The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Criminalizing Attire and the Rule of Law (iii)

The expression of a person’s gender identity forms a fundamental part of their right to dignity. Recognition of this gender identity must be given constitutional protection

–Per Saunders PCCJ in McEwan et ors. v The AG of Guyana [2018] CCJ 30

It is essential to human progress that contrary ideas and opinions peacefully contend. Tolerance, an appreciation of difference, must be cultivated, not only for the sake of those who convey a meaning, but also for the sake of those to whom it is conveyed

Irwin Toy Ltd v Quebec (AG) [1989] 1 SCR 927.

In this, the penultimate part of this extended essay analyzing the recent decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice [CCJ] on the constitutionality of section 153 (1)(xlvii) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act of Guyana, we examine the disposal of the first two of the claims made by the appellants. Readers will recall that this section criminalizes cross-dressing by men or women for an improper purpose not further specified. Last week, we treated the applicability of the savings law clause that the respondent prosecution had prayed in aid to justify the constitutionality of the provision.

It will be recalled that the leading judgment of President Saunders gave short shrift to this argument, principally on the basis that the clause was “corrosive” of the concept of constitutional supremacy and at odds with the constitutionally given power of judicial review. More commentators than one on the column queried the validity of this holding in light of the clarity of the provision. I suppose that that inquiry should have been made in 1966, in the case of Barbados, but so many anomalous matters in what was to become our Constitution appeared to have gone unquestioned then. In the judgment, the President averred,

even if one were to apply the clause fully and literally, because of its potentially devastating consequences for the enjoyment of human rights, the savings clause must be construed narrowly, that is to say, restrictively...[Original emphasis]

In the view of Saunders, there were essentially four issues that arose for determination by the Court. These were, namely, whether the section violated the appellants’ rights to equality and non-discrimination guaranteed to them by the Guyana Constitution; whether it violated their identically guaranteed right to freedom of expression; whether it offended the principles of the rule of law in light of the vagueness of the provision, especially with regard to the terms “improper purpose”, “male attire” and “female attire”; and whether the reproving remarks of the Magistrate were appropriate and, if not, their consequence.

Equality and non-discrimination

The argument of the appellants here was that the cross-dressing law infringed their fundamental rights in these regards because it is rooted in gender stereotypes of how women and men should dress. They averred that the section treats transgendered and gender-non-conforming persons unfavourably by criminalising their gender expression and gender identity in violation of Article 149D of the Constitution. That Article focuses squarely on inequality before the law and is distinct from, albeit complementary to, Article 149(1) that prohibits discrimination on specified grounds..

The leading judgment accepted this argument, finding that-

At the heart of the right to equality and non-discrimination lies a recognition that a fundamental goal of any constitutional democracy is to develop a society in which all citizens are respected and regarded as equal… Article 149 signifies a commitment to recognising each person’s dignity and equal worth as a human being despite individual differences.

and that-

The constitutional promise of equality prohibits the State from prescribing legislative distinctions or other measures that treat a group of persons as second-class citizens or in any way that otherwise offends their dignity as human beings.

While the Barbados Constitution does not expressly guarantee persons equality before the law, there is nevertheless section 23 that seeks to protect persons from discrimination on certain specified grounds. In any event, President Saunders made reference to the observation of the Committee on the Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women, to which Barbados is a state party, to the effect that-

Inherent to the principle of equality between men and women, or gender equality, is the concept that all human beings, regardless of sex, are free to develop their personal abilities, pursue their professional careers and make choices without the limitations set by stereotypes, rigid gender roles and prejudices…

It was held ultimately that the section could not be reasonably justified in a democratic society such as Guyana because the section conduces to the stigmatization of those who do not conform to traditional gendered clothing and, mostly, because it criminalizes aspects of their way of life, thus enabling the State to unleash its full might against them… therefore section 153(1)(xlvii) violates Articles 149(1) and 149D of the Constitution.

Freedom of expression

In this context, the President first reiterated the significance of free expression to the democratic way of life-

Because it underpins and reinforces many of the other fundamental rights, freedom of expression is rightly regarded as the cornerstone of any democracy. A regime that unduly constrains free speech produces harm, not just to the individual whose expression is denied, but also to society as a whole. On the one hand, the human spirit is stultified. On the other, social progress is retarded. The fates of brilliant persons like Galileo, and Darwin, and countless others, sung and unsung, betray a familiar pattern in the history of humankind. Today’s heresy may easily become tomorrow’s gratefully embraced orthodoxy.

He also acknowledged that a person’s mode of dress might be regarded as a legitimate form of his or her expression-

A person’s choice of attire is inextricably bound up with the expression of his or her gender identity, autonomy and individual liberty. How individuals choose to dress and present themselves is integral to their right to freedom of expression. This choice, in our view, is an expressive statement protected under the right to freedom of expression.

And even though this freedom was subject , as in Barbados to reasonable limitations, these had to be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society-

No one should have to live under the constant threat that, at any moment, for an unconventional form of expression that poses no risk to society, s/he may suffer such treatment. But that is the threat that exists in section 153(1)(xlvii). It is a threat particularly aimed at persons of the LGBTI community. The section is easily utilised as a convenient tool to justify the harassment of such persons. Such harassment encourages the humiliation; hate crimes, and other forms of violence persons of the LGBTI community experience. This is at complete variance with the aspirations and values laid out in the Guyana Constitution…

This latter issue implicates the criminalization of the wearing of any form of camouflage clothing in Barbados. This has not been challenged to my best knowledge, but it would be of interest to debate whether it is reasonably required in all cases in the public interest.

Next week- The rule of law and the magisterial reproof.

109 comments

  • “At the heart of the right to equality and non-discrimination lies a recognition that a fundamental goal of any constitutional democracy is to develop a society in which all citizens are respected and regarded as equal… Article 149 signifies a commitment to recognising each person’s dignity and equal worth as a human being despite individual differences.”

    Leaders in Barbados’ parliament … including judicial officers eg judges, lawyers etc NEED to be schooled in this ACT…that THEIR PEOPLE have the right to be RECOGNIZED..as EQUAL to them and just as WORTHY….they are ALL much to DISRESPECTFUL of the MAJORITY POPULATION…who pay their salaries….

    These uppity jokers ARE THE PROBLEM.

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  • “This latter issue implicates the criminalization of the wearing of any form of camouflage clothing in Barbados. This has not been challenged to my best knowledge, but it would be of interest to debate whether it is reasonably required in all cases in the public interest.”

    @Jeff

    Do you want to speculate why no one has challenged this matter? Does it convey the inability of our people to see the benefit of insisting on relevant laws therefore active participation?

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  • First camouflage, what next, a uniform a la North Korea?
    Still, to be fair I would welcome the criminalisation of that pernicious symbol of barbarianism, the muslim binbag. An offence against the public, homogenous harmony, and a statement of the second class status of their women, aka chattels.
    This ridiculous display of “we are nothing like you” is anathema to an advanced democracy.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Barbadians need camouflage …you never know when someone can come by and offer you a job

    Liked by 1 person

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    Mr Blogmaster, why do you consider that Bajans should see the camouflage law as irrelevant or suggesting some lack of (activism) active participation!

    Legally the Dean has scoped out the relationship of our old ruling to this recent Guyana matter but for practical and (national) security reasons it’s very possible to carve out a rational distinction between the two.

    From my lay perspectve, our law as intended affected a universal class of people …that is, its affect was like a rule saying no motor cycle helmets allowed in banks, offices or if walking on the streets; or even, no bathing suits or bare chests allowed at places of business not on the beach.

    As the justices offered, what risk really does a female dressed in a pants and shirt pose to anyone!

    However, one can argue that our “… unconventional form of expression [did pose a risk] to society” when youths or others decided to wear camouflage clothing thereby immitating the actions of our military/police officers.

    Obviously not all cases so exposed us to such a risk…

    … But generally still, what singular class of people is being harassed or humiated by the order not to wear camouflage clothing which is similar to that of our law enforcers …. On the contrary, it is the universal class of us all who are better protected from those possible immitators … but we hardly need similar protections from those who ‘cross dress’, now do we!

    Generally the opposite becomes the rule when discovery (legal or otherwise) is presented!

    (If it’s Sunday, it’s Meet the Poor Joke) 😂

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  • @Dee Word

    You are aware there is pink camouflage?

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  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ the LUMINARY Jeff Cumberbatch

    I noted that the Honourable Blogmaster also zoomed in on your comment

    Where you said and I quote

    “…This latter issue implicates the criminalization of the wearing of any form of camouflage clothing in Barbados.

    This has not been challenged to my best knowledge, but it would be of interest to debate whether it is reasonably required in all cases in the public interest…”

    By these very words I realise that the dye has been cast and I understand that they understand this too.

    Well done great warrior of thought and legal letter.

    Let de ole man ask you this hypothetical

    Let us suppose for the sake of argument that I am a man who has terminal cancer.

    Let us suppose that I am a man who has served in the armed forces of the United Kingdom as SAS.

    And let me suppose that I die and as my last will and testament I ask to be buried in the garb I love so well. Camouflage

    Are you saying to me that by Bajan law i cannot wear such garb to my final resting place?

    Further, if in my lingering death, i ask to wear such garb, as comfort to my passing soul, do you mean that i could not wear this garb? Like one wears pajama in the cancer ward of the QEH?

    And suppose that is have a remission of my cancer and am discharged from the hospital with my 3 sets of camouflage pyjamas, do you mean that if I, poor denizen, take a bus to my place of residence, or Lord forbid, am tossed unceremoniously from said cancer ward bed to the streets of Barbados (that comment is for Mugabe so do ignore it) do you mean to say that one does have recourse, against any arrest by our Royal Baygon Police Force- or would that be interpreted carte blanche as “being against the public interest” and get me locked up?

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  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ the Honourable Blogmaster your assistance please with an item here thank you kindly

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  • Piece

    The camouflage law like any other law made good sense at its initiated implementation … but those of you who really do not know the reason for i

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  • Piece

    The camouflage law like any other law made good sense at its initiated implementation … but those of you who really do not know or understand the reason for its implementation would deem it ridiculous or unsound today …

    But it is important to note that prior to the implementation of this law … a criminal element in Barbados was committing acts of raped etc and such acts were attributed to members of the Barbados Defence Force… because members of that organization wore the same attire as those who were committing these illegal acts.

    So the camouflage law though unsound today made good sense at its implementation given the forces at work during that period…

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  • Piece

    How comes you and others of your liken do not speak about the Obeah Laws of the 1800s which are still on the books of Barbados, and many other islands in the Caribbean?

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  • @ Jeff, re ” cross-dressing by men or women for an improper purpose.”

    Some women in Barbados cross-dress. They wear tailored suits to work.

    My layman’s opinion is that the cross-dressing issue is only illegal if done for the purpose of prostitution in a public place.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU
    Pink camouflage? If it is pink it cannot be camouflage.
    Camouflage is intended to reduce the possibility of the wearer being spotted easily. It helps the wearer to fade into the background. Unless there is an abundance of pink sand it would be stretching the meaning of camouflage. Camouflage is used and originated in the military. It is to protect the public and the armed forces.
    Are we going to have persons wearing navy blue trousers with a 2 inch red stripe making a case that it ignores their freedom of expression?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hants at 2 : 00 PM

    Thanks . But no thanks for the upload.
    IThat is an attempt to hijack the discussion which is about criminalizing attire. The garments displayed do not qualify as criminalized attire. The article is about criminalized attire worn by the armed forces. In my opinion those designs do not qualify as camouflage .

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  • Extracted from the article.

    And even though this freedom was subject, as in Barbados to reasonable limitations, these had to be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society-

    And hence my only comment on your last article – A few men dressing in women’s clothes. That will surely start World War 3!

    In other words – what is the harm or potential for harm to anybody else? How does it infringe on somebody else’s rights since one person’s rights should end where somebody else’s rights begin.

    When restricting an individual’s rights one must give VERY GOOD REASON why.

    No legal training, just a sense of fairness.

    How am I doing Jeff?

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  • @Vincent

    You should inquire why Customs has had reason to withhold pink camouflage clothing at ports of entry.

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  • Impersonating a Police officer is a criminal offence.

    Is wearing a Police uniform a criminal offence even if it is only as a costume ?

    Pc Broomes on you Tube “MADD – PICK IT UP CROPOVER 2016”

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  • Do you want to speculate why no one has challenged this matter? Does it convey the inability of our people to see the benefit of insisting on relevant laws therefore active participation?

    @ David, do we really challenge anything?. If David Commissiong were not so inclined re Hyatt and the threat not to allow un-fingerprinted Barbadians back into their country. what would be the actuality now?

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  • This ridiculous display of “we are nothing like you” is anathema to an advanced democracy.

    @45govt, So too, wearing wollen suits in 90+ degree temperatures?

    Liked by 1 person

  • And let me suppose that I die and as my last will and testament I ask to be buried in the garb I love so well. Camouflage

    Are you saying to me that by Bajan law i cannot wear such garb to my final resting place?

    @ Peace, a dead man is doli incapax. Any prosecution might have to be against the undertaker or the one who gave him or her the now impugned instruction.

    Liked by 1 person

  • When restricting an individual’s rights one must give VERY GOOD REASON why.

    @ Donna, and the sole constitutional reasons are that it is reasonable to do so in a free democratic society and that the stratal infringement is not disproportionate to the perceived evil…

    No legal training, just a sense of fairness.

    ^How am I doing Jeff?*

    Very well, indeed, Donna.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hants at 3:27 PM

    Thanks Hants. I believe that Sen. Franklyn’s interpretation and mine can coalesce.

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  • I remember reading that article from Caswell and thinking just how right he was.

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  • I have been outspoken about the issue of “camouflage clothing law” forever, don’t know why it is on the books and I can’t understand why it has remained unchallenged. Apparently, it is against the law in several other Caribbean nations as well as many African countries. Seems like the folks behind the law think that local citizens will hide behind the clothing to commit dastardly acts.

    I propose a law to banish suit and ties as everyone knows that the only people constantly wearing that type of clothing are either politicians with their hands in the Gov’t till or lawyers who will smile in your face and separate you from your assets.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Jeff & Sargeant, wollen, or even woolen suits are indeed anathema, and indicate the wearer may well be a bottom-feeding lawyer or politician, which far too often are synonymous.

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  • @Jeff

    You should tag your column with Eric Lewis. Based on his last column in the Nation he needs to be educated?

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  • Blatantly ignoring the countries camouflage laws bajan authorities have arrested a herd of Holstein cows

    Liked by 1 person

  • Jeff

    How many people wear camouflage in Barbados today as they did back in the 70s and 80s when it was popular among the emerging Rastafarian culture?

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Lawson at 9 : 40 PM

    In Barbados we make laws for man not for cows. We will have to seek another source when next we plan to improve our stock of cattle.

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  • i would suggest charolais but you know the trouble you would be in from waru if you agreed

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  • This wearing of woollen suits is pure brass bowlery in this climate. Politicians and attorneys wear their suits with great pride. I have seen how they stick their chests out as they strut conspicuously from their offices to court with their robes over their shoulders. Brass bowls dressed as brass bowls. It always makes me chuckle.

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  • “Pink camouflage? If it is pink it cannot be camouflage.”

    Mr. Codrington

    I write under correction……. but, I don’t believe the colour makes a difference. When a person is charged for wearing “camouflage,” they are usually charged for wearing “disruptive pattern material,” which is material similar in appearance to (resembling) the camouflage pattern.

    The multi-terrain camouflage pattern, for example, is usually light brown and beige with slashes of black and grey; the British military desert disruptive material pattern is beige and light brown.

    The RBPF wears a different type of camouflage pattern than the BDF……. and I’ve seen the BDF wearing a blue toned camouflage pattern.

    In my opinion, it’s “making a mountain out of a mole hill.” If it’s against the law to wear camouflage…..DON’T WEAR IT!!!!……SIMPLE!!!

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  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    Disruptive Pattern Material.

    What is a tie die shirt or pants, you do remember those?

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  • “What is a tie die shirt or pants, you do remember those?”

    Comparing “tie dye” with camouflage is way off mark.

    Even Jose Feliciano would see the difference.

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  • Why should civilians have ANY right to dress in similar uniforms that have been designated for the official armed forces?
    Just because some brass bowl clown has dreams of being a macho Rambo does not mean that he should be able to dress up so as to be confused with legitimate armed forces of the country.

    This is one of the FEW laws bout here that actually makes sense…

    What is wrong with wunna people though,,,??!!
    LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  • RE What is wrong with wunna people though,,,??!!

    THEY WANT WHACKING MAN WHACK THE BRASS BOWLS MAN

    Liked by 1 person

  • “This is one of the FEW laws bout here that actually makes sense…”

    Bush Tea

    According to your man Caswell Franklyn, “prosecuting people for wearing or possession of camouflage happens to be one of (his) pet peeves.”

    In his Sunday Sun column of December 18, 2016, Franklyn wrote: “I do not believe that wearing camouflage clothing is illegal. My view is that overzealous enforcement and misinterpretation of the statute by the authorities is responsible for people being convicted of wearing camouflage clothing, in some circumstances where it is not an offence.”

    I believe Franklyn could have used the time he took to write that article to focus on a more productive issue.

    The general argument some people advance is that it is legal to wear camouflage in other countries.

    Supposed one morning Lexicon decides to act out his childhood fantasy of becoming a police officer and goes into “District A” dressed in a navy blue slacks with a red stripe at the side and a gray short sleeved shirt, resembling the official uniform of the RBPF?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Supposed one morning Lexicon decides to act out his childhood fantasy of becoming a police officer and goes into “District A” dressed in a navy blue slacks with a red stripe at the side and a gray short sleeved shirt, resembling the official uniform of the RBPF?

    THEY SHOULD LOCK HIM UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY!

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  • “THEY SHOULD LOCK HIM UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY!”

    Lexicon is versed in the law, having read concepts of American jurisprudence……… so he’ll probably represent himself in court.

    He may argue the rights people are advocating for the wearing of BDF camouflage, should be extended to those who want to wear RBPF uniforms.

    And, in addition to his penchant for pontificating about law and medicine…….. of which he does not have any formal training or technical knowledge……. and be disadvantaged by not being able to use Google in court…….

    ………..he may be sentenced to the psychiatric hospital for observation.

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  • When the blogmaster posted about pink camouflage clothing withheld by the authorities it was not a an empty statement.

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  • One can wear camouflage without it being similar to a soldiers’s uniform just as one can wear a gray shirt without it being similar to a policeman’s uniform. it should be illegal to dress as a soldier but not just to wear a camouflage shirt. It matters not to me but I think it harsh to have a criminal record for such.

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  • In which Barbadian jungle should camouflage shoes or shorts prove disruptive or chameleonic?

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  • A relative sent me a camouflage t-shirt that would fit a five year old to pass on to a friend. It was confiscated at the post office.

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  • It is incumbent on the government to identify ‘child soldiers’ as early as possible.

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  • Law reforms is coming…promised?

    Legal reform

    Article by
    Barbados Today Published on
    October 10, 2018
    Lawmakers on Tuesday began tackling reform of the Laws of Barbados, seeking to use a ‘law czar’ to root out statutes that are out of date and inefficient.

    Government was moving to create a law review commissioner and establish a law review commission to help modernize the nation’s laws, said its chief legal advisor, Attorney General Dale Marshall.

    Marshall led debate on the Law Revision and Law Reform Bill 2018 in the 379-year-old lower chamber, saying the new posts were necessary for Barbados to update its current statutes and regulations.

    The 1994-2008 Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration had a law revision commissioner, whose task it was to meticulously go through every single statute and make sure that the final product was clear and expressed the full intent of Parliament, Marshall said.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2018/10/10/legal-reform/

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  • Bush Tea

    Has made a valued point … who give the general public the right to wear uniform designed for the armed forces?

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  • Donna

    Why do Barbadians always want to be difficult?

    If it is against the law to wear camouflage why wear?

    If you break the law and wear a camouflage shirt, then you deserve a criminal record.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David Bu

    The accent is on camouflage.
    If the design and colours are incapable of projecting an optic of the surrounding landscape ,seascape or desertscape then it cannot be described as camouflage. The design represents various intensities of light and shadow.Are soldiers likely to be in a situation with a pink background? Do you know of any army in this world where camouflage wear is pink?

    .

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  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ Mr. Vincent Codrington

    The army of Gays Lesbians and in Betweeners perhaps?

    Peekaboo I see you…lolol

    Now one thinks about it, maybe it is better that pink camouflage is banned because it would be hard to find a cli*oris to bite it out in pink camouflage

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  • @Vincent

    You should email your comment to the authorities. Now you understand why we should be railing against the irrelevance of the law.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ PUDRYR

    @ David BU

    Points grasped.

    @ PUDRYR

    You are something else. LOL!!!

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  • @Vincent Codrington December 3, 2018 8:05 PM “Are soldiers likely to be in a situation with a pink background?”

    There are a number of pink sand beaches in the Caribbean and worldwide. Google and see for yourself. Soldiers tend to land on beaches, do they not? In order to ensure that the invasion goes well, soldiers, gay, straight, trans and otherwise, landing on those beaches would be well advised to wear pink camouflage.

    Lolll!!!

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  • Artax,

    Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn about camouflage but I do think that laws, no matter how trivial should make sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  • You guys seem fixated on the sexual habits of Ms. Mottley. Why am I not surprised?!

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  • de pedantic Dribbler

    Mr Blogmaster, shame on you 🤣… how can you say we should rail against “the irrelevance of the law”.

    I am also surprised by @Artax’s remark re “Why do Barbadians always want to be difficult?”….it is not a matter simply of wearing a camouflage shirt or outfit …rather as cited by @Donna its the overzealous and nonsensical acts by law enforcement related to ANY and ALL garments with the so called disruptive pattern.

    That’s not being difficult…just asking the authorities to enforce laws rationally…I also accept the basic tenents kreasoning) of the law but some enforcements actions are simply nonsensical.

    My reaction to the pink camouflage was EXACTLY that of @Vincent… pink AND camouflage in the context of law enforcement or the military are irrational, incongruous, don’t go together, make no sense etc etc.

    For authorities to prevent folks wearing a pink camouflage outfit or anyone – five years or 35 years- from swimming on Bajan beaches because they have disruptive pattererned swim wear is obviously stupid….Will underwear be banned too!

    But back to the irrelevance thing…Caswell explained this well in his piece (thanks @Hants) …. he said …

    “To my mind the statute is clear. It is an offence to wear clothing made from the type of camouflage material used by the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) or any material that closely resembles BDF issue. It is therefore inconceivable that the police would charge someone for wearing pink camouflage”….BECAUSE NEITHER THE BDF NOR POLICE would ever go on a mission in pink camouflage…so how can a citizen be resembling them!

    Overzealous folly…not simply irrelevance Mr Blogmaster.!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Again wunna missing the point.

    While it is true that the law leads to ridiculous cases of its application, it MUST be known that in Barbados
    if you give a brass bowl an inch … he takes a foot
    Give him a foot …he wants a yard..
    Give him a yard …and he expects a breadfruit tree in it…

    Who EXACTLY is going to decide ‘how closely’ a piece of camouflage clothing resembles that used by the army…?
    Let the pink pass..
    Up comes some jackass with a “pinkish greenish blueish” one… then greenish-brownish..
    Next Lexi turns up at the airport with a bullet proof vest and a whole lotta shiite words that the customs man cannot understand (Lexi neither…) …and he gone clear to unplug hospital equipment bout here…

    The Bajan authorities DONE KNOW that they lack the capability to enforce ANY kind of law that requires the use of sensible JUDGMENT…. shiite – it is hard enough for them ….just to figure out what is camouflage ….

    Why wunna don’t leave the brass bowl people alone nuh…?
    The alternative will see all the various block bad-boys dressing up in their various camouflage gear and playing gang thugs…
    Bad enough that they cannot even come up with local badboy area names …wunna now sending them to copy the various fringe idiots in the USA now….dressed like idiots….

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  • I believe this is “much ado about nothing.” In MY opinion, it’s “trivial nonsense” that I won’t lose any sleep over. I’m just not bothered by it.

    If it’s against the law to wear disruptive patterned material, whether it is pink, yellow, pea green or red…..don’t wear it……..it’s that simple. What is the sense in wearing a yellow disruptive patterned shirt, be arrested and charged by the police, then go to Court to argue the “BDF doan wear yellow camouflage”…..when you could have saved all that trouble by simply not wearing it?

    Is this issue taking center stage because a BU favourite, Caswell Franklyn, wrote about it? In BU Franklyn’s Kool-Aid is well received and digested.

    There are so many other laws that need revisiting, such as using insulting language to a policeman or using language to the extent that the officer becomes offended.

    Barbadian police officers are known to curse people….. this is a fact. A policeman, for example, approaches an individual and during the course of the conversation, he calls the individual “a effing idiot.” The individual, who is offended by the “characterisation,” responds by telling the officer, “you is a effing idiot, too.”

    The individual is arrested and charged for using insulting language to a policeman…. ..in Court, his/her version of what transpired is dismissed by the magistrate in favour of the policeman’s statement… and he/she is fined.

    What about JPs signing search warrants?

    Or how about addressing issues such as police brutality or torturing suspects while they are in custody.

    Just my take.

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  • “Next Lexi turns up at the airport with a bullet proof vest and a whole lotta shiite words that the customs man cannot understand (Lexi neither…) …”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

    Wuh loss……

    Bushie…..you is something else, yuh.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Artax,

    Sometimes one must take a break from more serious and therefore more heated and contentious discussions. Why don’t you post a submission on these matters that concern you, though? We have, led by Piece had serious discussions on the issues of police unfairness and brutality but it is probably time for a repeat.

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  • Bushie,

    I am well aware of what you speak and I was expecting that argument from you but I still do think discretion should prevail in prosecuting and giving a fella a criminal record.

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  • @Bush Tea

    You are critical of the ‘brassbowls on one hand for not being more strident about issues that concern them and on the other had you want them to follow a law which does not make sense because…?

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  • I can see the headlines now…..drunk tourist with parkinsons arrested while eating two all dressed hotdogs outside harbour lights. Mistakenly thought to be wearing camo.

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  • Bush Tea has made a valued point (sic) … who give the general public the right to wear uniform designed for the armed forces?

    Has he really? What is the armed forces uniform? Does color matter? I Are there Defense Force camouflage skirts and shorts and… handkerchiefs?

    Like

  • If it’s against the law to wear disruptive patterned material, whether it is pink, yellow, pea green or red…..don’t wear it……..it’s that simple. What is the sense in wearing a yellow disruptive patterned shirt, be arrested and charged by the police, then go to Court to argue the “BDF doan wear yellow camouflage”…..when you could have saved all that trouble by simply not wearing it?

    In a sane world, that officer would be sued for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution! But then, this is Brassbowland! Sorry, Barbados. Damn autocorrect!

    Liked by 1 person

  • How many people remember a few years ago a young lad, aged about 11, visiting from Britain and wearing a pair of camouflage trousers was forced to change in to something more acceptable.
    In most European countries, there are stores that sell old military uniform; they are sold at give-away prices and are popular with students (or used to be) and low-income people.,
    Are there exemptions in Barbados for the theatre, school plays, television drama, etc? The law is an ass.

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ the LUMINARY Jeff Cumberbatch

    Last night de ole man argued over an hour with a young man who attended some Christaan gathering at Sherbourne this Sunday.

    He was saying that they, the youth, have agreed to continue praying against the Spiritual Wickedness in the World.

    I told him that all of this was all well and good but WE as so called Christians we missing one thing , BALLS!

    FOR there he was in Barbados talking bout Praying yet not one of them had the balls to come on stage to talk bout the wuflessness that the BlP was doing.

    He then proceeded to talk about how Sandra Wives was among them and therefore they had a Christian among the BLP people

    Well let me tell you something

    I cussed him left and right when he talked about that pretend child of God.

    The problem here is this, Luminary Cumberbatch.

    We have lost people who have balls, who believe in the things that we like to announce rather type about as keyboard warriors

    Let me ask you something.

    Let one suppose that a person was prepared to wear a camouflage garb Mr Cumberbatch, would you defend them?

    Let us get to the meat of this matter kind sir.

    Tell de ole man how something like this will play out.

    Say one does wear said item in your streets, and one does say that one wears said garb because one feels entitled to said garb, WILL YOU DEFEND THEM?

    Else I say to you the same thing I say to that young man, you are lukewarm and we as bajans deserve these inferior superiors, bungling nitwits, whi claim to run this country.

    I await your response with eager ears

    Like

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    A few weeks ago a blogger made remarks to the effect that if Civil Rights protestors got arrested for breaking the law by sitting at lunch counters against racism or marching on the Pettus bridge then they aptly deserved it because the LAW said it was wrong…that illicited a WTF…what the French.

    So here we have another blogger using the same logic base to affirm the govt’s right to impose another ‘unjust or unreasonable’ rule tho of course much less corrosive to basic human rights and divinity.

    How does that work, exactly!

    After all these years of the oft repeated dictum from the German pastor Father Niemoller we can still so glibly look pass the slow creep of ‘care-less’, intrusive, “annoyingly/poorly” executed laws and not see the danger that can lead to a ‘care-free’, callous government imposing more offensive laws.

    Of course laws are intended to regulate a just society but had our foreparents NOT protested against ‘bad’ laws -some very small (like this one) – would we all be able to sing so sweetly today about telling our kids not to get involved in protests …

    The Dean said it bluntly…and to paraphrase more bluntly …if a police officer is an assho** and unjustly arrests you then he or she should be sanctioned accordingly and the matter dismissed…but HOW will that ever happen UNLESS a case is strongly tested in court action… how do some POs in US do GET convicted for bad actions without vociferous protests of folks like BLM which of course is todays Cvil Rights protestors … who then of course were justly echoing the dictum according to Father Niemoller: I must speak out for all wrongheads indiscretions – related or unrelated to me.

    First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a socialist.
    Then they came for [camouflage wearers] , and I did not speak out—
    Because I [would never wear camouflage].
    Then they came for the [doctors and lawyers] and I did not speak out—
    Because I was [not one of them].
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

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

    Like

  • David
    You are critical of the ‘brassbowls on one hand for not being more strident about issues that concern them and on the other had you want them to follow a law which does not make sense because…?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    In a world full of jobby, it is asinine to spend a lot of time trying to sort out farts.

    Jeff
    What is the armed forces uniform? Does color matter? I Are there Defense Force camouflage skirts and shorts and… handkerchiefs?
    ++++++++++++++++
    That is precisely the problem.
    You CANNOT get you highly paid judges and courts to sort out simple matters like murder, rape, robbery and arson… but you expect customs officers and policemen ON THE SPOT, to sort out the above HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE questions…?

    You know better than any other here that once a line is drawn, that line will be moved nearer and near to the red zone until the law means nothing.

    The ACTION of our enforcement staff to interpret the law as BROADLY as possible is therefore the most effective option, and the price to be paid is minimal – except for jackasses who insist on wearing the stupid looking shiite clothes.

    In MANY countries if you enter with ANY kind of drug (including some prescription medications) it will be confiscated and you can be charged… How can there be NO rules?

    Just wear normal damn clothes…
    If we are stupid enough to sell all our national assets to foreigners …
    what the hell is this urgency of wearing disruptive patters clothes
    -to hide our shame?
    Steupsss

    Liked by 1 person

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    Mr BushT, but is there not legal wrangling on what’s ‘normal clothes’ too…

    If you wear a normal shirt … let’s call it a blouse and pants…lets call that some dibby, dibby hot pants…will YOU mister man not get arrested for said normal clothes…well at least if you were visiting Kaiteur Falls! 🤣🤣

    Bro, police officers or custom officials use their DISCRETION every day so it’s alarmist and over blown to cite the examples you did….yes those happen…so you must ensure you have a properly approved medical waiver if you are travelling to some countries with prescription medication.

    Mothers with breast milk in bottles had grave problems even in recent years since the 9-11 travel bank on liquids…proper discretion prevailed eventually to allow the pumped mother’s milk; even women breast feeding their kids in public tho well covered have had legal issues….your line is crossed and recrossed EVERY FREAKING day…but commonsense DOES prevail…

    ..tho sometimes it takes over sized damages judgements to get the commonsense clarified…alas not in Bim!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Impersonating a soldier or a policeman should be an offence. Wearing a camouflage cap should not. We are not wasting time sorting out farts. We are thinking and arguing about a principle that could have ramifications for other areas of life. And we are taking a break from screaming insults at each other. Well almost.

    Like

  • Good points, DPD.

    Liked by 1 person

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