In yesterday’s press there was a reminder of Richard ‘Johnny’ Cheltenham’s appointment as Chairman of the Parliamentary Reform Commission (PRC). The mandate of the PRC according to Attorney General Dale Marshall at a recent press conference is to review the structure and function of parliament.
The other news of interest was the Barbados Bar Association (BBA) calling for action from government to address “issues affecting the rights of persons in police custody…protocols governing the conduct of attorney’s confidential communication with accused persons’ (Nation newspaper 13/02/2023). The BBA was reacting to the discovery of a cellphone in recording mode found in the interview room where attorneys at law interview clients.
The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in its 2018 Covenant of Hope states at item number 3, ‘The Barbados Labour Party stands for good and transparent governance’. Similarly under Aims and Objects item (g) of the Guidelines of the Barbados Bar Association (Chapter 363) it states- ‘To settle questions of professional conduct, discipline and etiquette’.
The two news items should given Barbadians cause to pause. It is over 50 years the two main political parties have been promising Barbadians to enact transparency laws i.e. integrity and freedom of information legislation. Two committees of parliament, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and Committee of Privileges have always predictably failed to bring matters tabled to a head. Is there any reason the public is apathetic about governance matters and as a consequence unwilling to participate in government the essence of which is required to maintain a relevant democracy?
The same ineffectiveness can be attributed to the BBA and its complementary entity the Disciplinary Committee (DC). Barbadians have rightly been resigned to complaints raised before the two entities – mandated in law to serve the public – being willfully frustrated. Attorney after attorney rotate through the job of president of the BBA in the hunt for two letters – QC, KC, SC take your pick. The letters confer seniority and priority how the conferee does business in the court system and importantly the ability to charge larger fees to the public. It is a system that continues to be manipulated by the legal fraternity to the disadvantage of members of the public.
Barbados Underground has posted several blogs supported by documents to expose a matter which involves attorney at law Richard ‘Johnny’ Cheltenham. For the purpose of this blog the same matter requires Cheltenham to present himself at a Disciplinary Committee meeting. From all reports he has refused to appear AND the DC seems powerless to resolve the matter. The continued manipulation of justice by the BBA and DC with the support of government translates to ordinary citizens being chafed. Now we have the news a government that promised ‘good and transparent governance’ has appointed Cheltenham as Chairman of the PRC, another example of the political class laughing at we.
See a few relevant links:
- 13 Years Later – Everton Cumberbatch Vs Larry Tatem, Leroy Parris and Johnny Cheltenham
- Doyen of the Political Class Attorney at Law Sir Richard Cheltenham Ignores the Court
- Who Johnny Cheltenham think he is?
Prime Minister Mottley and members of her government can continue to deliver the pretty talk, however, as long as citizens continue to be frustrated while seeking justice, it is all a pappyshow forcing chickens to come home to roost. Are we there yet? The President of the BBA can issue pretty statements, however, as long as citizens are frustrated in the hunt for justice, it is all a pappyshow forcing the chickens to come home to roost. Are we there yet?