The BBA and DC maybe have received a dose of its own medicine.
In today’s press former member of parliament and prominent criminal attorney Michael Lashley has expressed “ fears that lawyer-client privacy at police stations is under threat, based on the Barbados Police Service’s findings in the “cell phone under the table” incident”. His reaction was to the incident where a cell phone was found taped under a desk at District E in a room used by attorneys and clients.
The blogmaster has no problem with the Barbados Bar Association (BBA), Faith Greaves, a junior lawyer at Michael Lashley & Associates, expressing outrage at the incident. Obviously an attempt was made by someone to subvert the process. Unfortunately, Barbadians have tolerated repeated attempts by officialdom to rub the brown stuff in our faces. What the incident exposes is a level of corruption perpetrated by actors responsible for honouring the justice system.
Given the nature of your complaint, a forensic analysis was conducted to this cellular phone by the Regional Security System. The forensic analysis of the cellular phone was carried out to determine whether it was fit for use or carried any recorded information thereon.
“That forensic examination revealed that the phone was unserviceable and that there was no recording on the phone. That the phone had no bearing on the matter involving the attorney-client privileged communication. The forensic examination also showed there was no link between the investigations involving your client and the cellular phone.Nation newspaper
The protest coming from president of BBA who rightly issued a statement expressing, “dissatisfaction with the reply that was forthcoming from the Office of the Commissioner of Police is laughable. A detailed response to the letter will be given early next week”. The statement is appropriate in the circumstances, but, BBA and its sister agency the Disciplinary Committee (DC) have been guilty of behaving in similar fashion. How many complaints from the public have been frustrated by the two agencies over the years? There is no question the many unresolved complaints from the public have led to a dim reputation the legal profession currently enjoys in Barbados. Members of the BBA who repeatedly use the defense that only a small number of lawyers are incarcerated therefore it is an overreaction to label the profession crooked, disregard one consideration. What if the many complaints lodged with the BBA and DC were thoroughly investigated?
There is a saying what you sow, you will reap. The BBA and DC have received a dose of its own medicine. Who knows how the phone was placed in the multipurpose room at District E. A simple suggestion would be for the police to search the room BEFORE lawyers meet with clients? The blogmaster fears this matter of the taped cell phone to a table is the tip of the iceberg as it pertains to how ‘things’ are done in Barbados by actors citizens trust.
Nothing to see here by denizens in this fair land. The Commissioner of Police has issued a statement, “…the occurrence of this unfortunate incident is sincerely regretted. We assure you that measures have been already adopted to further secure the private privilege of attorney-client communication at police stations”. Here endeth this laughable saga. We wonder why the public, especial today’s generation, does not have confidence in the police force? How will policing improve in the prevailing climate of distrust? How much is our judicial actors – lawyers, judges, policemen, officials at the registry et al – to blame for the current state of affairs?
By the way, can we have an update on the work at the Police Complaints Authority?