Let us strip away the politics and emotion from this transaction, instead we must focus and discuss the facts.
David I have been following the Savvy issue from its onset. I have read the documents supplied by Ms Sarah Taylor, which in my view need to be discussed in simple terms and without prejudice. The public needs to understand the facts of the issue and dismiss red herrings that may be floated by parties.
First let us start with what was bought by Mr Kinch for the $4 million Barbados dollars. Listed below are the lot sizes taken from the conveyances provided by Ms Taylor (1 sq m equals m2)
Lot A 4873.9 m2
Lot B 5254.9 m2
Lot C 1749.2 m2
Total 11878 m2
Keep in mind 1 sq m (m2) is 10.764 sq feet therefore the total area made up by the 3 lots translates to 127,854.79 sq feet. Hence with a purchase price of BBD$4 million, Mr Kinch was paid $31.28 a square foot plus legal fees. Those are the facts and I have attached the 3 signature pages of the signed conveyances to confirm the numbers. These were based on the surveys done by Mr. Ken Ward and accepted by the board of Barbados Tourism Investment Inc (BTII) to which the directors in seat signed off.
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.
The Barbados Bar Association and Disciplinary Committee are enabling agencies to ring fence the profession.
This brief notice published to today’s press piqued the blogmaster’s interest. We have twelve more lawyers who will earn the right to wear silks as well as adding a few more dollars to the client invoice.
Special Supreme Court sitting
THERE WILL BE a Special Sitting of the Supreme Court of Barbados on Friday at 10 a.m. to admit to the Inner Bar 12 attorneys who have been appointed as Senior Counsel.
They are Wilfred Abrahams, Tammy Bryan, Gillian Henderson Clarke, Rudolph Greenidge, Kathy-Ann Hamblin, Edmund Hinkson, Arthur Holder, Anika Jackson, Stephen Lashley, Angela Mitchell-Gittens, Alliston Seale and Liesel Weekes. (BGIS)
It is a bad rap on Hugh Wooding law school and simply a disgrace to the profession.
Submitted by Chefleur
Once upon a time the legal profession was considered noble. I had to pause from my very busy schedule to chronicle to inform you and the public of some very disturbing events and atrocious behaviour of a member of the Guyana Bar.
Before my mother died I filed various DVA before the Magistrate’s courts in Georgetown. A particular attorney representing the defendants would enter the chambers spewing his diatribe, in order to sway the Magistrate from granting the protection order sought.
Because of his utterances all those requests for protection of my elderly and abused mother were given a mere “keep the peace” warning. My mother died because various magistrates in Guyana *refused* to act to protect an ailing elderly person.
Since my mother’s death in January 2022 this same attorney has filed various ridiculous motions on the estate. All were promptly dismissed for no grounds by understandably very irate judges.
A truce between warring gangs was brokered by former gang boss Winston ‘Iston’ Branch earlier in the year, to the embarrassment of the country. He accomplished what officialdom and a citizenry living in fear could not. According to BU Murder Counter 11 murders have been committed at month seven of 12. Barbados is on track to have its lowest number of murders in recent years. A good news story?
Unfortunately as we are breathing a sigh of relief at a declining murder rate, there has been an alarming increase in other criminal activity. In recent hours and days there has been two cutlass wielding attacks, one of them taking place on Broad Street at 11AM. The other next to a primary school which thankfully students are on summer break. It is interesting that in both cases the police reported shooting the victims to prevent escalation. A sign of things to come no doubt.
There are attempts to confuse Barbadians on the contents of the Child Protection Bill (2023). First the facts.
Fact 1: The Child Protection Bill (2023) is designed to punish anyone who abuses children.
Fact 2: The Bill punishes parents, teachers, pastors and anyone who abuses children by making them liable for: (i) fines of $100,000, (ii) imprisonment for 10 years, and (iii) removal of the children if the abuser is a parent.
Every person who cares about children is reasonably expected to support this Bill – and I did. How could anyone morally not support it? How could anyone side with abusers of children – especially if you are a parent? In piloting the Bill through Parliament, the Minister went on an emotional rant and wanted the fine to be one million dollars – his heart seemed to be in the right place.
The matter covered by Barbados Underground for more than a decade between Sir Richard ‘Johnny’ Cheltenham versus Everton Cumberbatch continues to play on the civic minded among us- see BU Archives. The blogmaster has a problem with a very senior lawyer AND elder of the governing Barbados Labour Party (BLP) continuing to be selected for important national appointments while a serious complaint is pending with the Disciplinary Committee (DC). It is instructive to note the DC is blocked from doing its work- if it had any intention of doing so- because Cheltenham has been granted an injunction pending the completion of an application of a judicial review as reported in the Nation as follows:
The blogmaster takes a note that Sir Richard Cheltenham continues to perform in the role of Chairman of the Parliamentary Reform Commission (PRC). The blogmaster has no issue with the quote attributed to him in yesterday’s media – “We have inherited a bicameral system; a House of Assembly and the Senate, but now we have to ask ourselves whether we should continue that system or whether we should have one chamber; a unicameral [system]…We’ve always used the first-past-the-post system that gets most votes at the polls to determine membership but there are questions about whether a mixture of first past the post and proportional representation. . . all of those questions will be on the agenda and have to be carefully considered”. It is important work and hopefully the PRC will deliver on its mandate.
What the blogmaster has a problem with is the fact Sir Richard Cheltemham has a matter pending with the Disciplinary Committee of the BAR association. Several blogs have been published on Barbados Underground (BU) through the years directing the public to matters requiring answers from Cheltemham and local authorities without success. BU also questions those who agree to sit on a committee with Cheltenham with serious accusations outstanding waiting to be ruled on by the Disciplinary Committee of the BAR. Further, BU questions why a Mottley government advocating a political agenda of good governance and integrity continue to appoint persons who are being investigated for possible wrongdoings.#peterodle
An interesting news item this week centred around Prime Minister Mia Mottley who continues to loom large on the local, regional and dare twe suggest the international stage? Mottley has attracted the ire of some in the legal community for suggestions made at the recent Regional Symposium: Violence As a Public Health Issue organized by CARICOM.
We need to start rotating judges and magistrates in the region to ensure that there is not the familiarity with counsel and other circumstances and things that people take for granted.
Who better than Mottley to understand some of the challenges our legal system continues to pose. She has been immersed in the moribund system for all of her life and if caught in an informal conversation after a stiff drink and a ‘smoke’ may admit she has been a contributor to the flawed system over the years.
For some time I have been hearing a person on social media proclaiming that Barbados does not have a constitution. Normally, I would listen in amusement and take it for the comic relief that it provided but now it is no longer funny. It has potential to become dangerous and reckless as I am now hearing others expressing disrespect for the court system because they are also parroting the nonsense about this country not having a constitution. I am concerned that Government has not attempted to clarify the situation and has allowed this dangerous nonsense to take root.
In September 2021, Government brought a bill to Parliament entitled:
An Act to alter the Constitution in order
(a) to provide for Barbados to become a republic with a President who shall be Head of State of Barbados; and
(b) to provide for related matters.
It might have slipped pass many but one of the related matters was legislating, for the first in the Barbados Parliament, a constitution for this country. The original independence constitution of Barbados was never passed in our parliament, it was merely a schedule to an order in council, the Barbados Independence Order, made by Queen Elizabeth II.
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 author’s name withheld at the discretion of the Blogmaster – David
Man makes plans not knowing the plans God has already made or how he will bring his plans to pass. Six things have occurred recently in Barbados that may change the path of our trajectory.
With the deadline for the Trident ID being April 1st there has been an increase in anxiety in the general population.
With a background in gun violence during the past decade, suddenly, the gangs have made a truce and all the deaths by gun fire have stopped.
Then a week ago, some of the former wards of the Girl’s Industrial School won their case and the wandering laws under which they were institutionalized were deemed unconstitutional and struck off the law books.
The very next day, the country learnt that the government had passed the Barbados Identification Act two years earlier in 2021 to restrict freedoms and the ability to vote by citizens. In essence, it appears as though the wandering laws had been replaced by a plantation pass (Trident ID card) proving that plantation slavery is alive and well in Barbados.
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’.
Last week the government promised to make another attempt to enact The Integrity in Public Life Bill. Our honorable members of parliament from the two main political parties have been promising Barbadians integrity legislation since the mid 70s. And they say a promise is comfort for fools.
How can a former minister of government and former Queens Counsel now Kings Counsel (Senior Counsel) ignore a summons from the entity responsible under the law for hearing disciplinary complaints? Who Johnny Cheltenham think he is? For the record, Richard ‘Johnny’ Cheltenham is the brother of Patterson Cheltenham, CHIEF JUSTICE OF BARBADOS.
SIR Richard Cheltenham would have received a summons mirroring the document below.
Has Sir Richard Lionel Cheltenham KA., KC, Ph.D been called by the Disciplinary Committee of the Barbados Bar Association for grave professional misconduct and is in breach of 22 of the clauses of the Legal Profession Act?
The Barbados legal eagle was ordered by the disciplinary Committee to submit a sworn affidavit to the complaint #31 0f 2020 and appear for the hearing of the complaint. How could such a case escape the media when other attorneys in breach with the same professional misconduct are being prosecuted and imprisoned?
Scott informed the committee that the Sir Richard, summoned called by this court, with status and authority of the High Court, will not be attending the second hearing in March.
Another three weeks to finish 2022 and the murder on the weekend pushes the year to date recorded number of murders to 41 which equals 2020. The state of violent crime in Barbados in recent years brings the 48 murders recorded in 2019 into play. Of deep concern to the blogmaster is the inability of the leadership in the country to effectively address the problem.
Last week the blogmaster read about 140 murders recorded by The Bahamas and it is no secret Jamaica has been declaring state of emergencies as a measure to arrest the murder rate for over 50 years. The outlook does not look good for Barbados that we will be able to reduce the murder rate using regional trending as the basis of conclusion.
The scourge of drugs is generally accepted as feeding criminal activity in Barbados – specifically gun crime. Further, we have the untouchables operating in the shadows of society who pass as upright citizens responsible for financing the importation of drugs and guns. The blogmaster is sure, very sure there is collusion between various actors in the first, second and third sectors of Barbados. For some reason a video of then Opposition Leader Mia Mottley posing with certain characters come to mind. What are we doing?
There is, perhaps, no greater call upon citizens anywhere than to act with pride and industry. It is, therefore, a blessing that those words, pride and industry, consummate our national motto. Herein, we discuss the role ‘titles of honour’ play in spurring a country’s productive forces. Firstly, by discussing a seemingly small debate within legal circles with immense import for us today and our future.
Queen’s Counsel are Queen’s Counsel under the ‘Crown in right of Barbados’ whose artefacts are, for all practical purposes, grandfathered within Barbados’ constitutional fabric. Arguably, this great colonial “reservation” within our republican system allows Queen’s Counsel to retain said titles since they were conferred upon them personally at that time.
The member of parliament for St. Michael West Neil Rowe was this week charged with rape, it has been widely carried in the social and traditional media. The fact that statement details given to the Barbados Police Service (BPS) by the victim was leaked is also of interest. It is the second time in recent weeks the BPS has been accused of a breach in confidentiality. The blogmaster agrees with those who opine the BPS will find it challenging to carry out its job in the circumstances and must hastily address the matter.
A story carried in the Nation newspaper with the headline NHC Evicts Tenant on the 29 September 2022 caught the eye. The tenant was evicted after falling $100,000 in arrears. It became a court matter in 2014 and a court order was issued by the Barbados Court of Appeal to evict handed down in April 2022 according to the report. The report suggested the tenant felt comfortable racking up the rent because she was a close friend of a politician affiliated with the government of the day. for sure other reasons are at play.
There are several issues inquiring minds should want to unpack arising from the report.
We understand a culture of nepotism operating in Barbados is entrenched to the point it is defended as a right of practice. That a tenant would feel emboldened to occupy a taxpayer subsidised housing unit since 2011 and refuse to pay a single cent in rent is probably the tip of the iceberg. Let us not forget the decision government took regarding squatters at Rock Hall in order to be politically expedient.
Why did the case take 12 years to reach a point an eviction order was finally issued by the Court of Appeal in April?
What does it say about inefficient processes required to seek justice?
What does it say about how the NHC as agent for government prosecuted the matter?
Who dropped the ball in this matter to the point taxpayers are left holding the bag to the tune of $100,000 plus legal and other cost incurred with the case?
Stories are heard daily about the grief landlords have to endure with uncooperative tenants. If the government had to initiate a 12 year process and tens of thousands dollars to evict a single tenant, what hope is there the process will be less accommodating for John Citizen?
One suspects there is more to the matter detailed in the Nation newspaper – isn’t there enough historical information to support we have a problem?
A problem that can be defined by the sloth of government bureaucracy, a moribund justice system AND a citizenry unwilling to actively exercise its civic duty.
See Nation article.
NHC evicts tenant
Almost $100 000 in arrears, says state-owned entity
A WOMAN WHO OWES the National Housing Corporation (NHC) close to $100 000 in rental arrears accumulated over a 12-year period, was finally evicted yesterday from the unit she was occupying at Country Park Towers, Country Road, St Michael.
Court marshals swooped down on the third storey unit early yesterday morning and began moving out furniture and other household effects in the presence of the woman and her daughter.
The rental arrears is said to be the most owed by a tenant in recent times.
Last April this newspaper reported that the NHC had won a judgement in the Court of Appeal for $86 000 against the delinquent tenant for the outstanding arrears while the court had also granted the state owned entity permission to take possession of the unit. Since then the arrears had continued to increase and was said to now be at $94 000.
When contacted about this matter, the NHC issued a statement through its public relations department indicating that the action, though unfortunate, was unavoidable.
“The eviction process this morning was carried out by court marshals in accordance with a court order issued. This has been an ongoing legal matter dating as far back as 2014, when the court originally granted an order for eviction as a result of outstanding arrears. At that time, the tenant was granted leave to appeal the order. However, she took no further action and the court reinstated the order last year. This process was completed today,” the statement read.
It added: “This is an unfortunate situation, one which we at the NHC worked hard to avoid, as we normally do in these circumstances. Long before this became a court matter in 2014 our finance department sent numerous statements advising of the outstanding arrears. Several letters were also sent and many calls were made to the tenant in an attempt to come to a suitable arrangement to settle. These are steps the NHC ordinarily take when clients are in arrears. However, during this time the tenant made no attempt to cooperate with us either by making payments towards the arrears or rent. Evictions are not taken lightly by the NHC, especially in these times. This is definitely not the route we wish to take. We tried everything in our power to come to a mutual agreement to avoid what eventually unfolded today.”
Reports indicate that the woman moved into the high rise unit in 2011 shortly after it was built but never paid a cent of the $207 weekly in rent even though she was gainfully employed.
Sources revealed that when summoned to a meeting at the NHC, the woman had indicated that she was “a very close friend” of a politician from a previous administration and was recommended by that person to occupy the unit.
A source said following last year’s court order the NHC served notice on the woman to vacate the premises but she did not move out, which forced them to go to the chief marshal for possession.
The source further revealed that the woman’s possessions which were taken away by two trucks yesterday, would be marked and placed in storage and she would be given an opportunity to collect them.
Speaking on this matter back in 2020, George Edghill, deputy chairman of the NHC board, had pointed out that when the new board was appointed in June 2018, the tenant was already in arrears of over $55 000. He said the board had at that time instructed the legal department to
take all appropriate legal action to repossess the unit.
Yesterday an NHC official reiterated that while the NHC always worked with tenants who were going through financial hardship, it would not tolerate tenants who were employed but refused to pay rent.
During the court proceedings the NHC was represented by attorneys Roy Alleyne and Nicole Gibson while Kings Counsel Michael Lashley appeared amicus curiae for the tenant after her attorney Denis Headley asked the court for leave to withdraw.
Barbados is currently experiencing another crime wave and to be expected it is being politicized which is part of the problem. How does the crime problem get fixed if family members and friends protect the criminals? Same people who were responsible for giving birth to the very monsters terrorizing the country?
This is an oversimplification of the problem to make a bigger point – observations suggest traditional tactics supported by a slow justice system and ‘not fit for purpose laws’ are being used to tackle the crime challenge. Sensible people know the approach being undertaken by authorities will NOT arrest the problem.
From an enforcement angle BOLD measures have to be taken to send messages to the criminal element of a zero tolerance to crime, especially gun crime.
On the other side of the issue, parents and guardians have to also be held accountable. Many in our neck of the woods will not condone Rodrigo Duterte’s methods, it is bitter but it works based on Philippine’s crime index. The time has come and gone for creative crime fighting solutions to be implemented albeit Barbados’ once pristine reputation ican be found in the toilet.
Over the years, we’ve been having discussions on BU about the crime situation in Barbados. And, there will obviously be attempts by some persons to politicize the situation.
I agree with AG Marshall “that the recent spate of killings resulted from gunmen in specific “groups” targeting each other,”…… and not “gangs,” as Trisha Tannis is suggesting. Marshall would’ve obviously made his observations based on certain intelligence.
However, as I mentioned in an October 25th, 2020 12:28 PM contribution to another ‘crime thread,’…… “if one examines the gun crimes carefully, it is evident they were on the rise since 2014 and a gradual increase was expected.”
On November 11th, 2015, an ‘Updated Homicide Study’ by the Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit revealed that 42% of the approximately 140 homicides recorded between 2010 and 2014, were as a result of guns…… ‘a trend observed as far back as 1992, and which continued to be the most common method used today.’
Evidence suggests that several persons who died as a result of shooting were not involved in ‘gangs,’ but died as a result of retaliation or revenge, petty ‘beefs’ involving women, drugs money, robberies etc.
For example, November 29th, 2014, 31 year old Ricardo Francois and other men were at bar in Danesbury, Black Rock, when some men got out of a car and started shooting. Francois was found dead behind the shop, while four other individuals were injured…… one of whom was the son of Ricardo ‘Rick’ Bryan. On September 1st, 2016, Ricardo ‘Rick’ Bryan, 46, of Black Rock, St Michael, was shot multiple times by three men as he exited his vehicle, outside the Lucky Horseshoe Saloon & Steakhouse in Warrens, St Michael.
Forty-four (44) year-old Jerome Oneal ‘Wild Geese’ Bovell of Spring Garden, Black Rock, St. Michael, was shot and killed in Goddings Road, St Stephen’s Hill, Black Rock, St Michael, on June 28th, 2017. It is alleged Bovell was a ‘hit man’ and responsible for the death of Stephen Leonard Agard, 47 years of #10 Valley, St. George, who, on June 10th, 2017, was shot multiple times while standing outside his vehicle, which was parked on the compound of the old KFC building in Black Rock.
I’m sure everyone remembered when a man walked into Sheraton Center Mall, shot and killed 33 year old Damien Trotman, on March 22nd, 2019.
Another fact is, there are ‘hit men’ in Barbados. Men who are willing to kill anyone for cash or drugs.
Information and statistics about crime in Barbados is available to the public, enabling anyone desirous of having a rational discussion on the issue, to do so.
There is a strident debate being waged by a group of citizens led by Tricia Watson to have the Electric Light and Power (Amendment) Bill 2022 withdrawn by the government of Barbados. At the root of the challenge is the surreptitious approach government through uncouth Minister Kerri Symmonds to introduce a Bill to evade early public scrutiny AND the lack of a robust documented procedure for making the application process to generate electricity transparent.
We have finally reached a point in Barbados where the liberalisation of the electricity supply affords the opportunity for government to ensure ordinary Barbadians are well positioned to be enfranchised by the limitless financial potential of an emerging sector. The eminently qualified Tricia Watson (and company) has been dogged in critiquing the Bill which to their credit forced the original draft to be amended to current text.
The blogmaster is not qualified to enter the weeds of the debate BUT knows a thing or two about the urgent need for improved governance and the need to create opportunities to distribute wealth on an island where a few control a disproportionate amount of the economic pie. As long as humankind exist there will be demand for electricity. It is important non traditional players are given a fair chance to secure an equitable stake in a sector about to boom
In 2022 we should not be having this type of conversation as it relates to empowering non traditional owners of capital. Here is another one of those opportunities where a majority passive citizenry can constructively engage by entering the debate posting to Barbados Parliament website, calling the talk shows, sending articles to traditional and social media, bombarding everywhere Kerri Symmonds has a social media presence to name a few.
You are encouraged to follow Tricia Watson’s Facebook account for informed updates.
Yesterday the blogmaster allocated some time to listen to Minister Ryan Straughn’s (opening 40 minutes of the video posted) moving the second reading of the Amendment to Financial Service Commission (Amendment) Bill 2022. The purpose of the amendment was to validate a fee regime to support the Financial Services Commission (FSC) being financially self sufficient. The other reason was to address an issue of FSC Board being able to carry out its function if a board member is absent. There can be no disagreement that relevant financial regulation is important to protect citizens and maintain a sound financial environment. Over the years Barbadians have suffered financial loss with the failures of New India, Trade Confirmers and in recent years CLICO. The job to maintain a robust financial framework is never ending.
During Straughn’s contribution to the debate a few random thoughts came to mind:
◦ He spent some time addressing the need of government to respond to the emergence of digital currencies including crypto. The blogmaster wondered about the inadequacy of existing legislation to cater to gullible citizens who engaged in popular Ponzi schemes like Blessing Circles and others. Last year an official of the FTC indicated authorities were working to strengthen existing legislation. We wait.
◦ The release of the 2021 Auditor General (AG) report has again exposed the inadequacy of the oversight framework to address exceptions raised by the AG. It must be said that many of the AG’s findings do not mean money was stolen, it maybe a case of incompetence of personnel and an inefficient systems. The blogmaster recalls Straughn speaking to the 2019 Financial Management Act and how it was intended to demand greater accountability from State Owned Entities (SOE). It is fair to conclude after four years in government the legislation has not delivered what was intended. Concerned citizens should be worried why successive governments have been unable to enforce the intent of legislation on the books.
◦ On the BU platform concerns have been repeatedly posted about unacceptable delays of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) generating timely audited financial statement AND posting actuarial reviews. The NIS is arguably one of the most important SOEs given its importance to supporting quality of life for citizens in the golden years, a vulnerable time in the life cycle. What use has existing legislation served to ensure a robust oversight framework? Even when there was a duly constituted Public Accounts Committee (PAC) it was ineffective. Today there is no PAC.
The blogmaster recognizes the need to regulate the financial market with fit for purpose laws, however, one is forced to ask – with voluminous existing legislation are we better off for it given the current state of play? The takeaway is that it requires more than laws to create a harmonious and effective market place. We also need improved people management and enforcement of the laws already on the books.
The dent to reputation suffered suffered by Barbados when former Minister Donville Inniss was jailed in the USA for money laundering should make for interesting commentary. To be expected a gullible population continues to focus on the obvious. Why was a former minister charged over a measly USD36,000.00?
What Barbadians should be more concerned about is the incarceration of Inniss should bring into focus how business gets done in Barbados. We have so many examples whether Cahill under the former administration or the Radical vaccine scam under the current administration to finger only two.
White collar corruption and malfeasance is always hard to ringfence in any country because the gatekeepers of justice are the powerful in society. Unfortunately in island states like Barbados, it becomes more difficult because of the incestuous nature of the beast resulting in incompetent watchdog agencies as a result of nepotism.
The following insightful comment was posted by Northern Observer. We need to lift our game as citizens in a democracy showing fissures.
@David I cannot comment on AT (Alex Tasker), I don’t know the person. What can be observed is the senior management at ICBL did not appreciate the finer points of what they were doing. What none of know is the inner workings.
Did BF&M have other issues with IRS/DOJ?
What was the relationship between the CEO-CFO at BF&M, and that CFO/others and ICBL personnel.
I mean, even after discovery, it did not have to be disclosed. Who actually found it? It was two relatively small amounts…somebody could have created paperwork after the fact. Yet, somebody also decided that wasn’t going to happen.
Imagine somebody at BF&M was upset they didn’t get the ICBL CEO job. Let’s face it, II (Ingrid Innes) wasn’t particularly well qualified, and an outsider at BF&M. The decision to disclose may have been to sink her. In the myopic Bajan view it was to get DI (Donville Inniss). But the intent may have been to get II fired, and it ends there. Maybe they were after AT. Sometimes when you don’t appreciate the ‘big picture’ a decision is made, which has ramifications one didn’t foresee.
It has been a period of uncomfortable crime and violence that has engulfed Barbados. To be expected there is finger pointing, gnashing of teeth and frustration by the public directed at the authorities. There is resignation that lawlessness has become an entrenched behaviour and the relatively quiet and orderly society that characterised Barbados society in days of yore has gone the way of the dodo.
In 2009 the blogmaster posted a number of blogs around the theme weeds were starting to shoot up on our well manicured lawns. Many commenters suggested the blogmaster was being an alarmist. In fact the same observation was levelled when BU highlighted our dysfunctional court system in the series Tales from the Courts. Sadly our leaders with the citizenry complicit because of apathy and cynicism has led to the current state of things.
The breakdown and decline in the social fabric of Barbados society did not start ‘yesterday’. The blogmaster again recalls the hullabaloo when a decision was taken to bring Vybz Kartel and Movado to Barbados by the Barbados Youth Action Program (an organisation affiliated to government) under the chairmanship of then Minister Hamilton Lashley. It bears reminding Lashley is known as a social practitioner par excellence. These were two dancehall artists known for smutty lyrics and behaviour. Minister Ronald Jones at the time to his credit expressed displeasure at the staging of the show. Then there was the public disagreement between then Commissioner Dottin and his deputy Bertie Hinds about staging the show. This is an example to illustrate how key leaders in our small society were unable to see the obvious, a government affiliate promoting a Vybz Kartel Movado show at a time when deviant behaviour, especially by our youth, was a concerned.
The other example of double standards fast tracking the decline of the society was the so called Trojan Riddim saga – How de Yutes Get so?, a group of artists known in the music underground for pushing smutty and anti social lyrics released a video to YouTube which provoked Prime Minister Mia Mottley to demand the artists remove it. The artists ignored Mottley, however, a few weeks many of the artists were included in Barbados Labour Party (BLP) sponsored activities. Soon after government continues to contract artists who were involved, Lil Rick, Peter Ram et al.
The examples cited are representative what will inevitably occur if there is a lack of leadership. It will be supplanted by the prevailing subculture. Is it too late to stem the anti social behaviour enveloping the global space? Probably yes although the blogmaster being the eternal optimist will never say never.
Who will show us the way to the truth and the light?
The death of the Lovell family formerly of Breezy Hill, St. Philip continues to be a talking point. The event as reported is unusual for Barbados not accustomed to a family that included young children perishing in questionable circumstances. The blogmaster will resist speculating about how the event occurred.
However, it is interesting to note one of the deceased persons was lawyer Allison Alexander-Lovell who was sanctioned by the Disciplinary Committee for withholding $160,000 of client’s monies in 2016. It is reported she was due to reappear in Court this week on the matter.
The blogmaster as a human being joins the majority of Barbadians who are sorry the Lovell family met untimely deaths. However, it has not gone unnoticed the ire many Barbadians have taken the opportunity to direct at lawyers. For many years lawyers have been known to sit on clients funds and important legal documents for unreasonably lengthy periods; sometimes for always without fear of being sanctioned by the Barbados Bar Association and Disciplinary Committee.
The fact that successive governments have been composed of members of the legal profession has stoked public cynicism that this is a profession that is about preserving the establishment and the way it does business at any cost. The blogmaster has cited too many examples since its inception in 2006. One of the more blatant examples is a sitting Speaker of the House Michael Carrington who had to be ordered by the high court to surrender monies to a septuagenarian former client without having to step down from serving as Speaker of the House of Assembly AND with the blessing of then prime minister Freundel Stuart. You cannot make this stuff up.
Members of the legal profession in Barbados should be aware of what is referred to as the ‘tipping point’ – ‘defined as the point at which a series of small changes or incidents become significant enough to cause a larger, more important change’. Let it not be stated this blogmaster is stoking ‘insurrection’ against the legal fraternity, the blogmaster has friends and family who are members. Notwithstanding the affinity, rising anti-lawyer sentiment in the country is real and will not take many more changes to set the cat amongst the pigeons.
We are living in harsh economic times, citizens will not continue to be docile while access to money and property are withheld from them by greedy, corrupt lawyers. The time has long past for the Barbados Bar Association and Disciplinary Committee to switch from PR mode to one of policing its members in the interest of the public it serves. There is also a role for government as policy maker to protect the public it swore to serve.
The arrest of former premier of BVI Andrew Fahie in the USA last week on a narcotics charge has caused regional tongues to wag for several reasons. It is disappointing to have to witness an elected officials betray the public trust expected of them. It is more disturbing when the arrested person is Black (note Fahie is currently on bail in the USA awaiting his day in court. A reminder a man is innocent until declared guilty).
It boggles the mind tinpot politicians to satisfy one of the seven deadly sins never learn, in this case still having the courage to cross US borders. In the famous words of Carlos Suarez – you do the crime you do the time.
Fahie’s arrest and possible incarceration serves as a reminder to Barbadians what happened to former minister Donville Inniss currently serving a 24 month sentence in the USA for money laundering. Another public servant based on the court hearing who betrayed a public he swore to serve. Some will debate this matter within the boundary of the law to suggest Inniss was ‘unfaired’ by the ‘system’, however, there is a strong ethical case still for him to answer to answer.
The most intriguing observation about regional politicians landing in hot soup is the patience of USA authorities to wait for the ‘fly’ to fly into the spider’s web. Is this a case of USA authorities lacking confidence in extradition treaties with regional countries? The case of former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner comes to mind, he has been fighting an extradition request from the USA since 2015. Alex Tasker has been fighting an extradition request from the US also since 2021 in connection with the ICBL/Donville Inniss matter.
The recent case of a St. Vincent court rejecting a request from the US government to extradite Kern Z Mayers to answer charges dating to 2006 makes for interesting reading. Has the time come for CARICOM to take a regional approach to extradition requests? Our friend Caleb Pilgrim is asking.
A court in St Vincent and the Grenadines has refused an application by the United States to extradite a Vincentian man, who is said to be among the most wanted in Pennsylvania.
“The court has considered carefully the arguments and submissions, examined all affidavits and other evidence, case law, statutory guidelines, and the court finds that given all the circumstances it would be unjust to return him,” said Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne in a recent ruling.
The authorities in the United States wanted Kingstown to send Kern Z Mayers back to Pennsylvania to answer charges in relation to a January 4, 2006 incident in that state.
“Law enforcement attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Kern Mayers. In an attempt to flee from the police, Kern Mayers struck several vehicles and injured police officers. After a vehicle and foot pursuit, Kern Mayers was captured. Mayers was released from the Luzerne County Correctional Facility and then failed to attend his scheduled court hearing on January 25, 2006,” the website Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers said of the allegation against Mayers.
While in St Vincent, the police in Kingstown arrested Mayers at a business place in the city on December 10, 2020, a few years after he returned to St. Vincent and the Grenadines..
Lawyers Joseph Delves and Grant Connell represented him in the extradition hearing.
Connell also testified on Mayers’ behalf during the proceedings in which Rose-Ann Richardson appeared for the Crown.
In her ruling, the chief magistrate noted that the Crown had submitted that Mayers is a fugitive and should be returned to the United States to answer to the charges.
However, Delves submitted that not all the offences are relevant and that the Crown had not shown that the extradition is permitted under the Fugitive Offenders Act.
The chief magistrate pointed out that Mayers was arrested on the basis of being wanted in Pennsylvania, as he had not appeared at court on January 25, 2006 for the preliminary enquiry.
She noted that evidence was presented viva voce or orally, by affidavit and documentary evidence.
Browne further pointed out that the Fugitive Offenders Act and the extradition treaty between St Vincent and the Grenadines and the United States govern extradition between both countries.
The United States charged Mayers with two counts with each charge comprising several charges, including alleged possession of two grams of cocaine and injuries to a police officer.
Only some offences extraditable
The court held that some of the counts were extraditable while others were not.
The chief magistrate noted that the law says a person shall not be returned if: the court of committal is satisfied by reason of the trivial nature of the case; the accusation against the fugitive, having not been made in good faith; the passage of time since the committal of the offence; any sufficient cause as it would, having regard to all circumstances be unjust or oppressive or too severe a punishment to return the fugitive.
The Crown argued that the issue of statute of limitation did not apply as Mayers absconded and had no reasonably ascertainable place of abode or work within the Commonwealth.
It was further contended that the offences were committed on January 4, 2006, and he was immediately arrested and charged and soon thereafter failed to show up on January 25, 2006, for the hearing.
Despite the fact that five-year and two-year statutes of limitation exist, the limit is not applicable as the respondent absconded, the Crown further argued.
However, Mayers’ lawyers contended that the passage of time was critical and having regard to all circumstances, it would be unjust, oppressive and too severe a punishment to send him back to face trial in the United States.
They argued that the offences were allegedly committed in January 2006 and the extradition proceedings commenced in 2021.
The lawyers told the court that 15 years is an inordinately long period and the prosecution of the offences should have commenced in 2011 and not in 2017.
They said there was no evidence that Mayers was not continuously in the Commonwealth between 2006 and 2011.
They also contended that an address of New York was given in 2017.
The court also noted that all charges were dated 2017, adding that even though the affidavit by James McMonagle Jr, the assistant district attorney for Pennsylvania, said that the complaints were destroyed in 2015, “What is the nexus between these matters before the court?”
US authorities said that the indictments were accidentally destroyed while documents were being purged.
And while they said that the court keeps copies of the original documents those exhibited in the extradition proceeding were documents filed in 2017, even as Mayers was indicted in 2006.
Mayers’ lawyers argued that the document that should be exhibited are those from 2006 and, therefore, the matter was really brought against Mayers in 2017 — way past the statute of limitation.
They pointed out that the US government did not explain why it took so long and raised issues.
The lawyers also argued that Mayers would not receive a fair trial in the United States.
SCOTUS has the votes to overturn Roe vs Wade. Former President Donald Trump appointed 3 conservative justices to the Supreme Court of the United States which has given the SCOTUS a conservative leaning for the many years to come. Another example how political maneuverings affect the delivery of justice by the highest court in the USA (not uncommon to the USA). A leak of a draft opinion suggests SCOTUS will reverse Roe vs Wade, one of the biggest wedge issues ‘bubbling’ in the US public space; the right of a woman to have an abortion which the Roe vs Wade decision has protected for 50 years after SCOTUS issued a 7 to 2 decision in favour of Norma McCorvey 1973.
Consequent upon the suspension and charging of two teachers for contesting the January 19, 2022 elections, there has been much comment about the matter, most of which was misinformed. I would therefore like to share the results of my research, in the hope that it would bring about some level of understanding in the public domain.
Those two teachers have been charged as having committed misconduct of a serious nature between January 3 and 19, 2022, when as public officers participated in the 2022 General Elections as Democratic Labour Party parliamentary candidates contrary to General Orders 3.18.1 and in contravention of paragraph 2 (h) of the Code of Discipline.
Even though made in 1970 the General Orders for the Public Service had no legislative basis until 2007 when subsections 33.(1), (2) & (3) of the Public Service Act corrected that long outstanding oversight. They state:
33. (1) The Minister may make administrative orders to give effect to any provisions of the Codes or any other provisions of this Act.
(2) Subject to subsection (3), the General Orders are from the 31st December, 2007 deemed to have been made under subsection (1) and shall remain in force until revoked by an instrument in writing by the Minister under this Act.
(3) Where any provision of the the General Orders is inconsistent or in conflict with a Code or any regulation made under this Act, the Code or regulation shall prevail and the General Order shall to the extent of the inconsistency, be invalid.
The General Orders are merely administrative rules made by the Minister with responsibility for the Public Service and because they have finally been incorporated into Public Service Act, public officers can now be legally charged for breaching those orders. Bear in mind that the General Orders are subsidiary legislation and must therefore conform to the parent legislation and that neither the subsidiary nor the parent legislation can conflict with the Constitution.
Prior to November 30, 1966 there was an absolute prohibition against all public officers and employees contesting elections for the House of Assembly. That changed at Independence when the Constitution (the supreme law of the land) removed that restriction on all but three categories of public servant. The 1966 Constitution at section 44 provided that no person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Assembly who holds or is acting in the office of a Judge, the Director of Public Prosecution or the Auditor-General. It is remarkable that even with the lifting of those restrictions by the Constitution, public officers and public service managers continue to be misguided by the former rules to this day.
In 1974 Government, mindful of section 44 of the Constitution, saw the need to restrict other public workers from contesting parliamentary elections and made an amendment to the Constitution to achieve such. That amendment was inserted as section 44. (2) which states, among other things:
Without prejudice to the provisions of subsection (1) (b), Parliament may provide that subject to such exceptions and limitations as Parliament may prescribe, a person shall not be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Assembly if
(a) he holds or is acting in any office and or appointment prescribed by Parliament either individually or by reference to a class of office or appointment.
The original section 44 of the Constitution has been re-numbered section 44. (1).
Effective January 1, 1975, the date of the commencement of the 1974 Constitution (Amendment) Act, Parliament took the power onto itself to set out, by ordinary legislation, which other public servants could not participate in parliamentary elections. To date Parliament has not passed any such law. So as far as the Constitution of Barbados is concerned, there are only three holders of public office that cannot contest parliamentary elections, namely: Judge, Director of Public Prosecutions and Auditor-General.
The General Orders were first made in 1970 by the Rt. Excellent Errol Barrow and revised in 1997 by Prime Minister Owen Arthur. I think that we all can agree that neither Errol Barrow nor Owen Arthur was Parliament and therefore could not make any rules to override a provision of the Constitution. It is therefore my view that the teachers, who contested the elections, did nothing more than exercise their constitutional rights.
Our Cop’s. Love em or not, they are a necessity within all societies throughout this globe. While we wait, in whatever nation we are located, for police reform to kick into our city’s, I think a major rethink of the use of officers is essential. All police budgets increase on an annual basis, while crime statistics show an overall increase in violent crimes and the use of drugs, especially during this period of the pandemic. Just under 30% of homicides in Toronto are gang related.
Lots of weapons are available on the black market, and the Police / Border Security can only capture less than 20% of what coming to Canada from the USA, usually by vehicle transport.
Municipalities, States and Provinces are using camera’s as a road policing source, capturing road crimes on camera. Our medical essential services staff and teachers are dealing with violence in our institutions like never before. Teachers have no real authority, and medical staff should not be defending themselves from angry, often mentally charged patient’s.
A Pivotal approach is needed to protect all our citizens. True community policing is needed in all urban settings. Having police among those they are pledged to protect, working with them, speaking to them and even perhaps teaching them has been proven to work.
1.Placement of male and female officers in large urban schools.
a. protect staff and students, communicate social policing policies and the law.
b. 1 year appointment at a time allowing students to become familiar with officers.
c. Enlist officers who can communicate and possibly teach civics, the law and societal concepts.
2. Place officers with psychological / communicating abilities within large hospital facility’s.
a. Officers need training in de-escalation, dementia , and mental illness. Cannot act without understanding situation.
b. Chosen rooms within the hospital are needed where difficult patients can be isolated and receive patient care in a controlled environment.
c. Our hospital staff need “cool rooms” that would offer them a place to unwind, speak with a professional if needed.
3. There are troubled area’s within each urban area where crime thrives. Community policing, with the placement of officers who live with these citizens as neighbor’s can be an asset in community peace and management. Citizens in need, or who are fearful of gangland crime, drug dealing can have a neighbor with authority to investigate, communicate and deal with problems as they arise.
4. Police often complain that they lack intelligence that could have prevented or forewarned of a crime event. Community policing will allow civilian and security personnel to become one within the community. Hoping that “they vs Us” can evolve into “We” the community. Citizens often complain that the police are never around when something goes down. Police trained in community service 1st, enforcing of the law second could benefit both the services officers and those they protect.
5. Get the cop’s out of their vehicles and place them within every transportation system. Biking, horses, walking, running and mass transit too. Where ever a citizen may need assistance or a symbol of authority place an officers.
We are told that Police Officers are trained to shut out feelings so they can be objective, read the situation, and respond appropriately. That there is a purposeful silencing of emotional reaction and a build up of skills to take control, no matter what madness or sadness is taking place before them. Yes being in the policing profession is difficult, and society must do everything possible to assist and support our peace keepers.
We must never forget what millions of our fellow citizens have tried to accomplish these many decades. Civil rights, Police Reform, Equity for all have movements of people that need validation, that need solutions to our society’s problems. Our law enforcement agencies are armed and dangerous. What are we going to do about that? Real police reform can be found in method’s of community policing. After all, all an officer need do is be nice, courteous and a true professional right?
The following note was received from a member of the BU family. This is a vodeo making the rounds on Bajan social media.
I received the attached video yesterday depicting police involvement with a crowd during an apparent arrest. What struck me was the total disrespect shown for the authority of the police and the blatant attack on them in the execution of their duty. No fear whatsoever was shown toward the fact that the police were armed, and with an imposing looking firearm. This caused me to arrive at the conclusion that the weapon was not fit for purpose. That gun was as useless as a condom in a maternity ward. Can you imagine the outcry and repercussion had someone been shot by the police? So my question is, why are the police not provided with non-lethal means of controlling this type of behavior when confronted in this manner. I speak specifically of pepper spray and the latest in tasers. Either of these options would have subdued the aggressors without physical harm and restored the authority to the officers without them having to be subjected to the indignity of scuffling with ruffians.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the ramifications has brought into sharp focus the matter of food security in Barbados and the region. If we judge by the sums allocated in the Estimates over the years it is evident successive governments have been contented to pay lip service to the agriculture sector. It must be said that COVID 19 has seen greater effort to increase production in agriculture but it is not enough. The ongoing conflict has again exposed the region.
The blogmaster is aware a growing monkey population and praedial larceny continue to sabotage the effort of local farmers. It does not matter how much water you fill a bucket, if it has holes it will be a wasted effort. The small land space of Barbados means that a serious effort at implementing a food security plan must include collaboration with Caricom. It is good to see that Prime Minster Mottley and President Ali enjoy a good relationship. The relation must translate to something tangible.
See a copy of Trinidad’s Praedial Larceny Prevention Act.
It started in 2018 after the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) handed the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the third parties an unprecedented 30 to zero drubbing in the general election. Many still believe a constitutional crisis was averted when Bishop Joe Atherley crossed the floor and a Leader of the Opposition (LoO) was recognized to ensure the business of parliament as outlined in the Constitution was carried out.
Who would have thunk it?
Prime Minister Mottley called a snap general election 18 months early and repeated a 30 to love win on 19 January 2022. On this occasion, no sitting MP seems willing to follow in the Bishop’s footsteps. The President of the Republic is unwilling to exercise discretion to appoint 2 Opposition Senators. Prime Minister Mottley in her infinite wisdom magnanimously has started the process to amend the Barbados Constitution to allow for the appointment of the 2 Opposition Senators from the losing political party that garnered the most votes. If that party refuses the opportunity to appoint slides to the next losing party.
Here we are!
The news former Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite filed a motion with the Court to rule on the legitimacy of the Senate should not surprise political pundits if one listened to the position of interim President of the DLP Steve Blackett. With the amendment to the Constitution proceeding in the parliament the DLP would eventually be forced into position of accepting the offer to appoint 2 Opposition Senators which would contradict the publicly stated position of the DLP represented by interim President Steve Blackett.
A couple interesting sidebar observations. The former AG Brathwaite is being represented by attorneys-at-law Garth Patterson and Michelle Russell. Last week Brasstacks talk show host Glyne Murray observed the lawyers keeping the most ‘noise’ in the Barbados space on the the constitutionality of parliament are of Jamaican lineage. In fairness to Russell and Patterson they have been residing in Barbados for a long time, however, the blogmaster understands Murray’s point given the large cohort of Barbadians lawyers educated with our tax dollars.
One of the reasons forwarded why Mottley called an early general election was to quell an uprising by a faction in the BLP. Is it reasonable to opine if a few BLP MPs are dissatisfied with Mottley’s leadership a golden opportunity now presents itself for the malcontents to express themselves by crossing the floor or sounding their voices?
The matter has gone the route of the Court and whatever the decision at first instance is will likely progress to the CCJ. What we have is a people suffering from economic fatigue, COVID-19 fatigue and you may add to the maladies, post election fatigue. Is this another opportunities to blame lawyers?
Former Brathwaite in his released stated in part that he felt “compelled to seek the intervention of the Courts to resolve this controversy, one that centres around issues of vital national importance, and goes to the root of our democracy.” The blogmaster notes the former AG has advised that the matter is being brought in his capacity as a private citizen. How convenient!
Why did this extract from Brathwaite’s statement pique the interest of the blogmaster? Under Brathwaite’s tenure as AG with responsibility for the judiciary, he left it in a worse condition than he found it. The political games that lawyer politicians play mean an already congested court system has to adjudicate a matter created by lawyers.
On 18 January 2022, I attended the Supreme Court to support those in COVID-19 isolation having the right to vote. I was directed to sit in the Gallery – which I did.
This was evidently an important case. There were ten senior lawyers, including the Attorney General himself, representing the Government and the President, against our lone lawyer.
INTO THE ZONE.
I sat down in the Gallery and began to write – every word, every argument, every objection, and the judge’s ruling on each objection. Soon, my writing became automatic as I began to analyse the arguments in real time. I smiled as the familiar Dopamine hormone flowed – I was in the zone.
After writing eight pages, I was interrupted by a Court Marshall. I tried to remain in the zone while giving him some attention. “You can’t write”, he said, as I started the ninth page. The judge was ruling on an objection raised by the other side, and I did not want to miss it. I assumed he was commenting on my handwriting, so I simply shook my head in disagreement and continued.
OUT OF THE ZONE.
“You can’t write in here.” He insisted. The judge had sustained the objection, and our lawyer commenced speaking. I quickly held up the page to show him that I could, in fact, write “in here”. I was still in the zone, and hoped that my evidence of writing would cause him to leave me alone. Any hope of that ended when he finally gave a clear instruction. “You are not allowed to write in here.”
Life a speeding train hitting an unmoveable object, I tumbled out of the zone. I was upset. I was learning so much from these legal practitioners. He was insisting that I stop writing immediately. I complied. I also asked him to accompany me outside of the room to where we could discuss this matter.
OBEYING THE RULES.
“Why am I not allowed to take notes?” I asked. “Are you a lawyer?” He countered. I explained that I was not, but that I had represented myself in two cases in the High Court, and was representing myself in two cases before the Court of Appeal. “Are you a lawyer?” He asked again. “No, I am not a lawyer, but I am here to learn from lawyers” I explained as I showed him my notes,
“If you are not a lawyer, then you are not allowed to write in here.” He stated. “Why not?” I asked. “Because that is the rule, and if the judge looked up here and saw you writing, you would get in trouble.” He said. What could judges find so objectionable about someone taking notes, I thought. However, I had no intention of offending the judge, so, I agreed to return to my seat and write no more.
APPEALING THE RULES.
Upon re-entering, I noticed that there were three people seated. The person nearest to the door where the Court Marshall was stationed, was a lady – and she was writing. I asked the Court Marshall if there were exceptions to this rule. “She is a reporter”, he said. “And I am an Engineer”, I responded. “Only reporters and lawyers are allowed to write notes in here.” He declared.
“I would like to appeal this rule.” I said. “You can’t.” He responded. “Why not?” I asked. “Because I checked with my superiors before telling you to stop writing.” He answered. “Who are these superiors.” I asked. He gave me the name of his superior.
THE END OF LEARNING.
I decided to return to my seat and try to get back in the zone. It was useless. I am a read and write type of learner – I need to write, and then read what I have written, to facilitate my learning. When I am in the zone, I just have to write. I now had to try to remember what I was hearing, while trying to analyse that information. That is easier for auditory-dominant learners – but I am not an auditory-dominant learner.
Sitting there, I soon realised that I was wasting my time – and it was frustrating, because I wanted to stay, but I was not learning anything. So I left the room in search of this fellow to whom I could appeal this rule. I was told that he was in the basement of another building, and there was no contact number for this mysterious basement-dweller. So, I left the Supreme Court and returned to my office.
Why is writing notes in court such a major offence, that it must be actively stamped out by our Court Marshalls? What is the harm or inefficiency that this rule is intended to limit? I thought of O’Brien’s advice to Winston, in George Orwell’s book, 1984. “You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”
It seems that our judges have only given permission for lawyers and reporters to take notes in Court. If others want to take notes, they must request the Court Marshall, to request the Judge’s legal assistant, to request permission from the judge to be heard. If permission to be heard is granted, then they may then ask the judge for permission to take notes, and why they want to take notes. If the reason is not sufficiently persuasive, permission may be denied.
Since 2009 I was on this matter. Landlord’s Agent acting on instructions from Attorney [through Mr Gill] entered my dwelling while I was out of the country and stole my personal items. Paintings, collectibles and our 6-month-old photos [60 yrs n 27 yrs].
Tried to get the police to deal with it to no avail. Had however gotten them to elicit a verbal agreement from the presumptuous crooks [who in fact had gone to the station to report me] to compensate me for my property. Then in 2019 [ten years later] I filed. Mr Omari Drakes’s defense was “Statute Barred”. I proved him wrong. The Judge refused to give me justice, still. But I waited for the order so as to appeal this tomfoolery, to no avail.
However, I applied pressure consistently throughout all that time and finally Clarke Gittens and Farmer is ready to issue the Final Order. One year and six months. Because of the exposé.
My advice to people is first:
Handle your own case. You have the details and a better understanding of the events.
Secondly do not be cowed by the woofy talking of stuffy, soothy attorneys, like those I was up against.
This is a new dispensation.
My ships are coming in to port.
The Appeal Court Registry too, emailed me advising of the date for the appeals against BCC and another both of which decisions were given in August 2019 and appeals filed the very next week.
When you step into a RING, be prepared to box to your death.
The following is an email thread between Cherfleur and Evelyn Gittens & Farmer (Read from bottom to top to follow the chronology of the communication, some header info redacted) – Blogmaster
From: Gabrielle Francis
To: Cherfleur; Omari Drakes
Sent: Wed, Jan 26, 2022 10:35 am
Subject: RE: CV 871 of 2019 – WITHOUT PREJUDICE
Good morning Ms. Cherfleur,
We are in possession of the Order dated August 21, 2020. Kindly advise whether you can visit our office on Friday January 28, 2022 to collect the Order.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Gabrielle Francis BSc.
From: Cherfleur Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 1:18 PM To: Omari Drakes Cc: Gabrielle Francis Subject: Re: CV 871 of 2019 – WITHOUT PREJUDICE
On August 21st you stated that you were charging for one hour only, that being $375, before being prompted by the judge that i should not be objecting to that because the assessed cost would be much higher based on my claim for what she identified as $46,000 (give or take).
While I appreciate more hours may have been empoyed I do not appreciate the jump from $375 and a gentleman’s agreement to assessed cast and $5,945.
Another matter with a defense submitted and thus more research n analysis was far less.
Your clients were given numerous opportunities since 200o to compensate and settle this matter but reneged.
You changed the context of costs claims with your stated intention to appeal. This was communicated to the Court in your presence. The sum I presented to you is what we believe our clients are entitled to receive. It is a claim supported by law. If you wish to offer a different sum you are free to do so but will have to justify the legal basis on which you believe a lower sum is justified. If we are unable to agree we will go back to Court and the Court will make a separate order in relation to costs.
As you would have heard in the hearing the Court arrived at a similar figure to the one that we have claimed so your chances of obtaining a lower figure by way of a Court assessment is low. Please bear this in mind when you make any counter offer.
From: Cherfleur Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 3:28 AM To: Omari Drakes Cc: Gabrielle Francis Subject: Re: CV 871 of 2019
Dear Mr Drakes:
1. I was under the impression that ‘agreed cost’ meant we discuss a mutual fee, failing which it would be assessed (by the judge).
2. Since I am only now presented with this cost and it is neither agreed or assessed how do you propose receiving a Final Order without the cost included? Does this mean a two part order or an Order with an arbitrary cost?
Is the below your official submission of Cost Application?
The decision was made based on your stated intention to appeal; thereby continuing litigation.
You have previously asked for our claim for costs in the matter. Based on the nature of the matter brought by you, costs must be determined pursuant to Part 65.5 of the Supreme Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2008. This rule deals with prescribed costs which are determined based on the value of the claim. You quantified your claim as being the sum of $46,845.00. Based on the prescribed costs table set out at Appendix B of Part 65, the costs on a claim of $46,845.00 are $13,211.25. The sum of $13,211.25 must then be considered in the context of Appendix C of Part 65. To the extent that the matter was adjudicated upon prior to a defence being filed, we are only entitled to claim 45% of the prescribed costs. This being the sum of $5,945.00. In the circumstances, we claim costs in the sum of $5,945.00 on behalf of our clients.
It is our understanding that the we shall shortly receive the final order from the Court. In the circumstances, please let us know where and when would be a convenient time to serve the Order.
Finally, given the current status of the matter, we do not consider it appropriate to include the Judge’s secretary on the email chain. Therefore I have removed her from the chain.
From: Cherfleur Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2020 6:34 PM To: Omari Drakes Subject: CV 871 of 2019
Dear Mr Drakes
I believe the decision on this matter on august 21, was Dismissed, when I responded saying that I would appeal the decision being the only recourse for dismissal.
I have noted that the Draft Order states Struct Out. This makes a difference to the options at my disposal.
Was your decision to reconsider the cost originally stated ($375) because my response was to appeal verses refile or is your decision to reconsider the cost influenced by any course of action I might take to continue litigation?
Having examined the Draft Order I have another option to exercise.
I, therefore, need to know whether your decision to change the cost was determined solely by my initial position to appeal or any other option I may exercise.
Further, if this aspect remains unsettled how can there be a final order or what will the Final Order reflect?
I eagerly await your response and the Final Order.
In the High Court of Judicature, little only me, with no formal training in law, but armed with just intelligence and perseverance was able to show that Attorneys ‘don’t know it all’. In fact they don’t know a damn great deal.
Ironically, Omari Drakes of Clarke Gittens and Farmer, a prominent Law firm, was trashed, after he arrogantly stated that my matter was ‘statute bared’ and even blocked me from being able to serve on the absentee owner and 3rd Defendant. Mr Smith of Smith & Smith Law firm [4th Respondents] also tried to dissuade me with the very rhetoric. Yet, the Judge struck out the case after asking Mr Drakes what was his response to my showing proof and instances [from the Limitation Act, Part III] that it was not. Mr Drakes said that I did not plead my case – his lamb in the bush. This is hilarious. BCC in their defense to my claim said my case was prolix. “What a mighty web we weave as we try to deceive”.
Yet, Mr Drakes has refused to prepare the order [issued since August 2020] so that I can proceed to have the decision appealed or pay him the ‘blood money’/cost and move with a new Claim and Statement of Claim. What are they afraid of; the doer and enabler?
Fabian Walthrus, too, bragged that he was an Insurance Agent for 15 years and was adamant that the matter at hand was governed by the Insurance Act which as of 1997, prevents litigation against a ‘named beneficiary’. This was the position of dozens of Attorneys from 2005 to 2015 when I got ‘mad’ and decided to handle my matters myself; inflaming the nobility.
Fabian Walthrus, like many others, could not read and understand that the substantive entity was a Group Pension Plan [from CBC] – tricked into paying out the benefits to someone the Plan does not cater for. Further, even if it were an Insurance Plan, Fabian Walters, Dawn Grant and dozens more could not decipher that the substantive entity was executed before 1997 and therefore that law doesn’t affect this Policy. What do we have going for us (representation), Mr Blogmaster?
Here again, the matter was struck out on the ground that ‘Letters of Administration had expired’. Fabian Walthrus too is still to prepare the order so that I can file to appeal or pay the ‘vex money’ in cost and proceed with filing a new, robust claim.
Mr Blogmaster, Justice must not only be served but must appear to have been served. You tell me. What is happening here in these instances? This once noble profession now seems to be in the throes of prostitution. Far too many attorneys are taking money and defending indefensible cases or bending the law and in so doing breaching the law. Far too many Attorneys are being fingered for other illegal activities [land theft, misappropriating client’s money, etc]. We seriously have a crisis with a lot of these attorneys.
Concern has been perennially expressed about the distress members of the legal fraternity visit on the lives of citizens of Barbados. Although the Barbados Bar Association (BBA) and the Disciplinary Committee have grounding in law to discipline the profession, there is little evidence lawyers who run afoul of the laws are satisfactorily sanctioned.
We are a nation of laws enacted to protect the rights of citizens from those willing to abuse said laws. It therefore goes without saying we need lawyers to represent us to ensure equity based system design. What we need to get right is to implement a framework where actors in the legal system can be held accountable.
The following paints another sad tale of a man, WREN HERBERT, from West Terrace who took advantage of a situation and to date despite the best effort of the person abused (AV), WREN HERBERT has gone unpunished. This is despite communications to the BBA. From the blogmaster’s research Wren Herbert appears not to be a practicing attorney at this time, he was. He is the brother of the infamous Caroline Herbert.
Unethical and Dishonest Conduct-Wren Herbert Attorney-at-Law
I am aware that nothing will result from the following which I am outlining, concerning Wren Herbert. However, for the record, I still wish to detail an issue of integrity which should remain extremely concerning for any country when significant numbers of its lawyers fail to act with integrity and trustworthiness. These lawyers elude accountability because of the structures which fail to recognize that it is essential and important for lawyers to be honest and behave lawfully.
It is possible that Wren Herbert may already have been removed from the Bar Association. I was unable to gain information on this because it is extremely painful on soliciting information from any governmental or official body in Barbados when overseas, even emails go unanswered; one encounters a ‘brick wall experience.’
This ‘brick wall’ is all constructed on the basis of, the ‘judging’ of the individual who is seeking the information; drawing conclusions about the individual’s perceived circumstances and actions, a very ‘subjective’ stance is adopted. This ‘judging’ is then evident in non-responses or lack of desired actions from the governmental body the information is being solicited from. Rather than acting as a professional public body should, the actions of governmental and public bodies’ non-responding and non-action, are personally rooted and can inadvertently support the unlawful conduct of lawyers, totally concealing their actions or lack thereof.
Concomitant to this, the country’s development in terms of justice, is hindered and in the eyes of the world, it comes to be seen as corrupt; all engineered by systems that are links in the chain which strengthen unfair and underhanded practices by lawyers.
Outline of Issue
On emigrating from Barbados, I left as a vulnerable, broken divorcee in search of a new life. I had a NEW Green Toyota Tercel, acquired through a vehicle loan from a Government Ministry. The vehicle was just under one year old.
As a lawyer, and a named friend, I asked Wren Herbert to act on my behalf, to return the vehicle to the Ministry as when I left, I was unsure as to whether I would indeed stay in the new position which I was offered; hence not returning it immediately upon my departure, in the event, that I returned.
When I was confident that I was not returning, less than a month later, Wren Herbert stated that rather than return the vehicle, that he wanted to acquire it and he would therefore take possession of the vehicle and repay the outstanding loan amount to the Ministry.
Wren Herbert, did indeed collect the car from my then home.
A friend, who was staying there at the time, handed Wren Herbert the keys and all the particulars of the vehicle and its loan documentation; undoubtedly, Wren Herbert took the car and rang me to confirm that he did have the vehicle.
The witness is willing to provide a statement to verify that Wren Herbert did indeed take the vehicle from my home and many people, I am sure would have seen him with the green Toyota Tercel, car.
Subsequently, I made several attempts to ascertain the status of Wren Herbert’s undertaking i.e., payments to the Ministry; no response ever came back to me from the Ministry, I was being ignored. Overseas telephone calls were a waste of time and money as I was put on hold, disconnected, passed to unhelpful individuals and overall I was placed on a GNVQ course of, ‘going nowhere very quickly.’
I sought confirmation from Wren Herbert and indeed several more times from the Ministry of Education but got no response from either party. This went on for some time, until I finally gave up since although I felt uneasy about the situation, I still did not believe that as a lawyer who was then working for the Hewitt Law firm, that he would be that dishonest.
During 2021, and as it is the entitlement of the governmental bodies in Barbados to disregard enquiries, after an entire year of battling to receive my Barbados work pension, I was forced to enlist the services of a solicitor to secure responses to my requests for information on my pension application from the Ministry concerned. I was told that some people have to wait years not just one year; is this what is to be expected and accepted?
However, after this year long battle and scars of paying a solicitor to indeed receive my pension from the Barbados Ministry, I was startled to learn that on receipt of my pension award from the Barbados government, that Wren Herbert had kept the vehicle or sold it and had NOT repaid the vehicle loan; therefore, the outstanding amount had been taken from my retirement pension.
That outstanding amount which has been taken is $29,166.62, which Wren Herbert owes to me; this clearly is not the way a lawyer should act.
I engaged a Barbados Law firm which has written to Wren Herbert in respect to this and Wren Herbert has ignored the correspondence but I shall not give in.
Summary • Finally, as stated in the above description of this issue, public office holders and other official bodies in Barbados, more often than not, fail to respond to any issues or complaints; this supports the unscrupulous lawyers.
• Throughout this scenario, judging people and situations, cause public office holders to renege on carrying out their duties effectively i.e., never responding to letters or calls concerning providing information which you are entitled to.
• Consequently, situations escalate unnecessarily, victims are further damaged and lawyer misconduct grows, casting a dark shadow on the overall ethical position of the country.
• I should like to mention that Dale Marshall did respond to my letter, stating that this was more a ‘personal matter;’ I however beg to differ.
• As a lawyer, Wren Herbert cannot separate his personal ethics or lack thereof, from his professional ethics and conduct.
• Wren Herbert was acting professionally when he undertook the agreement to either return the vehicle or repay the loan.
• Who else has been damaged by Wren Herbert as lawyer?
I pledged allegiance to Barbados since the pledge was established in the 1970s. As a child, the pledge was simply words to be recited on command. As an adult, I accepted the responsibilities associated with that solemn pledge.
To uphold Barbados’ honour, I tried to: do what was right, bring light where there was darkness, and provide evidence-based correction where there appeared to be error. To do otherwise would bring Barbados dishonour. To defend Barbados’ honour, I challenged the practise of achieving lucrative ends through dishonest means.
IGNORING THE ENGINEER.
I have also tried to be a credit to Barbados, rather than a dependent burden, by excelling at something. I pursued Structural Engineering. Then I kept adding to my pursuits. One of my engineering roles is to design structures, and then inspect their construction to certify that they are being built as they were designed.
When a building is not being built as it was designed, I would inform the builder and be met with one of two responses. One would be the builder correcting the deficiency. The other would be the builder ignoring me.
BUILDING ON A BAD FOUNDATION.
I have found that builders tend to ignore an Engineer’s instructions, because they think that they have a special relationship with the Engineer’s clients. A builder may have been selected as a reward for political support, and then had the misfortune of having me approve his work. How the builder got the job was not my concern. How he did the job was.
A builder may construct a substandard foundation, and ignore my instruction that it is defective and needs to be corrected. The contractor may proceed to build on the bad foundation, and ignore my notice that I will neither certify for payment the foundation, nor anything built on that foundation.
ALWAYS A RECKONING.
A builder may convince my Client to pay him, and he may finish the project on time. The Minister may have an entertaining opening ceremony, and unveil an attractive plaque. I would always attend if invited, and would normally enjoy the ceremony.
There is always a reckoning. Defective foundations normally lead to the building settling, resulting in cracks in the walls. An audit may be done to apportion blame. I have never attracted any blame in my 30-year career – because I do not approve defective work.
I believe that Parliament has built a fantasy republic on a defective and unlawful foundation. I wrote an open letter to all members of Parliament to discuss the glaring deficiencies, but the Prime Minister advised those with such concerns to have them addressed in Barbados’ Courts. So I did.
The question of whether Parliament’s republic is lawful or not is now before the Barbados Court of Appeal. I have been strongly advised, and even threatened, to drop it by those who have pledged allegiance, not to Barbados, but to their political parties. It is too late. I cannot drop it. I have already pledged allegiance to Barbados, and I do not pledge carelessly.
Regardless of how the Appeal Court judges rule, it can only benefit Barbados. We will either move forward with the confidence of knowing that Parliament’s new constitution is lawful, or we will have the opportunity to correct any deficiencies that the Court finds. Either way, Barbados wins.
To make Barbados a Republic requires changes to the Constitution of Barbados. The proposed changes are contained in new legislation called the Constitution (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2021. This Bill appears to violate the Constitution, so I wrote open letters to the Prime Minister and all Members of Parliament expressing my concerns.
In the Senate, Bills are to be carefully read three times before they are passed. During their first reading, our senators gave their obligatory political speeches, then it was down to business. This Bill allows the politicisation of our armed forces and the Auditor General’s office, and cancels the people’s defence insurance. So I expected the Bill to be rigorously scrutinised.
It took me over 50 minutes to read the Bill. But I have ordinary abilities. On 6 October 2021, our Senators read the bill a second time and voted on it, in two minutes and 19 seconds. This was a pedestrian pace, because they read it a third time in all of nine seconds.
Of course, our Senators are not as gifted as our elected Members of Parliament. On 28 September 2021, they accomplished their third reading of the most important piece of legislation they will likely ever read, in two seconds – a farce of the highest order.
GO TO COURT.
When giving her closing arguments on the passage of the Bill in the House of Assembly, our Prime Minister advised those who thought that the Bill was unlawful, to argue their case in the Barbados courts. So, I filed an Application for Judicial Review on 7 October 2021.
The case was heard on 12 October 2021. I represented myself, since I could not find a lawyer willing to represent me. A senior lawyer agreed to be with me in court, to give me advice as a friend of the court. Surprisingly, the Attorney General objected to him being present, since he did not file the Application. The Judge agreed with the Attorney General (AG).
I explained to the Court that I simply wanted the AG to explain how the Constitutional amendments were not in breach of Section 49 of the Constitution of Barbados. I noted that if the explanation was persuasive, I would ask the Court to stop the proceedings, and I would accept the costs.
The Judge gave strict deadlines to file the necessary documents. I filed my initial Submissions in half of the time given. The AG was very late and unresponsive, so I filed a Notice of an Application for an Injunction to wake him up. Still no response. Then the press learnt of the case, after it had been quietly ongoing for over one month. Once it was public, the AG filed his Submissions.
FINALLY, AN ARGUMENT.
I finally got to read the AG’s arguments, and found that most of them could be refuted, and the remainder easily addressed. Much of the AG’s Submissions was spent trying to get my claim dismissed – including by claiming that I had no standing.
To have standing in a judicial review application, an applicant must be one of two persons. The first is “a person whose interests are adversely affected by an administrative act or omission” . The Second is “any other person if the Court is satisfied that that person’s application is justifiable in the public interest in the circumstances of the case.” 
MAKING STRAW MEN.
I had applied as the Second “any other person”, and argued that fundamentally changing how Barbadians are to be governed is in the public’s interest. The AG used the straw-man defence. He falsely claimed that I was the First person, and then criticised me for not stating the interests that were adversely affected.
I filed a Submission in Response to the AG, responding to all the AG’s new arguments. I explained that I had not applied as the First person but the Second, and quoted from my Affidavit to prove this. For completeness, I also provided the interests that were likely to be adversely affected by the change to a Republic, had I applied as the First person .
Shockingly, the Judge believed the AG’s straw man argument, and stated: “He has not identified if and how his interests are adversely affected.” , as if my Submissions in Response did not exist. The judge also noted that he was not persuaded that the application was “justified in the public interest” .
Instead of dismissing my claim, as parts of the media have falsely reported, the judge decided the following. “This is a matter of national importance that will see a change in the country’s governmental structure”. He continued. “The public deserves a full discussion on the legal process that facilitated the change. Instead of summarily dismissing the Claimant’s application, I shall examine it against the background of what the law requires.” 
NO FAIR DISCUSSION.
The judge then provided his interpretation of Section 49 of the Constitution. He appeared to simply repeat the AG’s arguments, without any discussion or reference to any of my arguments in my Submission in Response. After the Judge gave his judgement, he invited comment.
I asked the Judge why he had not referenced my Submission in Response, which generally disproved the AG’s arguments. The Judge noted that my Submissions in Response was a rehash of my initial Submissions, and he dismissed it. That was very unfortunate.
I had no knowledge of the AG’s arguments in my initial Submissions. Therefore, the only opportunity I had to address them was in my Submissions in Response. Since there has not been a fair discussion of Section 49 of the Constitution in the House of Assembly, the Senate, or the High Court, perhaps one can be gotten in the Court of Appeal.
The blogmaster understands the matter Everton Cumberbatch versus Larry Tatem, Leroy Parris and Johnny Cheltenham is finally set down to be heard on January 26-27, 2022 in the Barbados Courts. For those who have not read the previous blogs – see links below – this matter was filed in May 2008. Let that sink in!
Although former President of the Senate Johnny Cheltenham whose brother is the Chief Justice was removed from the list of defendants, a matter is pending with the Disciplinary Committees to determine his involvement in the case and if it warrants him being sanctioned and handed to the Court of Appeal for review. The blogmaster understands Cheltenham’s lawyer, one Alrick Scott, attempted to broker a deal to have a document signed that would have shielded Cheltenham in the pending matter. O what a tangle web we weave when we practice to deceive.
One must ask why this matter was permitted to bounce around judges chambers with Justice Sonia Richards the only one to give attention to the matter. One presumes Justice Cornelius would not have had the appetite because it is known she and husband Ralph were privileged to have attended Cheltenham’s wedding in Miami a few years ago and presumed to be friends.
The blogmaster along with interested onlookers await the oral hearing come January next year AND the outcome of the Disciplinary Committee hearing. In Barbados it is known that justice is often delayed and delivered at the slowest pace BUT ultimately a judgement has to come if the persecuted perseveres.
Previous blogs on the matter of Everton Cumberbatch versus Larry Tatem, Leroy Parris and Johnny Cheltenham.
In two separate court hearings, these two iconic institutions said a lot about themselves. It explains where and why they are where they are in the scheme of progressiveness.
BCC – The Chair, no less than Velma Newton, Attorney-at-Law (I am told), advised the Court (through the Deputy Chair, Ms Denny) that the Hand-Book is not contractual. After six years of attempts at Mediation to make them ‘see the light’ BCC, through its Chair mounted a defense of using wrong form and no form (of some kind). That is all well and good. So what happens when the corrections are made?
A blunt refusal to read their Hand Book and learn. A blunt refusal to come to Mediation when they are as wrong as the sun setting in the east. What began as only a Breach of Contract has morphed into a Breach of Consumer Guarantees including false advertising. Of course, you’d only know this if you compare them to other colleges. BCC was not and I believe are still not accredited so they have programs that do not meet the basic requirements for Associate Degree level, they advertise one thing and offer another, they rob students the choice of electives in some programs, tamper with Transcripts/Records, issue Records with calculated errors and the list goes on. This matter has gone to appeal, or at least I filed something of the sort.
What 21st century Leader or Leader at all would expose their organization to such degradation and public scorn and ridicule?
CBC – Goodness, gracious. As Trustees of an entity as important as Employees Pensions Fund, CBC and its cohort ICB (back then) do not understand the workings of the Group Pensions Plan they are managing. They don’t know that Pensions is not Insurance. In fact, no one seemed to understand that minute peculiarity, but me and the young lady, the Pensions and Insurance Manager, at the Financial Services Commission.
Nevertheless, FSC’s Management and CBC’s Management are refusing to honour the Rights to Information Act and give a copy of the Master Plan for CBC/ICB Group Pensions Plan. Constitutional Rape! ICBL Attorney-at-Law advised, proudly, that as far as she knows a Named Beneficiary on ‘an Insurance” policy cannot be challenged. It would seem that this rubric she is using was from time memorial. That Law went into effect in 1997. But notice, I said Pensions. Nevertheless, this matter was heard and dispensed with since December 2020 but to date no Order is forthcoming.
Why? I shall appeal. Also, they don’t want to acknowledge that ‘likkle me’ understood the ICB Handbook and the Pension Scheme.
An appeal means Cost to the Defendant.
There would have been no Defendant if CBC’s GM and HRM at the time, knew what they were doing with the company’s Pension money.
That being said, here is why they won’t optimize to becoming global institutions. They lack structure and integrity. Perhaps vision too. That is because they are the Public Service operating in an island State aka Banana Republics.
In Arabia, a young Republic, UAE, is marching forward towards global status. The government is positioning its country and people at a national level through training. Every agency and institution is being positioned to take that country to its global capacity. Not just those in the monarchy but ALL. Intentions! Global Government Summit.
Responsible Leadership for Infinite Success – Simon Sinek – Full Session – WGS 2019 – you have to listen to the end to the Question and Answer section.
“Are we there yet?”
Do we even understand what ‘Responsible Leadership’ is?
There are no Leaders among these ‘ears of corn’. We have people taking taxpayers’ dollars in monthly installments. Rather than make good just decisions across the board, for the most part, the Public Service, first, is a dump for Party Poopers (square pegs in round holes) then wimps who merely do party biddings. We Banana Republics cannot and will not optimize with these attitudes. It would have been better for these institutions to learn from their errors and develop and progress but not even a slap on their wrists. So CBC continues as it always has, at a loss and ‘lost’ and BCC, dysfunctional as ever, perhaps is still offering and executing barren programs. You’d only know this if you had reason to compare it to a ‘real’, functional college.
But Velma engaged Pat Cheltenhan’s firm for the first round and will for the second, perhaps. Who is paying? The devil is in the details. I learned from one of the very errant Attorneys in another one of my cases that what the Judge assesses as Cost is not all that the Attorney’s fees is. Who is paying all of that?
At the end of all of this, BCC has to conform to a proper structure and delivery of its programs. Whether so that I benefit or just because the Accreditation Body demands.
But at what cost to taxpayers?
Not to mention that their inefficiencies are now a matter of public record.
In a Sunday Nation Article of 2020 – Next Friend not happy her case is thrown out – I reported some anomalies in an elder abuse case in the High Court in Barbados particularly the difficulty in getting the relevant agencies to respond.
First of all, I initiated that article in a social media group intending to do my independent reporting because I was long disillusioned with the negative slant of the Nation Newspapers’ reporting. I was, however, contacted by the Nation Report-Or about it since it was shared with her by a colleague involved in elder abuse also. I sent my typed article via email.
I never stated that I was the Next Friend. I couldn’t have since I am no blood relative of the elder. That’s the hasty conclusion the Report -OR or her Edit-OR who jumped to in an effort to sensationalize a serious issue and increase sales. They only know one thing.
Having merely scanned my complaint then listened to Lashley’s diatribe, the Report-OR went to press without further investigations. Had she gotten off of her hefty laurels and visited the Registry and read the file and made a sound analysis of the legal case and the outcome such nonsense would not have been sold to the Barbados public.
Further, she would have had on record that Lashley was not the Attorney who represented the family in the case and instead would have gone and gotten comments from the representing Attorney. She would also have had even a copy of that first Order that was made and signed by the Judge.
Too often, Nation Reporters are printing lopsided and ridiculously subjective opinions on matters that should be given more serious attention and scholarship. Elder abuse is not your daily Soap Opera.
So one year later this issue has arisen in another country in the Region and the Nation Newspapers and its Report-OR is being held to scrutiny. How different is the legal outcome versus that rubbish?
So my assignment for the Report-Or is to visit the Registry, get the file and write a propper article on the outcome of that elder abuse case that was treated under the Mental Health Act. Find out what because of the Order the judge made and signed.
My post to BU on July 19, 2020 – Stephen Lashley – He Lie! and on December 18 – Cynthia Forde Do Your Job! – referred to case 397 of 2020 in which Madam Justice Shona Griffith made and signed an Order not drawn and prepared by Stephen Lashley but by another Attorney. The reason being Lashley passed the matter over to avoid adhering to the transparency the Judge requested i.e. being the elder has another child from a previous union and the Claimant (and her brother) are not his only children and really she really should not have been given receivership without that offspring being consulted and refusing to be a party.
Now, this case is trending in Guyana and for quick access, I requested a copy of the Order from the Registry, low and behold, Lashley has prepared another Copy of the Order with his name in the Legend and had it signed by the Deputy Registrar (ag) and filed on October 2, 2020.
My enquiry into the first Order was given the unadulterated response that when a new Order is made the previous is destroyed and the latter forms the records. There was no new Order since there was no new evidence nor did Lashley sit before the Judge and presented a case on behalf of the Claimants. It is the same Order represented by Lashley to another Officer for signature.
Why didn’t Lashley return to the presiding Judge to sign the copy of the same Order?
What is happening in the Judiciary? I paid for and have a copy of that first order which was signed by the Judge.
Where is the Registry’s copy of that first Order and why Lashley found it necessary to make this change to the Legend and the Court’s records?
The judgement handed down by the Court of Appeal in the matter No:108 of 2008 (attached) is compelling reading, all 67 pages. In summary, John Patrick Connor and his wife (vendors) retained Philip Vernon Nicholls (lawyer) to facilitate the sale of a property, purchase price $950,000. The proceeds of the sale were never paid to the Connors now deceased. The judgement exposes a litany of woes and vindicates Barbados Underground on several issues raised- see updates on BU’s Tales from the Courtspage.
In brief the report prepared by the Disciplinary Report to support request Attorney-at-Law Philip Vernon Nicholls be removed from the roll of lawyers practising in Barbados was dismissed because of ‘procedural irregularities’. Here is Justice of Appeal Rajendra Narine (p.43) scathing dissenting opinion.
It is unfortunate to witness another case of an oversight body (Disciplinary Committee) established by statute to protect the interest of the public from lawyers who engage in unprofessional conduct not met.
A resource link:
The Disciplinary Committee is created pursuant to the Legal Professions Act Cap 370A and is “charged with the duty of upholding standards of professional conduct”. The Committee is charged with making rules in relation to the standards of professional etiquette and conduct of attorneys. It comprises seven attorneys, of whom at least three shall be of not less than ten years’ standing in the legal profession, nominated by the Bar Association. Each member shall hold tenure for a period not exceeding two years but each member is eligible for renomination.
The arrest of George Bennett, a former high ranking member of the Police Drug Squad now a practising lawyer once again confirms the whispers and rum shop talk. Although the traditional media delights in emblazoning the mugs of ‘little black boys’ on the front and court pages caught pushing drugs, commonsense supports a view that prominent, respected citizens are important links in the supply and distribution chain.
George Bennett is charged with possession, trafficking and intent to supply 253 kilograms of cannabis with a street value of 2 million, he appeared in the number 4 Supreme Court this week to apply for bail. Despite the bench strength of Bennett’s defence team which consisted of Andrew Pilgrim QC and Arthur Holder, bail was denied.
The blogmaster gives weight to the charge brought by the Royal Barbados Police Force considering the contraband was reportedly found at Bennett’s residence. His lawyers must be working overtime to discover a ‘technicality’ to earn a favourable ruling. Bennett’s relationship with the drug world probably started when he was a policeman and greed forced him to take the wrong path. The blogmaster is sure Bennett represents the ‘tip of the iceberg’. Then again there is the presumption of innocence, stop it!
The police force continues to report crime levels down although there is growing concern about the high murder rate in recent years. The truth is- in a small society a qualitative assessment must carry greater value compared to data driven conclusions. Thirteen murders for the year in tiny Barbados will impact the quality of our society more than if it were a bigger country. The level of lawlessness being witnessed in Barbados is symptomatic of a bigger problem of which members of law enforcement AND officers of the court are inextricably a part. The time has long passed to arrest the rot.
For every Bennett there are a few more to be found in Customs Department, Police Force, Immigration Department – you get the drift. To be fair to Commissioner Tyrone Griffith, he has mentioned repeatedly concerns about the quality of policing at ports of entry. We are fighting against wickedness in high places.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against a spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:12 KJV
The blogmaster hesitates to recommend a Rodrigo Duterte approach to arresting crime in Barbados, our docile disposition as a people and fit and proper system of governance would not permit it. However, a radical approach is always the preferred option if material change is the objective. Based on what is before us i.e. a former high ranking policeman now lawyer found with 253 kilos of cannabis at his home should be enough to support a conclusion the good guys are the bad guys.
It is important the process to recruit the next Commissioner of police to replace an invisible Tyrone Griffith is judiciously processed. The unfortunate predicament Barbados finds itself stems from the fact our decision makers are part of the problem.
According to its website the BLACKSTONE Law Firm was established in 2011 and is headed by Joseph Serrant located at Strathclyde Drive, Bridgetown, Barbados. Further, the law firm advertises the expertise to represent in areas of:
Property Law (conveyancing & mortgages)
Law of Succession
Incorporation of Businesses
The blogmaster writes on behalf of a concerned citizen who continues to be frustrated by the aforementioned law firm in the matter of the Estate of Ronald Griffith. Since 2013 the family of the late Ronald Griffith – represented by the Blackstone Law Firm – has been unsuccessful in processing an application of Letters of Administration with the Registrar of the Supreme Court. The blogmaster has reviewed communications between the daughter of the late Ronald Griffith and various lawyers acting on behalf of Blackstone Law Firm, including its head Joseph Serrant. For eight (8) years what was anticipated to be routine transaction has morphed to a frustrating experience for the family.
The communications the blogmaster has seen identifie the main reason for the delay as the Law Firm moving from Bridgetown to Strathclyde in 2017. Since 2013 various communications made available to Barbados Underground between family members and Blackstone Law Firm were signed by head of the law firm Joseph Serrant. Have a look at the Meet Our Experts team featured on the Blackstone Law Firm website.
The blogmaster always regrets when clients of lawyers are forced to seek remedy by sharing private matters with the public. It is obvious if we are to judge from the number of similar complaints in the public domain, a system meant to dispense timely justice continues to earn the labels of being supine and moribund. That officers of the court can be so brazen to take advantage of the public without fear of being censured is an indictment of the quality of oversight, moral and ethical fibre of our legal profession. The matter was reported to the Barbados Bar Association, no surprise.
This is a first appeal to Joseph Serrant, head of the Blackstone Law Firm to hand over the file and monies paid to date by the family of the late Ronald Griffith to allow the family to retrieve a dignified closure to the matter.
In an earlier blog – Customer Versus Carmax the plight of an ordinary Barbadian whose only crime was to purchase a vehicle from CarMax located on Hastings Main Road in Christ Church has resulted in a tale of woe.
A simple summary: in 2014 the Barbadian purchased a pre owned Kia Sportage 2000 cc diesel 4WD Engine# D4EA5H112253. Within the first year of purchase the vehicle had begun to ‘hard start’ and overheat. Despite changing air, oil, diesel filters, radiator, thermostat and hose, as well as all parts recommended by a mechanic the problems persisted. After an exhaustive process the mechanic discovered that the engine D4EA9H903688 mounted in the vehicle conflicted with the number on the sale contract, invoice, insurance, and road tax.
To make a long story short CarMax has refused to accept responsible for misrepresenting the sale of the vehicle to this ordinary Barbadian pensioner. The argument being used by CarMax is the vehicle was not serviced by MQI Garage in the post sales period. General Manager of CarMax, Gordon Spencer acknowledged by email on May 10, 2021 that the substitute engine was installed in 2009 for a previous owner.
The blogmaster is of the view CarMax misrepresented the product sold to the Barbadian and should make all reasonable effort to remedy.