Difficult Conversations: The Good the Blind and Ugly

A fundamental concept in interpreting contracts, is that words must have their normal meaning in the language of the contract, unless those words are redefined in the contract.  Using this concept, any normal reading of Section 74 (2) of the Constitution of Barbados, shows that the Leader of the Opposition must have the support of other Members of the House of the Assembly.

I tried interpreting Section 74 (2) in a manner that allowed the appointment, without violating the Constitution.  Despite my 30 years of experience in construction contract law, I was unable to do so.

On the other hand, Barbadian lawyers claimed that the Interpretation Act provided enough elasticity to justify the appointment, without violating the Constitution.  But they would not explain how.  Lawyers, journalists, social commentators, and politicians and their supporters dismissed my concerns, claiming that I was blind to the obvious.

SIMPLE ARITHMETIC.

The appointment can be likened to a simple arithmetic equation: 1 + 1 = 2.  The Constitution provides the 1 + 1 side of the equation, and leaves it to readers to calculate the obvious correct answer.  The Governor General calculated it to be 48.6.

I tried to use all the elasticity available in arithmetic to find a different result.  I found that through rules of rounding, it is possible for 1 + 1 to equal 1.  For example, 0.6 + 0.6 = 1.2.  It is permissible to round 0.6 up to 1.  It is also permissible to round 1.2 down to 1.  This allows 1 + 1 to equal 1.

Similarly, 1.4 + 1.4 = 2.8, which can be written, through rounding, as: 1 + 1 = 3.  However, there is no similar rounding, that provides enough elasticity to stretch 1 + 1 into 48.6.  But Barbadian lawyers asserted, with no reasonable explanation, that it was so.

DIAGNOSING BLINDNESS.

I concluded that either I was blind, or Barbadian lawyers, journalists, social commentators, and politicians and their supporters were blind.  If I was blind, then I risked giving less than excellent advice to my Clients, and misleading the public.  So, I needed to have my ‘eyes’ checked.

This blindness cannot be diagnosed by an optician, but by a Judge.  So, I filed a claim to understand how the Constitution of Barbados could be interpreted in a manner that justified the appointment, without violating the Constitution.

A WASTE OF TIME.

I saw how lawyers frustrate our excellent judicial system.  I filed all my documents on-time.  The lawyers either filed theirs late (by up to 5 months), or did not file them at all – it was an embarrassingly disrespectful spectacle.  The lawyers spent their time trying to convince the Judge to dismiss my simple non-contentious request.  They failed – miserably.

At the final hearing, the Judge apologized to me for the time-wasting that had occurred.  The Judge then graciously shared her computer screen with all parties present, and provided an elegant interpretation of Section 74 (2), which I appreciated.

THE INTERPRETATION.

Using the arithmetic analogy, for 1 + 1 to equal 48.6, we must violate the rules of arithmetic and use algebra.  The number 1 must be redefined as the character 1.  Perhaps the equation is more recognisable as: x + x = 48.6.  Therefore, x = 48.6/2 = 24.3.  The character x equals the character (not numeral) 1.  Therefore, 1 + 1 = 48.6.

The Judge explained that the Law addresses situations that it was intended to address.  When situations occur that the Law did not anticipate, then the Law should not be used to restrict progress.

The Judge explained that the 30-0 result was unprecedented, and not anticipated by the Constitution.  Therefore, the abnormal situation is not covered by the normal interpretation of the Constitution.  The normal reading of the Constitution, where Mr Atherley requires “support” from others to qualify, may be put aside – or violated, to accommodate the unforeseen situation.

RE-ENTRY.

The ruling confirmed that I am not blind.  My Clients can be assured that my interpretations of Contracts and Contract law remain sound, and they will continue to receive my best advice.

So, where do we go from here?  I think that the Judge erred in Law, because our Constitution does anticipate the House of Assembly functioning without a Leader of the Opposition, as explicitly described in Section 75.  Therefore, we were not yet in a situation where we needed to violate the Constitution.  However, I already got what I wanted from the experience, and it cost me nothing.

So, I left the Court, comforted that I can still see clearly enough to give my Clients excellent advice, and not mislead the public.  However, I re-entered the world of: partisan journalists, dishonest press coverage, arrogantly dismissive lawyers, and a public only too willing to be misled – by the blind.

BLIND AND UGLY.

I will let Jesus the Messiah, who will judge us all at the end, have the last words.

“Woe to you also, lawyers!  For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.”

“Woe to you lawyers!  For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.”

“Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”  Luke 11:46 & 52. Matthew 15:14.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

Lawyers Continue to Laugh at We

A few weeks ago Chief Justice Patterson Cheltenham revealed that after a ‘dig’ 70 matters were discovered lying idle in the court system. In other words, some lawyers are filing a notice of appeal and leaving the matter in abeyance without active follow up to activate the matter therefore adding to the burgeoning case load. When the matter is called by the Court of Appeal, according to the Chief Justice, the lawyer filing the notice is sometimes a no show and in many cases fail to also apprise lawyers representing the respondents.

Barbados Underground has been a strident voice over the years in the call for the Barbados court system to get its act together in order to deliver on the maxim – “justice delayed is justice denied”. Chief Justice Patterson Cheltenham was appointed from being active as a lawyer and should be aware of the gaming methods lawyers co-opt to frustrate the system. It is disappointing after all the years of criticism Cheltenham’s predecessors were unaware of the unethical practice by lawyers – legal officers of the Court – to file ‘empty’ notices of appeal.

Do we need to remind lawyers in Barbados that as legal officers of the Barbados Court they are saddled with the awesome responsibility of delivering quality justice? The inability of the court system to dispense justice has obvious implications for the quality of life in the society. To have to listen to the Attorney General and his predecessors express frustration with a court system about to crash under its weight is an embarrassment.

Kudos to the Chief Justice for identifying an issue to be solved. As usual what was left hanging is how lawyers engaged in depositing empty ‘matters’ in the court system will be disciplined. These lawyers are being dishonest and unethical in behaviour and should have to suffer disciplinary action. A part of the problem with rising crime and lawlessness in Barbados is the slow pace justice is administered, it also has implications for the international business sector to ensure speedy resolution to matters.

The blogmaster is aware the government has allocated monies to install additional judges. What good will come of it if key stakeholders in the system; lawyers deliberately frustrate efficiency by the court by clogging up the system with nuisance matters, are no shows, missing files at the Registry etc? It begs the question what motivates the behaviour. The blogmaster believes some lawyers see financial reward operating in an inefficient court system. 

Barbadians at home and in the diaspora have reached the limit of understanding why year after year we have been unable to improve the justice system. A bit of advice to the government, Attorney General, Chief Justice, Registrar of the Court, Barbados Bar Association, Disciplinary Committee, lawyers, police – time to start adhering to the highest ethical standards you have sworn to uphold on behalf of the clients who PAY YOU. If we do not we ALL will have to live in the type of society that evolves.

Echoes of Delayed Responses: A Case for Human Rights in Barbados

Submitted by TK Butler-Intimate Partner Violence Survivor 
Human Rights Advocate 
Author & Activist @ Focus Barbados| Protect the Children

JUSTICE DELAYED is justice denied. Barbados is becoming notorious for pushing matters under the rug for years, backlogged court cases, people remanded to jail and cases that don’t get called before the court until several years later, witnesses to cases being asked to remember evidence from 10 years ago, and people walking around the same streets as perpetrators while awaiting their day in court.

In my case, Barbados failed to respond to a petition I submitted in June 2015 to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights by the deadline. This failure triggered  the advancement of my petition to a formal case as stated in a letter mailed from the Commission to Jerome Walcott and myself on November 23, 2020: 

The State in question did not submit a response to the petition during the admissibility phase. Therefore, the Commission has decided to open the case…

The details of my case against the government of Barbados as well as the specific abuses I’ve suffered are shared within my blog posts on WordPress @ Focus Barbados (est. 2015) and Instagram @quarantineipv (est. March 2020). I used Facebook as a platform for raising awareness back in 2012-2014. I was also interviewed by Naked Departure on her blog talk radio in 2014. I have been more than vocal.

I lived in the communities of Barbados as a tourist. My abusive relationship with Barbados began in 2012, lasted for 3 years which has lapsed into a total of 7 years and counting. After leaving Barbados in 2015, I began researching and educated myself about the plight of Bajan women and children in Barbados. It is through understanding their struggle that I became aware of the connection we all have to trauma, crime, justice and the delayed responses by relevant authorities in each of those areas. We are all survivors of systemic governmental neglect and abuse. These abusive relationships formed the basis of my view that there is a lack of empathy in Barbados that is cultural. The people hold dear their customary “respect and manners” but because of deep seated anger issues, this hospitality and politeness does not ease the rage of Bajan hostility. Through my conversations with Bajans, experiences of culture and observations of governmental leadership, I am as clear as ever that Sir Hilary Beckles assessments of Barbados as the First Black Slave Society, including all the barbaric and traumatic implications, is one of many contributing factors that plays a significant role in my struggle for freedom from gender based violence in Barbados.

I’ve learned that when I was being strangled and my abuser asked me: “ARE YOU GONNA SHUT UP? YES OR NO?”, he was echoing the sentiments and voices of a majority of the population. I, THE TOURIST, although supposedly “superior” in status due to my relationship to the tourism industry/economy, ended up being treated as many local women are treated every day. I was not given the world renowned  “ROYAL TREATMENT” as a tourist. Instead, I experienced a major contributor to the normalization of abuse for Bajan women and children: THE CULTURE OF SILENCE. My research provided further evidence that emotional and verbal abuse in Barbados is rationalized as commonplace. The same hurt people who hurt people are working as teachers, lawyers, police, judges, and government officials.

According to Cynthia Forde:

There is no community that is not a part of the nonsense that has been going on.  And the molesters are not just the ordinary men in the village, but we have police officers taking advantage, and according to what we know, there are teachers, priests, counsellors and caregivers who are taking advantage of young children…all people who know better, and because they have not been caught, they get away with it.

Loop News Barbados


How can the cycle of abuse be broken when those who are supposed to help victims are also people who can’t be trusted? Who was gonna raise awareness if it’s normal to have your voice choked out of you? Who was gonna be an example that speaking out can bring healing where there’s no justice or closure? Who was gonna expose the wounds in order to justify the need for healing? Who was gonna ask someone out there somewhere if they dared care to listen to our screams for help? I asked others if they were willing. Everyone feared retaliation by employers and government. The rumours that Bajans are docile and content with suffering in silence became all the more real. No more delays. No more denials.

My case with the Commission is strong and justice will prevail. I would like acknowledgment from the government that my and OUR suffering is not in vain. The government must pledge itself to fix the broken systems, including those within the Child Care Board and Juvenile Justice circles, that enable the cycles of generational abuse and trauma that create abusive men and women. This must be done for the sake and well being of children. Every living adult in Barbados is called to task.

In this year’s throne speech, Dame Sandra Mason stated: “Barbados is now increasingly finding itself on international lists, including within the multilateral system, which identify us as having a poor human rights record.”

Need I say more?

In conclusion the lyrics of an old gospel spiritual by Mahalia Jackson will suffice:

If I can help somebody, as I travel along
If I can help somebody, with a word or song
If I can help somebody, from doing wrong
No, my living shall not be in vain No, my living shall not be in vain
No, my living shall not be in vain
If I can help somebody, as I’m singing the song
You know, my living shall not be in vain.

To Chief Justice Patterson Cheltenham, Lawlessness in OUR Judiciary

Submitted by Cherfleur

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.


Ephesians 6.4

My personal journey (5 years) through the labyrinth of the judiciary. Nine judges and a plethora of Attorneys, yet I was forced to take charge and plead my case myself.

When we hear the word law we think of order and justice and civility and fairness not so with the judiciary. On the contrary my experience is that this institution the Police and the Public Service is that the officials practice wanton lawlessness of a kind that is unimaginable. Contemptible, because no one manages the Judges (it seems), after they are appointed they act recklessly breaking much of the rules and in so doing disrespecting and disenfranchising the very people they are appointed to serve justice to.

First judge: included in her Order the directive for me to seek advice from an Attorney before the next date. She meant, retain the services of… She did not provide me with a Proforma Invoice so I wrote the CJ (and subsequently the AG) asking what that was all about. He forwarded the correspondence to the Judge. She convened a hearing and recused herself. BUT… she held on to the file ​for five months. ​All the asking and pleading to the Registry staff was to no avail. So I wrote her and gently reminded her that she had the file and it was needed in the Court Registry. Nothing until I began to bang and beat and whip. She released the file. ​FIVE months had elapsed.​ That’s the average time for a decision. This is the face of justice. Not to mention that it breaches my constitutional rights to a speedy outcome. Madam was quite assured that normally no one would dare approach her for the file so my case, like so many before (especially those handled by an Attorney) would have been left high and dry in her possession until the cows come home. This madam justice is not upholding her oath. That was a wicked act. Either Madam Justice was trying to hide her foul or was protecting BCC.

Judges are identifying errors n shortcomings in claims and presenting cases to support (ironically the represented) litigant. The Litigant’s Kit state that Litigants are supposed to ask for all they require in their Application for Orders and present all the authorities they intended to use to argue their position. Judges are only supposed to examine, access and weigh the information presented and bring a decision.That’s no justice. They’re making mock sport. There is no impartiality and whomever a judge fancies that’s who he will search for cases to assist.

Next judge: case adjourned on February 25th for a decision but she returns without the decision on March 3rd. Couldn’t find the file and I had to wait while she sent her Clerk some place to look for the file but the file was right there and I am waiting. Awed by the level of don’t care a damn inefficiency at such a high level. More submissions and the matter was again adjourned for decisions – no date. For those of you who might not know, decisions are due in three months and the CCJ sometime not so long ago decreed that the maximum time a judge should take was 6 months or off of the bench. Her parting words were xxxxx, I will call you. There was the lockdown for 10 weeks then that blanket was lifted. Yet as of September end there was no word and no decision. Six and out. This character too is full of wry comments and corny jokes. Not quite what you go to court for.

What the hell is going on?

The 2nd highest institution in the land and this open inefficiency and callousness for order and the rule of law and people’s rights permeates like what is to be a norm.

Next judge: Adjourned for decision on October 28 2019, and returned in January without the decision. No problem. Perhaps he needed more information. But alas that was not the case. Another adjournment to April 1. Then there was the lockdown. As of October end there was no decision. Again I had to be whipping and banging the drums to get these learned people moving. The judge above brought her decision but this naughty naughty judge still didn’t bring his. Only when I wrote the Commissioner to the RBPF on November 27, 2020 asking permission to stage a Rally to air my grievances with the judiciary did the Registry call and inform me on Tuesday December 1, 2020 that this 3rd recalcitrant will will deliver the decision on Wednesday December 2, 2020 at 9.15 am; less than 24 hours notice. Six and out!

Are we there yet? No. Far from it.

These officers are acting without impunity. There is no oversight of their behaviour. Once appointed they are there for life (?) and since the system is so broke they act like demi-gods. Effectually, they are godless and shameless. They don’t care …and no one seems to care about the ‘minions’ who bring cases to that institution expecting fairness and impartiality and swiftness of judgement. The very minions whose taxes it is that pay the judges’ salaries are who the judges exhibit scant regard for. No one cares about the quality of justice as in the length of time it takes to complete and deliver decisions. No one cares about how the delays affect the litigants. No one cares about the level of production output, or they don’t know of such concepts (in the public service). This is sick.

This cannot go on continuously. It is rancid. It is not that there are so many cases in the system it is, as per my experience, that the judges assume the posture of omnipotence; until someone comes along who whips and bangs ‘drums’. They are lazy and in some cases nasty (vindictive).

There must be a Commission convened to look into how long judges take to complete each case. Barbados cannot be serious about progress and development and encouraging people to come here from more advanced realms and the most important institution to protect them and process their business is the one raping them of their rights.

The CCJ said 6 or you’re out.

The Public Service now, BCC and CBC, (ICBL), FSC, FTC, CLA and Public Counsel and the Police all are running into one another and doing very little that is effective.

Public Counsel, a part of the Attorney General’s office, offers legal advice to persons who have disagreements of a commercial/Consumer nature and where the claims are equal to or valued below $10,000.

FTC provides representation for matters of a commercial nature too to those who do not want or cannot afford an Attorney. Community Legal Aid Services provide Attorneys to represent persons who cannot afford one.

BCC’s management does not know that their Handbook is forming a contract between them and the students. BCC breaks graduation requirements, their own rules and Consumer Guarantees (those rights accorded to consumers once entered into a relationship with a service provider).

CBC does not know (it seems ) that Pension is not Insurance. CBC is administering a pension plan and allowing persons who are not dependants to be named as Beneficiaries and broadcasting that a named beneficiary is final.

ICBL too, is adamant that a named beneficiary to a Pension Plan (a Revocable Trust) is final. Lawyers too are advising that a named beneficiary (to a Pension) is final -get this – because the Insurance Act of 1997 so states. Thus irrespective of the date the would-be insurance policy was effected no one pays attention to that minute ​detail and everyone says ipso facto​. No one (outside of FSC) it seems, is aware that Pension is not Insurance and in fact has a dedicated Act: Occupational Pensions Benefits Act 350B. Twenty years arguing with Attorneys in Barbados until I kicked it, held the bull by the horn and faced the steam on my own. There are those Attorneys who try to defend indefensible cases. In 2020 we have an Attorney, two in fact, who prepared and argued a Pension Benefit aged 1994 with the Insurance Act which was effective as of 1997 (then pulls a time-trick). What goes? What is Cave Hill spitting out? What a scholastic shame.

After one year, FSC is unable/willing to provide information required as per the Rights to Information Act and the very Pension Benefit act. FSC is not supervising and investigating or training the agencies it is mandated to oversee effectively. Perhaps no one else ever understood Trusts and Pensions and challenged the anomalies. God forbid if there were other dependents not named and thus were robbed of their inheritances because the agencies charged with the administration and supervision of the same do not know their product and what they are doing.

Foreign Investor Unable to Have Case Heard Against Hotelier Peter Odle

Peter Odle

We now know veteran hotelier Peter Odle was recently appointed Chairman of Barbados Port Inc to replace Senator Lisa Cummins who was promote to the Cabinet of Barbados. His first salvo to the media was to sell his private sector experience acquired over many years. We will see Mr. Odle, we will see.

Meanwhile elsewhere it is left to social media players to prosecute a matter where Peter Odle’s name is mentioned. In recent days an unsigned letter addressed to Prime Minister Mia Mottley has been circulating in the Barbados social media space.

In brief, a dispute has arisen between Irish investor Alan McIntosh (Emerald Investment) and newly appointed Chairman Peter Odle. The investor resorted to the Barbados Courts on April 2018 – seeking for matter CV1233 of 2018 to be heard on an urgent basis. Mr. McIntosh has expressed shock that to date the matter is outstanding. See the letter attached which reaffirms an issue promoted regularly in this space, justice delayed is justice denied.

The blogmaster has communicated with our source, reviewed voluminous documents received to understand the details of the dispute. Mr. McIntosh deserves his day in court. The letter confirms a similar filing was made in a Guernsey court – the jurisdiction in which a loan agreement between the parties was consummated – and it was resolved in five months. There are no words to describe how Mr. McIntosh and others gripped in a full nelson by our court system must be feeling. Barbados is a country dependent on tourism and foreign direct investment (FDI). This case does not recommend Barbados as an easy place to do business if our courts are not functioning efficiently to dispense justice in a satisfactory time frame.

It is noteworthy Justice Rajendra Narine is acting Chief Justice now that former Chief Justice Marston Gibson has retired. The vacancy was advertised across the region and the application process will close on 7 September 2020. Successive governments have been unable to wrestle our moribund judicature labouring under the weight of a backlog of cases. Check BU Archives and Lawyer in the News Page for the avoidance of doubt. Prime Minister Mottley was on CNN International assuring all within earshot that Barbados is open for business despite COVID 19. On the flip side our Courts are not equipped to discharge all assigned duties were our guests forced to seek legal remedy.

The blogmaster holds no brief for Peter Odle, therefore this blog is not meant to denigrate the newly appointed Chairman and veteran hotelier. The primary message is to ask why Barbados is unable to deliver timely justice guaranteed under the Constitution to its constituents. William Alan McIntosh deserves for the local Courts to rule on his claim of USD550,000 (with interest and cost) owed by First Defendant Sandy Bay Holdings (2014) Inc and Second Defendant Peter Odle. For an aggrieved party to have to fight the Barbados Courts et al to remedy an injustice is the antithesis to what it should represent.


Emerald Investment Partners (“Emerald”) is the private UK and Irish family investment office of Mr. Alan McIntosh. Our investment record in the UK and Ireland includes co-founding Cairn Homes plc, Ireland’s largest house builder which is quoted on both the Dublin and London stock exchange with a market capitalisation of £800m. Emerald is a significant stakeholder in Interserve plc, a UK outsource provider that employs over 50,000 staff. Mr. McIntosh was co-founder of Punch Taverns in the late 90’s a company he grew to an estate of over 5,000 pubs. Emerald was the lead investor in the acquisition of a portfolio of airport hotels which were being privatised by the Irish Government (Great Southern Hotels) and we acquired and funded Carechoice, a company that has gone on to become one of the largest nursing homes operators in Ireland. Emerald continues to be an active investor in UK & Irish residential and commercial real estate, hotel and leisure assets.

Emerald Investment

Justice is Coming!

If one really wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected–those, precisely, who need the law’s protection most!–and listens to their testimony.       

-James Baldwin

The crime situation affecting Barbados is a cause for concern. In 2019 Barbados registered 49 murders based on the official report. Clearly there has been a seismic shift in the social fabric of the society. The blogmaster is onboard with pressuring government and the police to efficiently enforce laws without compromise to create a culture of discipline in our little society. However, there is urgent remedial action needed to arrest the systemic matters on the opposite side of enforcement.

Recently the blogmaster as he parked the jalopy a youngster – found out he was 19 years old later in conversation – requested the opportunity to wash the vehicle. According to him, he had not eaten for the day. A conversation ensued – he attended St. George Secondary School, left in 4th Form without a single CXC. He tried to secure – unsuccessfully – a job as a gas attendant. He lived with an aunt and uncle because his parents showed no interest in his upbringing, no supervision while at school, he was left to do as he will. The result…

The blogmaster shared the story because at the root of many of our problems is the lack of parental care. A wholesome society is the aggregate of stable family units first and foremost. We live in a time where ceding our obligations to the Commissioner of Police of Attorney General is par for the course.

We need efficient enforcement of our laws by the police to ensure justice is delivered AND we need our Courts to deliver justice to respect the maxim, justice delayed is justice denied. The case load in the Barbados Courts has been rising in recent years to prompt Attorney General Dale Marshall to opine words to the effect – the system was about to crash under its weight. Successive governments have been unable to clear the backlog – even the appointment of a Chief Justice from ‘outside’ and talk about alternative dispute resolution have failed to arrest the issue.

The following article in the press was drawn to the attention of the blogmaster.

Bid to cut backlog of murder cases

HEATHER-LYNN EVANSON, ​heatherlynevanson@nationnews.com

Added 07 January 2020

carlisle-greaves-justice

Justice Carlisle Greaves (FILE)

All eighty-four murder accused, some with cases as old as ten years, will have their day in court this year.

In addition, with 54 matters awaiting sentencing, the new Assizes system will see the last Friday of each month dedicated to those decisions, with the intention of reducing that backlog by the end of February.

The new system was rolled out by Justice Carlisle Greaves yesterday as he joined four other judges for the historic sitting of five High Courts to hear the Criminal Assizes.

Justice Greaves, who will preside over Supreme Court No 3, joins Justices Randall Worrell who sits in Supreme Court 2, Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell in No 4, Christopher Birch in No. 5A and Pamela Beckles who presides over Court No. 5. (HLE)

Subscribe now to our eNATION edition for the full story.

We have seen several attempts to deal with issues in the Courts. A country that aspires to respect the rights of actors living and operating therein must honour the principles of justice. We will have to wait to review later in the year.

This “Island” State… and the Judiciary and …

Submitted by Kim
A few years ago, on the cusp of the six-year limitation limit, I filed four lawsuits in the magistrate’s court against the parties in a Landlord/Tenant matter where the defendants unlawfully entered and removed items belonging to me, my daughter a deceased’s estate and a former UWI student (4). I was advised to take it to the High court because the four claims were being brought by the same person and against the same people and totaled more than $10,000. I pointed out that it was various claims, each marginally under $10,000.  I was told “but they are from the same person and against the same person, although one claim had my daughter’s name and another the estate’s name).    At the mention of the estate, I pointed out that I was interested in pursuing the other three claims there and then but was again told that the amount was beyond the jurisdiction of the Magistrate’s Court.
The irony (or anomaly) was that in that same court, in the same Parish in the same year before the very same Magistrate, and prepared by the very same Representative (Bailiff) a similar case (scenario) but with one, single, only, individual, lone Applicant against one, single, only, lone individual Defendant totaling some $15,000 plus and the Magistrate gave Judgement for damages and cost.
These men on the bench are either mad, bad or drunk or all of those. Don’t I read and hear of Criminals being slapped with many charges and various counts of one act or other?  Could that be only for Criminal proceedings?
For what it was worth,  I followed the Magistrate’s advice and endeavoured to move to the High Courts.  This necessitated gross paperwork, rhetoric and research and statements sought etc.  In the process, I uncovered that an individual {one) can bring various claims, individually or combined against another on behalf of self and as representative of another or others thus my filing for my self and representative of the estate and legal representative of my daughter.   But If I had argued with Mr Magistrate he might have wanted to slap me with contempt for telling him how to do his work. Only the claim on behalf of the estate was outside of his jurisdiction.
The legal databases are proliferated with cases upon cases of individual Applicants laying multiple claims against one, lone Defendant especially in the capacity of representative of others (parties to the claim). What i do not understand is how the legal fraternity and judiciary here don’t know or don’t care to learn of all these nuances and extensions and varying scenarios of the application of the law.
Now up the ladder, it seems that the people at the higher end are talking about time limitation and statute bar. Few seem to know or remember that the Limitation of Actions flaunts extensions and exemptions. There is a lack of breadth and depth in the application and practice of the law around here. Unless, unless, there is some other morbid, sordid, sinister explanation.
The folks up on the hill have to do much better at the quality of their production.  I know the Dean of Law is a regular contributor to this blog.
And while we are at it, who pays for all this barrenness?  If taxpayers are paying the judiciary, as I know, the judiciary has to do better than serve up such crassness.
Wasting paper and time; aka money.
Remember; “Yes Mister Prime Minister”?
Yes Madam Prime Minister, you need to commission an inquiry into how the judiciary works vis a vis the taxpayers’ money.  Justice must be seen as being served or having been served.  It should not be perceived that there is anarchy in the judiciary. But there is something radically wrong up in there.
Updated 25 November 2019

Raped of MY Constitutional Rights by the Law Court

Submitted by Loose Cannon

The Judiciary – Loving Law: Caribbean Desires, Perversions and possibilities

The Institute for Gender and Development Studies tonight hosted the 25th Dame Nita Lecture: Caribbean Women Catalysts for Change.

The Judiciary and legal practitioners should have been there in full force, but alas, only those from Cave Hill were present, that I recognize.
The topic:  Loving Law, Caribbean Desires, Perversions, and Possibilities.  Kind of misleading but the jest of it all is “how as Caribbean people we love ‘the Law”.  That/those (confounded) anglophone, archaic, practice and some rules; man-made, Church sanctioned (to keep us in our place].
The three tenets (a) Contestors and makers of…(b)Saviour and savers (c) Creatures of the new….
The point is There are three Statutes still on the books that are out of date by time, relevance and legally yet they are on the books and upheld. Called ABC, (like America, Britain and Canada) they are (1) Abortion (bad word among the Church. (2) Buggery and (3 ) Corporal punishment.
If I am not mistaken, the Lecturer is saying that these should,be removed from the books.
But my particular interest is in highlighting how perverse the law is and practitioners lack the political will or desire to change them, continuing (no doubt) to be influenced by the Church or just loving what is now norm and has become common practice..
So, the same law that we (who think we are educated and civilized) continue to ‘love’ continue to screw us (except the boyz on the block or in the hood.
Moving along: The Learned Judge dismissed my case summarily before i appear (without my presence) without oral OR written examination and its not that the case fit into ANY of the reasons for that course of action. Trust me.
The Guidelines of how these learned Officers are to “behave” are contained in the Court Procedure Rules aka CPR. Rule 25.1 The court must further the overriding objective (Justice) by actively managing cases. i.e: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/family/parts/part_01
1.1(2) Dealing with a case justly includes: (c) that the parties are on an equal footing. Thinking face
1.4 Court’s duty to manage cases – included in the link above. (number and articulation may differ but its the same substance around the whole wide world.
25.2 Actively managing cases include (a) to (m) where(b) deciding promptly which issues need full investigation and trial  and accordingly dispensing summarily of the other issues; (e) actively encouraging and assisting parties to settle the whole or part of their case on terms that are fair to each party; what goes here? (h) considering whether the likely benefits of taking a particular step will justify the cost of taking it.  What goes here? (m) ensuring that no party gains an unfair advantage by reason of that party’s failure to give full disclosure of all relevant facts prior to the trial or the hearing of any application.
What goes?
Rule 26.1 Case Management – Court Powers:
(d) stay the whole or part of any proceedings generally or until a specific date or event. Nada
(f) dismiss or give judgment on a Claim after a preliminary decision. seems so(without my presence to defend.
(m) deal with a matter without the attendance of either of the partners.  Seems so.
(n) hold a hearing and receive evidence by telephone or use other methods of oral communications.
This is the bitch in law. Two and three ‘rights’.  I noticed ‘n’ was not used. In fact, I doubt Barbados uses this sophisticated and enlightened method.
26.2.1  Except…., the court may exercise its powers on an application or on its own initiative.
No return of acknowledgment of Service, no Defense filed, no application filed and Bang! Just turn up and Bang Bang!
It is for these same reasons that dem white folks that sit pun de benches over and away DO NOT dismiss or strike out summarily without at least 1 appearance and/or oral examination and/or submissions.
So much is so wrong with the case constitutionally and else.
I must be missing a Metroid or Halley’s comet.
I was raped of my constitutional rights at the High Court. But….!
I know why the caged bird sings!
Striking out statement of case
26.3.1 In addition to any other power under these Rules, the court may strike out a statement of case or part of a statement of case where there appears to the court that there has been a failure to comply with a rule or practiced direction or with an order or direction given by the court in the proceedings.
26.3.2 An order under sub-section 1 may be made on an application of notice
and may include an order staying or dismissing the claimant’s application or any part of it with costs, where the claimant is in default, or an order entering judgement for the claimant with cost against a defendant who was in default, such a judgment for the claimant to be of the same nature in a judgement in default of the filing of a defence would have been in respect of the same claim.
“may”.  So if not on an application of notice, then ram shod, roughshod. Gun slinging.
I note the CPR states – statement of case or part of.
26.3.2 The court may also, in addition to all other powers under these Rules strikeout, at a case management conference or otherwise upon application on notice, a statement of case or part of a statement of case if it appears to the court (a)..abuse of the process of the court. ????? I wasn’t even there on day 1 (b) ..discloses no reasonable ground (c) is prolix aka verbose or incoherent.
Was that casse management or what???
26.4 General power of the court to rectify matters where there has been a procedural error.
And it goes on and on. suffice to say, Mr Dale Marshall has to do much much better than just appoint more Judges.  Further, the entire court process and system needs a work over.  Shortage of staff is severely hampering the operation of justice,  and chronically impacting claimants’ (and i dare say defendants’) rights to justice and faair trial:  like access to files in a timely manner.
And no, I am not an angry Black Woman. I am methodical and resolute.

Fathers Being Stiffed by Barbados Courts

The following cry was posted to the blogmaster’s Facebook timeline by indefatigable citizen advocate Kammie Holder – Blogmaster

Dear David King I may not be an officer of the court but it pains me to have to publicly condemn our court system. The selection process of judges and magistrates must undergo greater scrutiny to assure they are fit for purpose in dipensing justice that knows no bias or gender.

I wish to declare I have come to the conclusion there is no hope for good supporting fathers in Barbados within the court system to get a sympathetic ear, justice or equality. Very pathetic when lawyers who are officers of the court would retreat and be telling fathers that they need to form a strong lobby group to deal with the bias against men they see in some courts.

After hearing the complaints of 3 men in the last 24 hours two in tears feeling hard done by the courts I must reluctantly publicly highlight the frustration of non delinquent fathers. It seems some magistrates and judges are showing callous regard to the complaints of good supporting fathers.

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(Father 1)
Why would a court system say to a father who has gone to court as plaintiff to gain custody of his daughter, due to her mother been unfit as shown by public records be told if the mother is deemed unfit the child would have to be made a ward of the state.

Is this the same lazy incompetent Child Care Board which refused to take the young man complaint serious. The CCB needs a radical overhaul and is it still relevant in it’s current format? This same Child Care Board needs a commission of enquiry to show its incompetence for no one wants to call that spade a spade.

I remember the indifference of the court after requesting to see my daughter under supervised access and seeking a change in venue because of a decaying dog. The stubborn mother said I was lying as whatever she told the judge was gospel and public opinion was saying the man is the aggressor the woman the victim. Thus leaving me with the only solution of using videos in the court of public opinion to show the #UnpaltableTruth.

It was requested of me by the judge to bring proof of a dead dog in a park for it may have appeared that women cannot lie. Oh I have the pictures in case any person wants to challenge my recollection of events.

(Father 2)
When a father who is been frustrated by a non compliant child mother cannot get a court date and we talking about a family court Father is saying to me he is frustrated and will be giving up. What are we doing to our kids? How can any father have confidence in a court system that fails him?

Some of you will offer a simplistic response and another will not want to accept food supporting fathers exist. What do you expect when the Attorney General, Child Care Board, Courts and Goovernment shows no interest in the plight or concerns of good supporting fathers trying to be in the lives of their kids.

Do not tell me about the old men social club called MESA which is a night out for old retired men set in their ways far removed from child bearing age and concerns of men.

If I am to expose who are my enemies for speaking the #UnpalatableTruth and standing up for a principle then let it be, I die but one death! Roy Hurley Lynette Eastmond Laticia Bourne

Former Insider Attorney Philip Nicholls Exposes Barbados Court System

Philip_NichllsIt would be disingenuous of BU not to have read Philip Nicholls’s book More Binding Than Marriage and to provide unvarnished feedback. Nicholl’s has revealed enough about the Barbados Court System, Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock, former partners Allan Watson and Joyce Griffith, Disciplinary Committee, lawyers in the system and much more to be sued if true. It is a damning indictment of the system by a former insider. Also his animosity towards Vernon Smith QC, Barry Gale QC and Charles Leacock merits special mention.

The quiet from traditional media is not surprising.

BU respects the intellectual property of Nicholls, however we posted six pages to give members of the BU family who have not yet purchased some insight to three issues among several raised by Nicholls.

Pages 82 and 83 – Nicholls shares his view as a former President of the about the Disciplinary Committee. He brands it a toothless tiger.

Pages 114 and 115 – Nicholls describes Barbados Court as a ‘total mess’.

Pages 129 and 130 – He decides to leave DPP Charles Leacock to God

Attorney-at-law Margot Greene in the News, Aided by Tariq Khan and Woodstock-Riley

Marguerite Woodstock-Riley - Disciplinary Committee

Marguerite Woodstock-Riley – Chairs the Disciplinary Committee

Probate is the procedure by which a will is approved by the Court as the valid and last will of a deceased testator (the person who made the will). It also confirms the appointment of the person named as executor in the willProbate of the Will – Public Legal Information Service of New …

 

Barbadians have become numb to the sloth of the Courts of Barbados. One of the simple functions is to administer the probate process. For many Barbadians what should be a routine procedure is fraught with long delays. To add to the challenge of managing probate, there are the lawyers -officers of the court – who gleefully take advantage of the dysfunctional system.

BU received the following communications that resonated with the household.  So many complaints about lawyers especially from Barbadians in the diaspora. This is one group over the years who has been taken advantage of by lawyers, building contractors to name two.

When I read your paper I am not getting the impression that these legal issues are being taken seriously. Have you any idea as to the number of probate cases that have gone on for many years? Isn’t your silence encouraging and supporting the offenders?

Although it does not help a probate situation has now been in the system since 1995 with no end in site…This is a very large ‘property’ and all the attorneys are doing are ‘Milking the family’ for all that it is worth.. .

Mine is a simple uncontested will which has been in probate since 1997 – awaiting a conclusion and representing gross cover up by the BBA and the administration. There are many like me that I have met in person or heard of.

Why don’t you publish articles or write editorials about real people losing their money and property to lawyers in Barbados? Are you in agreement with what they are doing or are you afraid. It is a disgrace don’t you think?  – Submitted by a frustrated client

TariqKhan

TariqKhan – President of the BBA

Let the record show BU has posted several articles to – Lawyers in the News and Tales of the Courts –  about the judicial and ancillary systems. More than the traditional media. However we empathize with Barbadians everywhere  affected by the sloth of our courts.

Documentation received shows the lawyer at the centre of this complaint was contacted in 1997. Understandably the frustrated client escalated the matter to the Disciplinary Committee of BBA. We write understandably because the last time the Chair of Disciplinary Committee Woodstock-Riley spoke publicly she referred to the backlog of cases to be processed and the fact her committee is supported by volunteers. We have not heard from Tariq Khan the president of the BBA recently. Mr. Khan what have you achieved since taking office except to pad your resume?

The following emails confirm what Barbadians everywhere already know. Honest Barbadians are being held hostage by the ‘system’. The leadership of the judicial ‘system’ needs to intervene before someone is forced to take matters into their hands.

 

On Wednesday, February 3, 2016 7:24 PM, Marguerite Woodstock-Riley <mwr@woodstockriley.com> wrote:

Dear xxxxx,

We can appreciate your frustration and advise the following.

As my office advised communication on disciplinary committee matters should be to the disciplinary committee office. The Registrar of the Supreme Court is the Secretary of the committee and deputises someone to act in that role managing the administration of the committee. Unfortunately as you were advised the person who held that position is no longer there , a situation beyond our control as we had little notice . We expect  to have someone in place shortly also working longer hours to move matters forward in a timely way.

The Committee comprises 7 persons and we meet every week  to address all complaints lodged . There is a process involving  reviewing all complaints, asking for further information if necessary , setting and having a hearing if a primafacie case has been made ,then our recommendations are sent to the Court of Appeal for hearing. We can proceed on a matter even if an attorney does not respond .

Your matter has been before the committee and you should be receiving communication from the office.

Please note our Committee addresses  making recommendations for disciplining attorneys such as fines , suspension , removal from the roll for breaches of the code of ethics following the  process outlined. There remains several options for persons to effect resolution of claims.

We can only reassure you that this committee is making every effort to address all current and outstanding matters with the resources we have .

Regards

Marguerite Woodstock-Riley Q.C. LLB(Hons) MPhil(Cantab)

WOODSTOCK RILEY |Attorneys-at-Law

____________________________________________

<bar@caribsurf.com>

Subject: RE: Deed to property

Dear xxxxxx

To clarify, the Bar does not deal with complaints regarding the alleged conduct of Attorneys-at-Law.  These complaints fall within the province of the Disciplinary Committee.  And for good reason.  The function of the Disciplinary is governed by statute under the auspices of the Registrar of the Supreme. I have therefore included the chair of the Disciplinary Committee in my response to you.

I am sorry that you are frustrated with the responses you have received but I am not in a position to address your complaints.  Instead by copying in the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee I expect that she will revert to you directly particularly as you have raised issues regarding the performance of the Disciplinary Committee.

I will however address two of the questions you have raised. I reject any notion that I condone any negative behaviours. You have made allegations regarding the lawyer’s conduct which have to be investigated. I do not believe or indeed assume or have any right to believe that I have a right to the deed of your property. This mode of thinking does not obtain.

I do hope that by this response and by copying the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee, your issues are properly and thoroughly addressed.

Yours,

M. Tariq Khan

Chancery House

High Street, Bridgetown

Barbados

Tel:      (246) 435-8391

Fax:     (246) 436-1920

Cell:     (246) 230-7790

______________________________________________

From: E. [mailto:xxxxxxx]

Sent: Monday, February 01, 2016 12:29 PM

To: Tariq Khan

Subject: Deed to property

When I decided to undergo continuous expense in July 2015 to claim the deed to my property I did not think that almost 7 months later I would not have even had a response from the Disciplinary Committee where it is stated that there would be a response within 21 days

Even on December 21st I sent you another email and you have yet to respond. I have also made several calls to Ms Marguerite- Riley’s office and was last informed by her secretary that she will be communicating with me soon…As of today there has been no response or communication from her or the disciplinary committee.

In December, I also spoke to Mr Clyde Cummings who also informed me that I would have something in writing in a short while but after receiving no communication I again called on..Jan 19th and at that time I was informed that Mr Cummings no longer works for the BBA Disciplinary Committee and hat Margo Greene has refused to respond to the committee.

At this point I continue to have several  questions:

1. Why is Ms Greene still practicing law in Barbados since she has refused  to follow the law of the land and to conduct herself in a professional manner?

2. What is the justification for your condoning of this negative behavior of Ms Greene?

3. Do you or Ms Greene believe that you have more of a right to the deed of my property than I do?

I have been informed that this is not the only instance of Ms Greene’s unprofessionalism. I also saw in the Barbados underground that this unprofessionalism is a part of the practice in the BBA. I have been trying very hard to keep this out of the public arena…I guess that is where it belongs now…don’t you agree?

An immediate response would be appreciated. I am confident that if this was your property that you would not have been as ‘accepting’ of this maltreatment and unprofessionalism…

Have a blessed day!

XXXX XXXXX

Until this matter is resolved BU will add Margot Greene, Tariq Khan and Woodstock-Riley to the BU Lawyers in the News section.

A Message to Judges, Deliver Timely Decisions or We Withhold Your Pay

NewsdayWhen mention is made of layoffs in the public sector no thought is ever given to extending the treatment to our referred Judges. BU has been relentless in the effort to expose the inefficiency of the Judiciary – see Tales from the Courts. Chief Justice Marston Gibson of whom much was expected has resigned himself to communicating about the thousands of cases in backlog which has our courts in gridlock.

There is the saying that if there is to be a different result one cannot continue to do the same thing. The news which appears in today’s Trinidad Newsday newspaper seems relevant to Barbados. These are tough times for all citizens as we grapple with austere conditions, it is time for our Judges to suck it up.

The recommendation coming from a Chief Justice and a sitting Judge in Trinidad is to “WITHHOLD the pay of tardy judges as a penalty for failing to deliver judgments within six months of the conclusion of a case”.

Read the full article – NO PAY FOR TARDY JUDGES

Tales from the Courts – Jumpstarting the Barbados Courts XVIII

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice (l) Andrew Pilgrim QC

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice (l) Andrew Pilgrim QC

A thought provoking outburst by former President of the Barbados Bar Association Andrew Pilgrim published in today’s press. He is probably right about the need to installed more judges on the bench, BUT surely it also has a lot to do with the quality of judges appointed. Of course not to be forgotten is the pressing need to streamline certain rules.

Regarding the streamlining of rules, BU’s legal fraternity offers the  pre-trial motion as an example. If we were to measure against the Ontario model, it is routine for a pre-trial motion to be conducted via a telephone conference call supported by fax machine – see specimen of Ontario’s Affidavit of Service. In the Ontario model BU understands that in complex motions,  lawyers may file “Factums”, which are statements of fact and law, which may include copies of cases to support their contentions along with their arguments. In this scenario all parties and the judge would have read relevant documents in advance of the telephone conference and are prepared to argue their cases. Sometimes the judge will rule on motions providing reasons for their judgements to follow as well as the order they give.

Some may find the the fact that a judge in the Ontario model will rule on motions, deliver reasons for  judgements to follow etc. Often the judge will hand write the reasons and the judgement on the Notice of Motion itself and this is faxed by the court to all counsel – see specimen of Ontario’s Notice of Motion.

We turn to the Barbados model (used loosely).

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Tales from the Courts – A lucky Dip into the Decisions of the Barbados Court of Appeal Part XVII

Where is justice in the Barbados Courts?

Where is justice in the Barbados Courts?

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied” – British politician William Gladstone

A dip into decisions of the Barbados Court of Appeal  by BU legal eagles has provided the opportunity to critique the case James Livingstone Eastmond v. Rayside Concrete Works Limited [Unreported] C.A. B’dos Civil Appeal No 18 of 2003. The decision was handed down on 2012-11-08 by a panel comprised of Williams CJ (ag) Mason, Burgess JJA.  The decision was written by Peter Williams JA.

The case is one involving dismissal and severance payment. This is not some high-flown case with wealthy and high-profile litigants, but one which demonstrates the perpetual failure of our judiciary to deliver justice to an ordinary Bajan.

The plaintiff, James Eastmond, had worked for Rayside Concrete Works for 15 years and he had been dismissed over 20 years before the decision of the Court of Appeal was handed down. A twenty year search for justice. The case was in the system (either before the Severance Payments Tribunal or the High Court) for about 11 years, before coming to the Court of Appeal.

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