In recent days Attorney General Dale Marshall has been in the news relating to several matters. Two items piqued the blogmaster’s interest.
In summary he said he had been following the issue concerning the wall at Joe’s River in St. Joseph, the constituency he represents. And that he was forced to decline public comment on the matter because future developments may involve aspects of his ministry.
See relevant extract of Attorney General Marshall commenting on the issue.
The other issue was Marshall commenting on the lack of complaints raised by the Barbados Bar Association against judges who have been persistently late handing down written decisions.
I can tell you I’ve had meetings with the Bar Association – and I supposed I may be unpopular for saying this – but I genuinely felt there were some instances where the Bar ought to raise complaints against persistently delaying members of the judiciary.Attorney General Dale Marshall
In the first matter Marshall asserts that he must suppress first responsibility of being member of parliament for St. Joseph by withholding strident vocal support for constituents protesting the Joe’s River matter. One can reasonably argue it is the correct position taken by Marshall to avoid prejudicing the matter should it escalate to the Attorney General’s office for review.
In the other matter Marshall felt no need to contain himself when he publicly voiced frustration at the inaction of the Barbados Bar Association for being intimidated by delinquent judges. Members of the public could legitimately question the integrity of the judiciary given Attorney General Marshall’s admission. The more pertinent concern as his further comment supports.
…the response that was given to me unofficially was that nobody wants to bell this particular cat because if you complain, you feel there are going to be recriminations, if not from the same judge, then from other judges…Attorney General Dale Marshall
We have a situation of Marshall apparently absolving himself of his responsibility as policymaker. If a judge is deemed to be delinquent this should be seen as a performance matter and disposed of accordingly. If the existing law in some way prevents the Chief Justice from exercising disciplinary action, then change the law Attorney General Marshall notwithstanding the shield given to judges under the Constitution.
How can a government elected to govern remain supine in the face of incompetence demonstrated by a few judges? There is no reason why Attorney General Marshall should be reminded of the maxim, justice delayed to the people is justice denied.
See relevant link
What is the role of the Attorney General?
On a related matter for Attorney General Marshall because of John Citizen’s inability to access information in the absence of freedom of information laws.
The government abandoned the road at Six Mens means the bridge will be permanently raised so that the parcels of land acquired by the government can be sold off. They have already started a bypass road from Colleton to Maynards – no consultation!