speaking nationals.

    In early January 2018, at the direction of Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, Russell, the former Passport Office director, replaced Pratt as the immigration director.

    Saintil has since been released on bail in Washington, DC, and has denied all charges against him in the matter.

    Bahamian government officials have yet to respond formally to these allegations.”

    Like

  • Do you agree with this explanation by Senator Lisa Cummins posted to her Facebook page in response to the failure of the Bill to gain two thirds vote in the Senate last week?

    @David, There is not much to disagree with there, but I am of the view that the failure was owed to crass politicking.See be;ow-

    Notably, the Constitution also now provides for the convicted person himself to make a submission to the Privy Council – see section 78 (5).
    It would thus have been in the nation’s best interest for the Senate to accede to the Boyce amendment that, in our view, does not fundamentally alter the intendment of the legislation under debate.
    Unfortunately, thereafter, according to one report, the matter appears to have descended into partisan politics, with the Leader of Government Business objecting to the amendment proposed by Senator Boyce on the ground that the impugned provision in the Bill had also been proposed by the previous DLP administration.
    The Constitution remains unchanged

    Liked by 1 person

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ the Honourable Blogmaster

    That piece by Lisa Cummins was not so bad at all.

    It is worthy of a Stoopid Cartoon to share with bajans what the issues are AND WHY THE BILL SHOULD BE PASSED, IF WHAT SHE SAYS IS THE TRUTH THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

    When timE PERMITS de grandson will try to do one for the worthwhile topic.

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ the Honourable Blogmaster

    Based on the comment by the Luminary about the partisan politics that surrounded the votes, de ole man wondered if 1. This item could become an article and 2. In keeping with keeping these clowns accountable if you could use your sources and find out who voted for the Bill and who voted against the bill.

    Purely for academic purposes of course

    Sort of like Madame defarge in A Tale of Two Cities never for a je t’accuse session

    Heheheheh

    Liked by 1 person

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ WARU

    when it has transpired that similar accusations have been levelled at Humpty Dumpty and others in the staff of Barbados ‘ Immigration department, people are real quick to say not we.

    Even with the body of the former Immigration Chief shot dead in Butler’s Avenue in Spooners Hill

    What we are seeing is a international gauntlet being extended to protect the US borders from these white collar criminals like Pornville and Michael lashes

    Like

  • John

    “Think about it when Britain ran things… it controlled all of the island Islands”

    Not true … Aruba was and still is a Dutch colony … when Britain truly ran things in the Caribbean the desire for corruption was at its minimum… because only the very rich met the criterion for political office… now I am talking about the era before Adams and Barrow … where property was the prerequisite for political office…

    Like

  • Piece

    I have firsthand knowledge that the Immigration Department in Barbados is very corrupted … my younger brother who lives in Barbados payoff an immigration lawyer who payoff, and immigration officer to get his vincentian wife a visa to stay in Barbados… after she overstayed he visitor’s visa …

    Like

  • @ Lexicon at 7.21 am
    1 – That is NOT firsthand knowledge … it is second … or even third.
    2 – Why do you hate your brother? How many brothers do you have with Vincentian wives?

    If you have nothing worthwhile to say …just start with ‘I have a friend who….”

    Liked by 1 person

  • It is a move to comply with the rulings of the Inter- American Commission on Human Rights and the CCJ that in cases of murder, the fact that the law ONLY allows for a sentence of death is unconstitutional.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Does anyone know when the IACHR made its ruling?

    Just curious to see how long ago it was.

    The CCJ appears to have been recent.

    Like

  • http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/media_center/PReleases/2018/159.asp

    The IACHR applauds the CCJ’s finding that “it was indisputable that the nation, through its actions, had acknowledged that it had an obligation to remove such mandatory sentence under section 2 of the Offences against the Person Act” and that “Barbados had also given undertakings to the CCJ and the Inter American Court of Human Rights to rectify the mandatory sentence.”

    For more than 15 years, the Commission and the Inter American Court of Human Rights have affirmed that the mandatory death penalty cannot be reconciled with Article 4 of the American Convention on Human Rights.

    Like

  • For more than 15 years, the Commission and the Inter American Court of Human Rights have affirmed that the mandatory death penalty cannot be reconciled with Article 4 of the American Convention on Human Rights.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    What it sounds like to me is that Barbados is a signatory to the American Convention on Human Rights!!!

    The IAHRC more than 15 years ago made its findings and expected Barbados to comply with its treaty obligations.

    It has no power to make Barbados change its constitution.

    I could be wrong.

    Like

  • “A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.”

    Like

  • Like the CCJ, nobody in Barbados knows nuffin about this one either!!

    Like

  • Most Bajans of my era would remember the name Val McComie …. but like me, nobody knows nuffin about what exactly went on at the OAS!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Did you know the IAHCR even tells America what to do?

    http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/media_center/PReleases/2018/054.asp

    That was 2014.

    Looks like the convicted murderer is exercising all of the avenues open to him and you would never guess where it is headed.

    The Supreme Court.

    So who is the deciding vote in the Supreme Court?

    http://catholicphilly.com/2018/11/news/national-news/kavanaugh-could-be-deciding-vote-in-supreme-court-death-penalty-case/

    Barbados might learn a thing or two from the process in America.

    Like

  • So let’s see, the IAHRC applauds the CCJ for its decision.

    Senator Caswell Franklin berates it.

    So what are we mere mortals to think?

    Like

  • Bush Tea

    That is the problem with our world today … we expect others to be truthful and honest about their dealings … but we do not apply such practices to ourselves …

    Listen! I have to call it as I see or else the God who sits on high and looks down low is going to beat me with the Rod of Correct … so all those who belief on Him … ought to stand firm on those divine principles and call it as it is… for God I live and for God I will die …

    Liked by 1 person

  • Yea Lexi….
    But what is wrong with being TACTFUL…?

    Like

  • “What we are seeing is a international gauntlet being extended to protect the US borders from these white collar criminals like Pornville and Michael lashes.”

    Lol….from çertain recent mouthings in certain quarters, it is with just cause, if they are truly watching their backs with small island crooks/lawyers/ministers/business people…including all who are in the parliament, that is the only way the vulnerable population(s) will get a reprieve from the corruption…unless the world court against human rights abuses get involved.

    I cannot blame the US in this instant, particularly not knowing what we know, the ministers and their bribers have PROVEN over the decades how utterly destructive and dangerous they all are, were I the US…I would not take chances with any of them either.

    Like

  • Just got word my favourite pasty shop Flindt in St. James is closing, quite understandable under austerity, but what a loss, damn, have to get my favorite cakes etc in Ontario now.

    Like

  • Bush Tea

    Yes … but there comes a time when you have call it as you see … from as far back as the 1970s … tourists were being raped continually in Barbados, but to protected the Tourist Industry of Barbados … government suppressed this information from the general public…but I was privy to such information because I happened to be born and bred behind one the major police stations in Barbados… so corruption has been part and parcel of our Bajan culture for a very long time …

    Like

  • Just got word my favourite pasty shop Flindt in St. James is closing, quite understandable under austerity, but what a loss, damn, have to get my favorite cakes etc in Ontario now.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    “Let them eat cake”!!

    Marie Antoinette.

    Like

  • Yea yea …we know how you used to peep through a hole in the station fence and see everything …
    and bla, bla, bla, bla…
    Bushie has NO PROBLEM with you showing balls and exposing how brave you are (especially since your great escape from that fire in the States…) …but why not let your brother decide for himself …?
    Can you follow that…?

    BTW David
    What is your secret…?
    Just as we lose the great Old Onion Bags…
    Just as Maripoka seems to have dumped the stupid ‘K’ component… and occasionally makes some sense…
    Just as GP has been exposed as nothing but an intellectual fraud…

    YOU manage to get a ‘Lexicon reincarnation’ to take over this vital BU role…

    YOU are the BOSS…!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • The death ” penalty ” is only a penalty if you believe in the concept of being tortured in ” hell “.

    I prefer life in prison with hard labour for premeditated murders just in case there is no ” hell “.

    Like

  • Bush T

    Shame on you for mentioning “Lexi” in the same sentence with OOB. OOB was one of a kind even the name produced some mirth as well as his interactions no matter one’s political stripe. There are some bloggers that one looks forward to their presentation as you wonder what angle they will be coming with and OOB was sure to surprise. He was also an animal lover I remember his lament when a horse was killed on the street and it went on so long that he was advised to stop beating a dead horse. One also remembers his later contributions when he submitted old Bajan recipes (perhaps “David” could collate and publish them as a tribute to him).

    Others may remember other things but those are the ones that come immediately to mind but didn’t he also rake you over the coals over the 2×4 incident?

    Like

  • “Let them eat cake”!!

    “Marie Antoinette.”

    I won’t exactly call what yall are going to be forced to eat under austerity cake…hope ya got kitchen gardens..

    Like

  • Hants

    Your statement regarding the Death Penalty don’t even make any sense from a Christian standpoint … because the murderer who is sentened death can also ask for forgiveness … that is the fundamental reason why Jesus came … He came to often mankind Grace for the forgiveness of Sin … now go and read your Bible with comprehension … because you are beginning sound like a foolish for an educated man …

    Like

  • Hants

    If you think some people who murder innocent have conscience think again … the psychopath and the sociopath are devoid of conscience … so what good would life in prison do to such a person…?

    You rid the world of such people for two basic reasons: (1) it would save taxpayers money …(2) it make certain the person does not have the opportunity to murder again …

    Like

  • “…………. but I was privy to such information because I happened to be born and bred behind one the major police stations in Barbados…”

    Bushie

    Man…… yuh right, yuh…… and I’m now convinced………….um is “Dompey.”

    Like

  • @ Artax,

    Bushie is always right. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  • Sergeant

    I don’t quite remember you being part of the BU membership way back yonder… when OOB gave his input regarding the Christmases of long ago? In any even … you ought to know that respect isn’t freely given … it has to be earned … and I think that I’ve earned my spot here on BU … being one of its first members …

    Liked by 1 person

  • Did the Bar Association really blame the victims/clients of thieving lawyers for hiring THIEVING LAWYERS, really …

    ……and Leslie Haynes actually opened his mouth to caution clients about lawyers with cash flow problems..lol..and he was actually president of the bar association too…that horrible, disgusting repulsive scum….wuhloss..

    Like

  • http://www.nationnews.com/articles/view/choose-lawyers-with-care/

    The Barbados Bar Association should be ashamed of itself that their idiot presidents mouth this nonsense….Leslie Haynes is no longer Bar Association president but he is still ass deep in the same wicked crimes with which he accuses duity lawyers of the Bar for…he still has CGI insurance personal injury cases backlogging the Supreme Court system…cases many of which should not be in the court system, he is still suffering the elderly and other injured who should not be dragged through the court system….but time is longer than twine.

    I have the perfect view and in the right position to watch AND expose when the time is right.

    Like

  • Of course it is Dompey. Did you not notice the “eds” in the strangest places? Besides, David has already exposed that it is Dompey.

    Like

  • @Donna

    Dompey has posted on the blog that his moniker se to be Lexicon. He also gave it away with his favourite ‘my maddah?

    Like

  • CCJ Declares Guyana’s Cross-Dressing Law Unconstitutional

    Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that a law in Guyana, which makes it a criminal offence for a man or a woman to appear in a public place while dressed in clothing of the opposite sex for an “improper purpose”, is unconstitutional. The law, Section 153(1)(xlvii) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act, is to be struck from the laws of Guyana. The case of Quincy McEwan, Seon Clarke, Joseph Fraser, Seyon Persaud and the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) v The Attorney General of Guyana began with the arrest of the appellants in February 2009.

    Four of the appellants, who identify as transgender persons, were arrested, convicted and punished for cross-dressing in public. At the time of arrest, McEwan was dressed in a pink shirt and a pair of tights and Clarke was wearing slippers and a skirt. A few hours later, Fraser and Persaud were also arrested by the police and taken to the Brickdam Police Station. At the time, they were dressed in skirts and were wearing wigs.

    Access the full media release here: CCJ Media release 44_2018

    Like

  • @David

    Did you forget Mark Fenty?

    Like

  • @Sargeant

    You are too observant!

    Like

  • I am curious to know why the politicians and Caswell aren’t jumping up and down over this whole new “suite” of legislation the OECD is making Barbados move towards!!

    http://www.caribbean360.com/business/barbados-seeking-oecd-compliance-by-year-end

    Like

  • Deadline is end of the year … standard 15 and 20 year delays don’t sound like they will be acceptable!!

    Like

  • Chances are the legislation will be drafted by the OECD and given to the GOB to rubber stamp!!

    No way Barbadian lawyers can work this fast!!

    They are likely to fall over with giddy head!!

    Like

  • “While stating that Cabinet would be streamlining the policy initiatives today, he added that Government has already engaged the services of a private experienced draftsman to aid the Chief Parliamentary Counsel in drafting the legislative changes.

    Toppin also signalled that a new regime which replaces the existing International Business Companies (IBC), as well as the International Societies with Restricted Liability (ISRL), would be rolled out effective January 1, 2019.”

    Read more: http://www.caribbean360.com/business/barbados-seeking-oecd-compliance-by-year-end#ixzz5WykdpNrW

    “No Stoppin Toppin” expected to come out with another statement on November 20, oh Lord, de OECD like dey got he running hard!!

    Like

  • “…. a private experienced draftsman to aid the Chief Parliamentary Counsel in drafting the legislative changes.”

    ie, no way it can be done here that fast.

    Wonder if the Unions will be objecting to the work permits!!

    Like

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