The Stephen Archer Petition: Hunt for Crooked Lawyers

The following petition was started to assist the family of the departed Stephen Archer. This matter has figured prominently in the media because it offends all sense of decency. Please add your support by signing the petition. Share this link via Whatsapphttp://barbadosunderground.net/2019/10/12/the-stephen-archer-petition-hunt-for-crooked-lawyers

The blogmaster takes the opportunity to remind anybody having issues with lawyers in Barbados to log it at this LINK.

Petition update

Justice For Stephen Archer and His Estate

Heather Cole

New York, NY, United States

Oct 11, 2019 — 

My fellow supporters.  Here is another cause that needs your support. Not another person in Barbados should die without receiving the funds that they have been awarded.  To date 202 Persons have signed the petition seeking justice for Stephen Archer and his estate. I have relied on your support in the past, can I rely on you now?  Please sign this petition.  http://chng.it/djNBD5CwMX

 

Ernest Jackman: WHO ARE YOU?

Submitted by Sunshine Sunny Shine

WHO IS ERNEST JACKMAN?

WHAT IS HIS BACKGROUND IN THE BARBADIAN LEGAL SYSTEM?

HAS HE EVER WENT BEFORE THE BAR ASSOCIATION FOR MISCONDUCT OR MISAPPROPRIATION OF CLIENTS FUNDS?

HOW MANY CLIENTS HAVE LAID COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE NAME OF THIS LAWYER?

WHAT CONNECTIONS DOES HE HAVE THAT AFTER SEVERAL COMPLAINTS AGAINST HIM HE CAN STILL PRACTICE LAW?

WHAT RECOURSE DO BARBADIAN CITIZENS HAVE AGAINST LAWYERS LIKE ERNEST JACKMAN WHO WITHHOLD THEIR MONIES?

IS THE BARBADOS BAR ASSOCIATION A MERE FRONT FOR LAWYERS AND THEIR WRONGDOINGS?

WILL THE GOVERNMENT OF BARBADOS ASK FOR INVESTIGATION INTO CLAIMS AGAINST ERNEST JACKMAN?

DO BARBADIAN CITIZENS SUCH AS THE LATE STEPHEN JACKMAN HAVE RIGHTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF BARBADOS TO BRING LAWYERS SUCH AS ERNEST JACKMAN BEFORE AN ESTABLISH TRIBUNAL?

Ernest Jackman must account for the 2.4 million he withhold from the late Stephen Archer. The Barbados Government should offer assistance in this matter. All others such as the Bar Association, the Utility Company, the Family of Stephen Archer and any others with connections to this case needs to be CALLED TO ACCOUNT!

Ernest Jackman: WHO ARE YOU, WHAT ARE YOU-COME FORTH


Click image!

File Complaints Against Lawyers —–> HERE

There is one nettlesome complaint which keeps surfacing from Barbadians at home or abroad. It is always about lawyers wantonly violating standards of conduct as perceived in the court of public opinion and the ‘system’ repeatedly fail to redress.

These lawyers reallocate client’s monies, delay simple transactions to the detriment of clients financially, emotionally, illegally and otherwise. The result is that the reputation of the profession has been injured.

To heap on the issue for complainants is the inability of the Barbados Bar Association (BBA) and the Disciplinary Committee (DC) to discharge its mandate to satisfactorily treat with complaints submitted by general public.

The purpose of this update is to invite members of the public – through a simple process – to highlight matters submitted to the BBA or DC. In turn the blogmaster will track and highlight submissions in this medium and other social media platforms to ensure tension is exerted. The expectation is that parties named will see the benefit of resolving matters and be true to their moral and legal mandates.

This is a pilot project. Response from the public will determine next steps.

https://form.jotform.co/form/91072085340854

The blogmaster gives credit to PUDRYR for his input which led to the creation of this initiative.

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.

Tales from the COURTS – The Tangled Web of Probate Applications Part XIX

Letter from the Registrar of the Supreme Court sent to the Bar Association (BA) regarding a change to the system of processing probate applications - Click Image

Letter from the Registrar of the Supreme Court sent to the Bar Association (BA) regarding a change to the system of processing probate applications – Click Image

The Registrar opines that in light of the decision in CV 427/2012 entitled Edmund King & Cecil Smith v Marva Clarke the system of processing probate applications is to be changed and that counsel dealing with such applications must now pay for the advertising of the probate application and provide proof of such application, before the Registry will accept the filing of the application.

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Tales from the Courts – Mars(ton) and Pluto Were Inside the Closet Part XVIII

Justice Saunders opined that it was because Barbados judges were not scheduling their time properly.

Justice Saunders of the CCJ opined recently that  Barbados judges were not scheduling their time properly.

For some years now BU has been highlighting the issue of the almost terminal state of our justice system. We have been highlighting, among other things, the backlog of cases both before the High Court and the Court of Appeal, the complete inefficiency of the Registry with its loss of files and procrastination, the mess that is the Bar Association and the clear conflict between Bar Association enforced membership and the Constitution; but most importantly, we have been highlighting the quality of our judges, both at High Court and Appeal levels.

A very short while ago, attorneys-at-law from Barbados raised the issue of delays in both getting matters heard and in receiving the judgements on those matters with CCJ Justice Saunders at one open forum. Justice Saunders opined that it was because Barbados judges were not scheduling their time properly. Meanwhile, in another forum, CCJ President Sir Denis Byron advised that appeals to the CCJ from Barbados had risen by 350%.

Having read some of the CCJ decisions in right of Barbados, we have to say that Justice Saunders was being diplomatic, for these judgements do not censure delay alone, but the lack of quality of the judgements themselves, judgements that in any other jurisdiction would lead either to the judge being asked to resign or to his/her dismissal.

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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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Tales from the Courts – The Record of Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson Part XVI

Chief Justice Marston Gibson

Chief Justice Marston Gibson

Original blog posted 2.43AM 15/08/13 – Updated 6.44PM 15/08/13

Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson is reported in the Nation as having stated that he will shortly start to throw out old cases. It is now two years since Sir Marston, amid much controversy, took over the role of Chief Justice of Barbados, and delivered promises of what he would do to revive the justice system. To date, all we have had from him are press photos of him attending various functions and a lot of non-specific pronouncements of what he intends to do which, like most political manifestos, remain un-fulfilled, largely because he seems to operate with a ‘vote-grabbing’ mindset.

BU has a few questions for the Chief Justice that we urge media (AirBourne?) to ask. Of course, BU’s readers will realise that these questions are largely (but not solely) rhetorical.

HIGH COURT

Q: How many cases are there before the High Court on which judgements are awaited for a period of time in excess of six months?

Q: How many old cases are there that have been settled out of court and on which no certificates of satisfaction have been filed by the counsel whose duty it was to so file them AND/OR having been filed, not had those filings reflected by the Registry (READ lost by the Registry)?

Q: How many old cases have had counsel on both sides write repeatedly to the Registrar and the Chief Justice over a period of years asking that they be set down for hearing? AND how many responses/hearings has this invoked?

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A Moribund Entity that is the Barbados Bar Association

Barry Gale QC, President of the BA

Barry Gale QC, President of the BA

When Andrew Pilgrim took up the post of President of the Barbados Bar Association, BU was very optimistic that in tandem with newly appointed CJ Gibson, some efficiency would have been achieved in our court system. We were wrong. To compound the perception that the Bar is a moribund entity it has been three months since Barry Gale QC took the baton from Pilgrim and the public is none the wiser about progress made by the Bar during his tenure.

Several reasons are listed on the Barbados Bar Association website why it was established under the Barbados Bar Association Act of 1940. Of the 27 reasons given a few should be of interest to Barbadians if only because they are laudable or should that be laughable:

Related Link: Non Contentious Fees (The Legal Profession Act Cap. 370A)

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Tales From the Courts – Marva Clarke Gone: Oh Happy Day Part XV

marva_clarkeFor some years now, BU has been seeking the removal of the Registrar, Marva Clarke. Now, she is gone.

We are told that it was voluntary and that she was not asked to resign, but that she did so anyway, since it had been made clear to her that, under Gibson CJ, she would never be promoted to the Bench. Which, if you think about it, is precisely the same thing.

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Tales From the Courts – Judges Fiddling On the Bench Assisted by Registrar Marva Clarke Part XIII

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

BU has come into possession of a list of outstanding decisions before the Barbados courts as at November 2012. It is a daunting list that in any other jurisdiction other than Barbados, would mandate that the delinquent judges be censored and their resignations demanded forthwith.

BU makes one caveat on behalf of Mr Justice Randall Worrell who is in an unenviable position not of his making. Former Chief Justice David Simmons invited Justice Worrell – a highly successful criminal counsel – on to the bench specifically to try criminal matters and therefore speed up the process of the courts, lessen remand periods etc. Once installed on the Bench, however, the Registrar persisted in scheduling civil matters, some of them extremely complex, before Justice Worrell. While at the same time, ensuring that he could not do justice to the civil matters by constantly involving him in assizes for which he had been brought on to the bench in the first place. Justice Worrell must now find the time to write his decisions in civil matters, as well as to complete part-heard matters that have commenced hearing before him, as mandated by the Administration of Justice Act Cap 109b of our laws. This is the main reason that BU has not gone after Justice Worrell for delinquency. However in the final analysis, Justice Worrell, whatever excuses can be posited on his behalf  will ultimately find himself joined in actions under the Constitution brought by litigants against the Attorney General for breach of the constitutional rights through delay. BU is well aware that there are a number of such actions for delay…but predictably these actions for delay are themselves egregiously delayed by the incompetence and corruption of the Registrar and the Registry.

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An Open Letter to the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice

Dear Sirs,

BU has come across seemingly incontrovertible evidence that warrants both of your immediate investigation. The evidence involves Mr Justice Olson Alleyne. Evidence suggests that Mr Justice Alleyne continues to practice law under the business name of “Olson Alleyne Legal”, despite his elevation to the Bench and has indulged in the practice of law during his tenure on the Bench, even up to the present day. We are satisfied that as little as 14 days ago, counsel received correspondence from Olson Alleyne Legal signed by another lawyer on behalf of Mr Olson Alleyne. If proved, this constitutes gross and dismissible misconduct and we refer you to section 84 of the Constitution, to be easily found  online.

This is a matter of the gravest possible national importance. It requires investigation and explanation forthwith. BU, out of fairness and to permit you to conduct an immediate investigation, will refrain for the present from publishing the evidence. You are encouraged to contact us should you wish to avail yourself of this evidence and we will make arrangements to have it delivered to you. We await your expeditious response. It would be a great mistake to test our resolve on this one.

If there is no interest shown in this matter by officialdom we will interpret this to mean you have no problem with BU pursuing this matter in the public space of the Internet.

Barbados Bar Association Must Be Dissolved

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite

A BU blog Compensation Fund: Another Screw-up By the Barbados Bar Association highlighted another in a list of indiscretions by the Barbados Bar Association (BA). The big regret is that the traditional media refuses to honour its obligation to expose this club to the glare of the public. For years the who is who in the legal fraternity shuffle in and out of the President’s position all for the glory of achieving silk or the token of notoriety it offers. BU relishes the opportunity to ask Andrew Pilgrim QC what he accomplished during his tenure as BA president.

What is really irksome has been the lack of transparency and disclosure regarding lawyers who have had complaints lodged against them by the public. BU’s Plantation Deeds among many come to mind.  It is obvious that the BA as a self regulating body is woefully inadequate – by its track record –  to deal with the mounting concerns of the public regarding those bad apples in the legal barrel. Surely the time has come, if we want to be solution oriented, to change the governance structure as it relates to the legal profession. The Disciplinary Committee of the BA has done nothing to assuage the concerns of the public. The BA as represented in the Act has failed to regulate on a simple matter like who qualifies to be issued practicing certificates and what fee to receive from lawyers.

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Compensation Fund: Another Screw-up By the Barbados Bar Association

Barry Gale QC, President of the BA

Barry Gale QC, President of the BA

BU has been able to access the audited financial report of the Bar Association (BA) relative to the Compensation Fund. BU notes that the fund holds in excess of $2 million. The authority for the Fund is to be found at Part VIII of the Legal Professions Act Cap. 370A of the Laws of Barbados.

Briefly, the Act states:

  1. The Fund is the property of the BA and must be paid into a separate bank account to the credit of the BA to be known as “the Attorneys-at-law Compensation Fund”.
  1. Every attorney-at-law is required, when a Practicing Certificate is issued to him, to pay to the Registrar his/her annual contribution to the Fund, without which no Practicing Certificate will be issued.
  1. “50. (1) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Bar Association that any person has sustained loss in consequence of dishonesty on the part of an attorney-at-law or any clerk or servant of an attorney-at-law in connection with that attorney-at-law’s practice as an attorney-at-law or in connection with any trust of which that attorney-at-law is a trustee, then, subject to the provisions of this section, the Association may, if it thinks fit, make a grant to that person out of the Fund for the purpose of relieving or mitigating that loss.”

A few points to ponder from the reading of the posted financials.

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Update: Leroy Parris v BLP, Nation and Barbados Advocate

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice of Barbados Designate

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice

In the interest of sharing all information received about any matters which BU has reported on, we have been advised and updated on the issue of the Parris v BLP and Nation and Barbados Advocate as follows:

Mr Hal Gollop QC filed an action for defamation against the Nation which pre-dates the Parris action. The law firm of Carrington and Sealy acts for the Nation and Mr Vernon Smith QC is acting for Mr Gollop.

The essence of the complaint is that on January 07, 2013, the Nation captured and published the photograph which is the subject of dispute. Reasonable conclusion, the Nation was the author and the holder of copyright of the photograph. The BLP subsequently used the photograph and caption in their campaign. Thus, Mr Gollop has also advanced a claim of conspiracy against the Nation and the BLP.

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Leroy Parris v BLP, Nation and Barbados Advocate: Chief Justice Gibson Produces a What the Hell Moment

Barbadians were treated recently to the news that the enigmatic Chairman of CLICO Holdings Barbados Leroy Parris who was deposed when the bottom fell out of the CLICO parent company in Trinidad has filed a legal action against the Nation, Barbados Advocate and Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Parris would not have made the top 200,000th popular person list in Barbados prior to his recent court action. Now that he has filed the action his position is likely to slide to 250,000th.

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AG’s Lament

Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite

Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite

The Attorney-General of Barbados is the primary legal advisor to the Government of Barbados – Wikipedia

Good luck to Barry Gale QC who defeated ‘pooch skinning’ Alair Shepherd for the position of President of the Barbados Bar Association (BA). Not sure if outgoing president Andrew Pilgrim was able to achieve anything of note except to attain the status of Queens Counsel which lawyers are willing to ‘die’ for it seems.

There was a time when individuals worked hard because there was a consciousness that it was the right thing to do. How ones legacy might be defined was an inevitable consequence. Truth be told in defence of today’s incumbents which see a level of mediocrity hitherto unknown, it may simply be a matter of (in)competence.

Former Attorney General David Simmons is highly regarded by the legal fraternity and the general public. BU however has always been halting in our praise for two reasons. When Simmons demitted the office of Chief Justice (under duress) the delivery of justice caused by the weight of a heavy case load and an inefficient Court Registry should have been the performance indicators which painted his legacy and NOT the quality of his decisions. It was insightful to read Barry Gale’s comments soon after assuming the office of President of the BA concerning the court system. In summary, a mess!

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George Payne v Edmund Hinkson: Storm Clouds Hovering Over MAM

News broke this week that Barbados Labour Party (BLP) member of parliament George Payne has filed a defamation action against fellow BLP member of parliament Edmund Hinkson. To say that the action is mind boggling is an understatement. BU continues to try all effort to procure the court filing.

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Vernon Smith QC Suggests Barbados Bar Association Illegally Charging VAT on Member Subscriptions

Vernon Smith QC

Vernon Smith QC

BU read the Barbados Today article with  interest which outlined Vernon Smith QC reaction to being characterised a delinquent Barbados Bar Association (BA) member. The BU family is reminded of the list which was circulated by the BA and posted to BU in a blog by Caswell Franklyn – Defaulting Lawyers.

BU has posited a view that the Legal Profession Act contravenes the Constitution of Barbados concerning lawyers who opt not to pay BA fees and is therefore a nullity ab initio. Vernon Smith’s view has also been discussed.  Now that he has come public in his defense it provides the opportunity for the BU family to explore the matter further.

Vernon Smith is quoted in the article as follows:

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Tales From The Courts XII – Barbados Bar Membership Revisited – Registrar and Sir David Simmons, Wilfred Abrahams Exposed

Update: The Nation newspaper has issued a public apology to Sir David Seale and Caswell Franklyn in today’s  edition. It turns out that it was our own Caswell who penned the Guest Column and NOT Sir David

In a recent blog BU investigated the issue of attorneys who opt not to be members of the Barbados Bar Association (“BA”) on the basis that the Legal Profession Act contravenes the Constitution of Barbados and is, as a result, a nullity ab initio.

The almost unanimous opinions expressed by BU’s legal eagles was that the Legal Profession Act would be found in law to be a nullity ab initio.

BU has received a letter from attorney-at-law Wilfred A. Abrahams to the President of the Barbados Bar Association dated April 12, 2003 in which he gives notice that the attorneys of the chambers of which he is head, Aegis Chambers, intend to object to appearing in court with any attorney who has not submitted themselves to the Legal Profession Act and, inter alia, accusing these dissenting attorneys of committing an illegal act by practicing law – See Letter sent by Abrahams to the Bar – part 1 and Part 2

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QC Showed Judge His Silk II

Alair Shepherd QC

Alair Shepherd QC

One does not have to read Tales from the Courts to know that the judicature is in shambles. One did not have to listen to Attorneys-at-law Sean Lewis and Naomi Rochford on Getting Down to Brasstacks today to appreciate how dysfunctional our court system has become. For those left in doubt, a senior lawyer skinning his botsy at a judge last week sealed it.

The 64k question being asked by many since the incident which has gone viral is what would have provoked a senior lawyer who wears silk to behave in such an undignified manner. BU has tried to make sense of the information hitting our inbox and here is what happened between The Hon. Madam Justice Sonia Richards and Attorney-at-law Alair Shepherd QC.

The case in question involved the Commissioner of Police and several police officers, consequently many lawyers attended court that fateful morning. BU understands the case was scheduled to be heard by Madam Justice Margaret Reifer, who had recused herself, therefore the matter was rescheduled for Justice Sonia Richards for 9.30AM.

Related Link:  QC Showed Judge His Silk

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QC Showed Judge His Silk

Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
Alair Shepherd QC

Alair Shepherd QC

The behaviour of a Queens Counsel toward a female judge, in Barbados, is another manifestation of the disrespect being displayed toward our women. According to published reports, the Queens Counsel demonstrated his displeasure with the judge by lifting his robe, backing the judge bending over and inviting her to kiss a part of his anatomy.

This single act reveals that disrespect for our women is now rampant at all social and educational levels. We will remain in the forefront of calling for our women to be respected but there is a bigger picture emerging here. Our Caribbean societies have always elevated some professions beyond godlike status. The medical and legal professions have been the chief beneficiaries of such adulation.

While we have had the occasional professional problems with our doctors, we suggest that such incidents have been for from widespread. We can therefore, with some objectivity, concur that the medical professional has maintained high professional standards. However we are aware that some will suggest that unprofessional conduct within the medical professional is not usually made public.

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Non Membership in the Barbados Bar Association Does Not Preclude a Lawyer’s Right to Practice Law

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice (l) Andrew Pilgrim, President of Barbados Bar Association

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice (l) Andrew Pilgrim, President of Barbados Bar Association

BU has been provided with a copy of the letter dated April 4, 2013 by which the Chief Justice finally advised the new Queens Counsel that he had received the Letters Patent that the GG had executed and sent to the CJ some weeks previously, instructing that they be delivered. The GG had also officially informed the new Queens Counsel himself of their appointment, from which time they had the right to put the letters QC after their names. Do not expect Chief Justice Gibson to offer an explanation for the delay.

BU has also been provided with a legal opinion on the matter of mandatory membership of the Barbados Bar Association, on which it has been argued, in essence, that there is a requirement that attorneys who are certified to practice law in Barbados must also be members of the Barbados Bar Association. BU’s legal opinion states that, as such an Act breaches the Constitution, it is a nullity ab initio, as indeed is any law which breaches the Constitution. Otherwise, the Constitution, which requires a two third majority of the House to change it, would be held hostage to the much lower standard of a simple act of parliament, which requires merely a majority. This would compromise the rights of Bajans and infringe their liberties. Pursued, it could also potentially lead away from democracy to dictatorship.

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Defaulting Lawyers

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Recently, I heard that the Bar association had published a list of attorneys-at-law who did not pay their dues to the association, as required by law. At first, I was a bit sceptical but all doubts have been removed when I saw a story in the Saturday Sun of April 6, 2013 to that effect.

Surprisingly, the list appeared in my Inbox: it contained the names of 75 lawyers. The whole affair piqued my interest, so I set about to find out the reason for the omission of so many lawyers. The reasons ranged from: conscientious objection, no longer practising, inadvertence to plain just being cheap. I have examined the case for the conscientious objectors, and quite frankly, I believe that by not paying their dues, they have shown utter disrespect for the law that they are sworn to uphold.

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Latest Queens Counsel Appointees Waiting for the White Smoke

Chief Justice Marston Gibson

Chief Justice Marston Gibson

Whether we like it or not the constitution of Barbados recognizes the Queen of England as the head of state of Barbados. We practice the Westminster system of government and until we pluck the will from somewhere to believe in an indigenous way, Queen Elizabeth II through her agent the Governor General will continue to play that vital role as head of state.

One of the perks of the system which is eagerly looked forward to by members of the legal fraternity – for the status it confers – is to attain the designation of Queen’s Counsel (QC). BU understands the latest group of QCs who were informed four weeks ago have been delayed in their celebration because the list cannot be published until the Chief Justice (CJ) issues the warrants. According to our source, the list was sent to him (CJ) four weeks ago. It is customary for the warrants to be issued as soon as the GG has  written the QCs. There is a little buzz in the fraternity caused by the delay which cannot be explained.

Out of curiosity, and for no other reason, BU would like to know why the CJ is sitting on the warrants? It cannot be that he is very busy because his last sighting on the cocktail circuit was carried in today’s press.

Tales From the Courts Part XI: Sir Frederick Smith Attacked by Nation Editorial – when hypocrisy becomes high camp

Sir Frederick Smith

Sir Frederick Smith

BU has read with interest the editorial in the Sunday Sun of 10 March 2012 in which the writer launched an attack on Sir Frederick Smith QC for comments made about the Barbados judiciary. BU holds no brief for Sir Frederick but one is left to question the motive of the ‘editor’ of what is regarded as the most widely circulated newspaper in Barbados.

BU’s research confirms that in the mid-90s Sir Frederick delivered a speech to a legal body, an event attended by judges and members of the Bar from throughout the Caribbean. At that time, Sir Frederick stated, inter alia, “It appears to me that judges in Barbados think they have a constitutional right to be stupid.” Sir Frederick is consistent – unlike the “editor” of the Nation.

The tenor of the “editorial” suggests someone has an axe to grind. Could it be there is some fire rage being directed at Sir Frederick Smith because he was chosen to deliver the eulogy for retired judge, Lindsay Worrell, the father of Mr Justice Randall Worrell.

The editorial gets off to a pompous start:

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Tales from the Courts Part X – John Doe v. Sgt Vernon Waithe

BU has received the following proceedings which should be of interest. The Complaint is part of a filed proceeding and in our view it falls into the public domain. However, BU will not comment on this matter, which has been adjourned until June 27, 2013 and is before Magistrate Deborah Holder.

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Manifesto WARNING!

2013 BLP Manifesto

2013 BLP Manifesto

The manifestos of the DLP and BLP have been released about ONE week before the E-Day of February 21, 2013. Generally people pay very little attention to manifestos in most countries. A manifesto may be described as a political tool to get political parties elected. Although we know they are usually littered with pie in the sky promises, BU had hoped this one time around, given the unprecedented challenges which confront service-oriented economies like Barbados, the electorate would have been wooed and teased by a vision articulated by both political parties (espoused in the manifestos).  How do they plan to navigate the economic and social milestones currently strewn in our path? Why is it this one time our people could not have been convinced to turn-down the political rhetoric, and instead, engage in a level of collaboration hitherto never experienced in democratic Barbados? As a highly regarded small predominantly Black country here was an opportunity created by the prevailing economic challenge for us to lead; a role which is not unfamiliar in the post-Independence period.

Kudos  to the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) for being ‘first’ out of the blocks with their Manifesto launch – a sarcastic comment you ask?. Although a trivial point, it has not escaped the notice of BU that apart from the first page which features an aggressive air-brushed image of Owen Arthur reflected on The Team for A Better Tomorrow, Mia Mottley’s photo appears in the most prominent position. To those with an ‘eye’ for these things it is called subliminal advertising and it is designed to draw the eye and create an impression in the minds of the electorate.

During the stewardship of the DLP government (2008-2013) a few issues have always occupied the attention of the BU family. Heading the list is GOVERNACE! On Thursday an increasingly cynical electorate will have to decide which party leads (by a nose) on the issue of Freedom of Information (FOI) and Integrity Legislation (IL) among others.

Related Link: Manifesto WATCH

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The Violet Beckles Affair, Separating Fact From Fiction Part V

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The Violet Beckles Affair, Separating Fact From Fiction Part IV

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The links to the images in the Slide Show are provided below. To the lawyers,  we are not in a court of law.

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Lawyers and Known Political Affiliation

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart is a member of the legal profession which continues to dominate the political landscape of Barbados

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart is a member of the legal profession which continues to dominate the political landscape of Barbados

A scan of the current Parliament shows that about 36% of members are lawyers. There is a view, and BU agrees, that the influence which the legal community exerts on the way we do business in Barbados is worthy of a deep discussion.

Please add to comments the names of lawyers (still active)  you know have served in a political capacity. The qualification extends to sitting on government boards quasi and otherwise. i.e. post their name and the position held.

The final number should be interesting if we consider that we have about 600 practicing lawyers in Barbados.

BU started the ball rolling:

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The Violet Beckles Affair, Separating Fact From Fiction Part III

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In the news recently Barbadians learned about a Court battle over the sale of The Farm Plantation. In 2005 a Court approved the sale of the plantation to Timothy Walsh of Nature’s Produce for $1.5 million. And in a recent court order the 135 acre property was approved to be sold to building magnate Bjorn Bjerkhamn for $1.35 million.

The treasure which has caused wars to be fought continues. On BU “Plantation Deeds” continues his online war to expose a matter which he believes is not being given enough airplay by the establishment. Here are some more documents which includes The Farm plantation and the Urban Development Commission (UDC).

Yes we know, BU is not a court of law BUT an online medium which allows the ordinary to give vent to concerns.

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Tales From The Courts – Exposing ‘Teefing’ and Incompetent Lawyers

Sir Henry De B. Forde, K.A. Q.C. – Barbados’ best known counsel

In the last two instalments of Tales From The Courts, BU ventilated an aspect of land law that had the possible potential to cause problems for vendors and purchasers alike. This arose because of an Order given by Miss Kentish of the Barbados High Court. BU’s position evoked much argument from both sides of the issue.

Some well known counsel said that the Order was correct. Some, including it is reported, the a party to a sale and purchase and their counsel, held that the Order was a nullity and therefore refused to proceed with the purchase. It is not the intention of BU to go into the relative merits of this argument. We leave that to the lawyers to discuss among themselves.

What BU will do, however, is to fulfil its function, which is to serve the general Bajan public by pointing out the dilemma facing it. The fact that there are clearly two schools of legal thought within the legal fraternity on this issue of law, means that ultimately one is wrong and the other right. Therefore, it is clearly best for members of the general public, vendors and purchasers of land alike, to err on the side of caution. And it is clearly best for their counsel to be responsible enough to encourage them to do so.

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Tales From The Courts Part VI – Chief Justice Marston Gibson Scores An F In Year One

Since writing the following article, it is reported in the Nation News that the Barbados Bar Association is contemplating strike action against the Supreme Court in general and the Chief Justice in particular. BU wishes to make it clear that the following report was written without knowledge of the position of the Barbados Bar Association and before the Nation report was published. BU extends its full support to the Barbados Bar Association in this instance and, depending upon circumstances, will revisit its comment that the Barbados Bar Association is toothless in due course.

Chief Justice Marston Gibson

The question we now have to address is this. AFTER A YEAR IN OFFICE, WHAT HAS THE CHIEF JUSTICE DONE?

The answer is, in sincere and flattering imitation of Freundel Stuart (the attorney-general who agreed to his appointment and the prime minister who changed the law so that no meritless challenges could be made to that appointment) the Chief Justice has done NOTHING. Except talk a lot.

The Chief Justice has talked about arbitration and ADR. Boy has he talked it to death. But yet we see no mechanism in place to make this (in appropriate circumstances) mandatory or even viable. Nor do we see a system of qualification for court-approved arbitrators, which basically means that any member of the Bar can be an arbitrator. A situation hardly likely to inspire confidence and cooperation in a public fed up with a toothless Bar Association and a disciplinary committee of same that allows attorneys to rip the public off left right and centre, without disbarring their tails.

So, apart from talking about ADR, the Chief Justice has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to implement it. And absent any clear guidelines, the general public (which is not stupid) has realised that it is a haunt for cowboys and is keeping well away.

Relevant links:

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Jeff Broomes to Hal Gollop, Hello?

Hal Gollop and Jeff Broomes, the men embroiled in the cellphone mystery

A little story reported by the Nation newspaper on August 15, 2012 under the headline ‘Cellphone mystery’ has not generated the public debate BU expected. The gist of the story is that several calls originating from the cellphone of Jeff Broomes, principal of Alexandra School, terminated on the phone of Hal Gollop, attorney-at-law for the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) last weekend. Both Broomes and Gollop are reported to be ‘mystified’ by what BU agrees was a very unusual occurrence.

Barbadians boast of a healthy Internet and mobile phone penetration which compares favourably to developed countries (In this regard we may accurately boast of attaining first world status). What is evident is that Barbadians have not demonstrated even cursory interest in the ‘backend’ which supports how information is managed by telecommunications companies in Barbados. What are the security protocols managed by LIME, Digicel, Telebarbados and others? To what degree is privacy of information respected and guaranteed? So many question can be asked but in Barbados we can be assured answers will not be easily forthcoming.

Remember Barbados is a country which boasts of being highly educated with a telecommunications infrastructure described as one of the best in this hemisphere.

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Tales From The Courts – Part V

Justice delayed is Justice denied!

Instead of touching on incidents that have actually happened, this latest edition of Tales From The Courts focuses on a developing international scandal that may involve the Barbados courts.

In the last month, the financial world has been rocked by evidence of LIBOR fixing by Barclays Bank. LIBOR is the London Inter Bank Offered Rate. The scandal in the making has led to the resignation of both the UK chairman and the UK chief executive of Barclays Bank and the setting up of a parliamentary enquiry in the UK involving, not just of Barclays, but of all banks. Last week Barclays was fined £290 million for LIBOR rigging.

This, however, is not just a UK problem, but an international one. There are ongoing investigations in the USA – to which the Barbados economy is pegged and in the UK and there is every likelihood of criminal prosecutions for certain people and massive fines resulting.

The scandal now has taken a turn and involved Canada and the Canadian courts, where the Royal Bank of Scotland is seeking to have a court order for the discovery of documents and evidence from a senior judge set aside on the basis that it breaches the Canadian Constitution (in Canada) and the Data Protection Act 2000 (in the United Kingdom). It is doubtful if this legal tactic on the part of Royal Bank of Scotland will succeed, given that all the other banks subjected to the Canadian court order are complying.

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Bar Association President Andrew Pilgrim Serving Two Masters

Andrew Pilgrim, President of the Barbados Bar Association

… we decided to approach Andrew Pilgrim, well known dramatist and President of the Bar Association for his view…

Bajan Reporter

The above was extracted from an article posted by Ian Bourne on his websitePresident of the Barbados Bar Association sees special Unit for Raul Garcia as Tax Inefficient – Let the former Convict live and work here!. What snagged the attention of BU was not the substantive issue highlighted by the article but the way Andrew Pilgrim was introduced. Whether Bourne realized, it he reminded BU of a growing concern we have about Andrew Pilgrim and his role as President of the Bar Association. To add to the rub BU got sight of a document which features Pilgrim in an upcoming TV-series. 

BU is fully supportive of the Arts and our concern should not be seen as being against The Soap Opera Project. We wish the Caribbean Film Festival all the success. BU has been  an advocate for this government to get more aggressive in its effort to support the cultural and creative sector. BU continues to monitor the passage of the Cultural Industries Bill and will not attempt to muddy the waters at this stage although we remain agitated at the agendas being played out.

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Tales From The COURTS – Part IV

Will the President of the Barbados Bar Association intervene?

In this edition of the series, Tales From The Courts, we are going to concentrate primarily on one case only that comes to us from a member of the general public and on which we touched in Tales From The Courts Part II.

However, first, the latest from the business community as conveyed to the country by the Nation.

NATION REPORT: The Nation report Budget needs is to be found at. It appears that bankers and businessmen now want special judges budgeted for to hear commercial matters. This, despite the fact that of all the cases that are heard, commercial matters take pride of place (albeit very slowly) due to the power of wealth, thus making a nonsense of the maxim that justice cannot be bought or delayed. Banks worldwide have been bailed out to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money. But now the banks and businesses single-handedly responsible for the economic chaos that has hit the world and having received hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, now want pride of place in the judicial system over and above that of the very people who have had to bail them out and whose financial woes they are completely responsible for.

BU agrees the need for adequate funding to be made available to the Justice System. However, BU holds the view that efforts should be directed towards the firing of incompetent staff and judges starting with the Registrar, the Chief Marshall and the Master and the hiring of competent replacements. We believe that what is there should be fixed first, before more money is spent creating another layer of incompetence and waste of taxpayers’ money.

The point was hammered home in a letter to the editor in the Barbados Advocate of 24 June 2012.

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Tales From The COURTS – PART III

Madame Justice Sandra Mason being sworn in recently to act as Governor General

MADAM JUSTICE SANDRA MASON: BU was laudatory in our approval of the recognition given to Madam Justice Sandra Mason by her appointment as acting Governor General. Indeed, BU broke this story you may recall. However out of transparency because it is our way, we have to report that some time ago a constitutional action was filed by Mr Alair Shepherd QC, on behalf of one of his clients, against Madam Justice Mason for exactly the same reasons as that filed against Madam Justice Kentish. Mr Shepherd’s client contended that Madam Justice Mason had failed to do her job, this breaching his client’s constitutional rights. BU continue to follow-up to discover if this action has since been abandoned, after Madam Justice Mason delivered her long-reserved judgement mere days AFTER the action was filed. BU notes that because the long-reserved judgement was delivered, it does not in any way negate the action filed against Madam Justice Mason, which may attract damages. BU hopes to be able to report more on this in due course.

MR JUSTICE RANDALL WORRELL: It appears that Mr Alair Shepherd has also filed an action under the Constitution against Mr Justice Randall Worrell for exactly the same reasons as those filed against Madam Justice Mason and Madam Justice Kentish (filed by another law firm). The action in which Mr Shepherd alleges that Worrell J has been recalcitrant and breached the Constitution may well have a defense, however. The action deals with an appeal against costs awarded the defendants in an action and taxed by the Registrar. Worrell J’s defense (which, on the face of it appears insurmountable) lies in the fact that he may be deemed to be unable to render any judgement, until the Registrar has found and produced to him her documents and notes on her taxation of costs. It is this assessment of costs by the Registrar which is appealed by Mr Shepherd’s client. Seems that the Registrar (this time personally) has lost these files and notes. The Registrar claims that these important documents were lost during the move from the old Registry to its new premises. Well, the Registrar is certainly consistent and has clearly set another shining example for her staff. Time she was let go as a clear and unambiguous example to her staff.

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Tales From The COURTS – Part II

Madam Justice Kaye Goodridge

BU recently commenced its series, Tales From The Courts, a sort of judicial equivalent to Tales From The Crypt and equally gruesome.

We started the series in an effort to highlight a judicial system in terminal decline that lacks any credibility anywhere, a Chief Justice whose efforts to correct this are being constantly obstructed and frustrated by appointees from a previous administration and a Government that surely MUST now step in and aggressively support the Chief Justice and fire or discipline any and all who seek to obstruct him in the exercise of his office.

BU also invited private and confidential e-mails from its readers on their own experiences with the Justice System and is now following leads and verifying information on submissions. If we find there to be merit in them, we will name and shame without compunction.

We have also opted to follow up the progress of stories that we had reported on previously, but had chosen not to go into details on then, due to the fact that they were before the courts at the time. However, what we discovered dismayed the BU household to such an extent that whether or not they are before the Courts, they demonstrate a degree of incompetence by the courts that is frankly shocking. Due to this, we hold that these stories are of public interest and refuse to defer to anybody that uses convention as a shield behind which to hide their own incompetence.

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Lawyers And Doctors Accused Of Not Paying All Their Taxes

Submitted by the People’s Democratic Congress (PDC)

Treasury Building

“When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny”.

Thomas Jefferson

“Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again; poor fools. And their grand-children are once more slaves.”

D. H. Lawrence

Retired Acting Commissioner of the so-called Inland Revenue Department of Barbados, Frank Forde, must be one of the Princes of Darkness and Evil in the world of Satanism. For how else could he be described when very recently he came right out in defence of this very evil, wicked anti-developmental TAXATION system in Barbados??

That he has actually come right out and done it the way how he has done it indicates, one out of many things, that he has a raging serious personal problem with highly trained, black professional business people EARNING significant incomes in the private sector of Barbados. Indeed, what ALL Ministers of Finance of the government of Barbados – including the present Minister of Finance, and administrative people like Forde, right down to some others serving in various TAX DEPARTMENTS of the government of Barbados, have been despicably doing is showing many people how they can use this already evil wicked TAXATION system – in the most uncharitable and portentous of ways – to perpetually and falsely justify and wage personal grudges, envies, crusades against those neo-classical black private sector persons who EARN middle or high incomes in Barbados – and who – in many cases – EARN more than the monthly salaries  the evildoers. It is not surprising either, that those evil doers think and act in a manner that is synonymous with the interpretation of the Willie Lynch proposal, and secret society behaviour!!

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Notes From a Native Son: Is Barbados a Failed State?

Hal Austin

Introduction:
Chief justice Marston Gibson has recently slapped down the Barbados Bar Association, the lawyers’ trade union, for its impertinence in questioning how he does his job. It did not come a minute too soon. There is a culture of elitism in Barbados in which some professionally and socially well-connected people feel, as if by nature, they have a right to be excepted from the normal courtesies. It is an arrogance which has emerged to substitute for substance in other areas of their lives, such as the poverty of progressive ideas and of cultural understanding.

But, and it is relevant to the issues I want to raise in this blog, within the legal profession there is an absence of any significant liberal tradition in Caribbean (Barbadian) legal thought. I have raised this issue before to much disdain. Like the societies they regulate, what passes for legal thought is based on a Victorian social conservatism, which pre-dated human rights theory, and in which outdated practices such as hanging still play a central role in the legal imagination and, as a direct result, the idea of criminal justice.

Two dominant influences shape our deeply conservative criminal law tradition: the so-called Westminster model (lawmaking), based on the UK’s parliamentary tradition, and the common law model, based again on the England and Wales tradition of statute and case law. Linking both these traditions is the doctrine of the rule of law, the principles rooted in the Magna Carta, which stipulate that the state must have legitimate grounds for depriving a citizen of her/her liberty and right to property. One hybrid political position best exemplifies this tradition, that of attorney general.

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Chief Justice Marston Gibson Slams Barbados Bar Association President, Andrew Pilgrim

Marston Gibson, Chief Justice (l) Andrew Pilgrim, President of Barbados Bar Association

In an email to Andrew Pilgrim, president of the Barbados Bar Association, Chief Justice Marston Gibson has slammed the BBA, thereby raising many points that BU has been promoting about the Justice System.

The Chief’s email to Mr Pilgrim is posted to the members section of the BBA website and requires that it be accessed by passwords available to BBA members only. However, BU has been able to obtain a copy and states that it posts this as a matter of public interest!

This comes at a time when BU understands that the Registrar has been told that she may not sit as a judge to replace judges on leave (in this case, Madam Justice Kentish) and that her job is to stay in the Registry and sort out the mess. Instead, Madam Justice Kentish has been replaced during her six month leave by the Chief Magistrate.

Here is what the Chief has had to say to Mr Pilgrim and the BBA.

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Notes From a Native Son: Do We have Any Shared Social Values?

Hal Austin

Introduction:
Recently, two cases caught our attention. Divided by 1500 miles, cultures, legal systems, states of development, yet both cases have so much in common: the perceived criminality of teenage black boys, the perceived social dislocation of a marginalised member of a social class, and the class nature of the criminal justice systems.

In Barbados, a 52-year-old shoplifter, with a history of petty offences, was shot by an armed ‘security’ guard when he went stealing from a supermarket. He was sentenced to nine months. In Florida, a 17 year old teenage boy walking home from a 7-Eleven was targeted – racially profiled – by an over-zealous vigilante so-called neighbourhood watch ‘captain’, challenged, and shot ‘in self-defence.’

One jailed for being hungry and the other killed for being black. Welcome to the world of western liberal democratic criminal justice. Both these cases were the outcome of a fixed mind set, what the Jamaican intellectual Stuart Hall calls the steady drift in to a law and order society.

American society has its own problem, but I have raised the issue before and was taken to task when I said that there was no Caribbean or Barbadian jurisprudence or legal theory of worth. What was amazing about the case of 52-year-old David Blackman is that he was arrested, charged and brought before the courts within hours, while nothing appeared to have been done about the armed man. The apparent justification for the shooting is that when he attempted to apprehend the shoplifter he drew a knife and made to attack the guard and was shot in self defence.

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Update: Registrar Exposed To Action For Defamation By Senior Lawyers

Attorney at law Hal Gollop, one of six top lawyers in Barbados not registered

Earlier this month BU posted the blog Registrar And Registry Exposed To Action For Defamation By Senior Lawyers. Several prominent attorneys-at-law saw their names omitted from the Official Gazette of December 29, 2011, proof that they are registered to practice their profession in Barbados. Among them: Sir Frederick Smith Q.C., Mr Edmund  King Q.C., Mr Maurice King Q.C., Mrs Beverley Walrond Q.C., Mr Hal Gollop, Mr Vernon Smith Q.C. BU sources advised then that letters were dispatched to the Registrar demanding immediate redress.

Again usual BU sources have advised that the affected lawyers – their silk and prominence notwithstanding – have not been able to provoke a response from the Registrar. To those who are forced to deal with the Registrar a lack of response is not a surprise. As a consequence several of the lawyers affected are drafting proceedings against the Registrar and the damages lodged will likely be significant. Why the Registrar would be lethargic in dealing with correcting the error and or responding to the learned counsel appears to be just plain ignorant. The inaction is likely to burden and already congested court system.

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Bajan Lawyers: Responsiveness and General Customer Service

Austin

A key factor in expanding our international and local business base in these challenge times, is to have attorneys in Barbados that are responsive to the legal needs of our society and nation. Unfortunately there is a “below the radar” systemic problem with many attorneys in Barbados (not all), as it relates to responsiveness and general customer service.

I am not an attorney but as a business man I am very curious about what attorneys are being taught in Law School when it comes to responsiveness and customer service, clearly not enough.

As a Bajan executive working for an international firm who has pitched “Barbados” as an ideal country to expand our company, it is simply embarrassing when a firm like mine cannot get a “return call/email” from  any attorney in Barbados; we contacted many over a period of weeks.  Our contact efforts have been simply to setup a meeting nothing more.

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Rotarian Chief Justice! What Was He Thinking?

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

In 1998, a panel of Law Lords took the unprecedented decision to set aside a ruling of a differently constituted panel of judges of the House of Lords because of the appearance of bias, in an appeal brought by Senator Pinochet, former president of Chile.

The Government of Spain was seeking Pinochet’s extradition from the United Kingdom to face trial for acts that he was alleged to have committed when he was head of state of Chile. He pleaded that he had immunity from prosecution because of his status of head of state when the acts were alleged to have taken place, and that was upheld by the lower courts. To make a long story short, the lower courts’ decision was overturned paving the way for the continuation of extradition proceedings.

Subsequent to the first appeal it was discovered that the wife of one of the panel of Law Lords, Lord Hoffman, was employed by Amnesty International who sought and was granted permission to be an intervener in the Appeal. Lord Hoffman was not a member of Amnesty International, but he had raised funds to assist them to acquire a building.

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How Young Criminals Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

Submitted by RUSERIOUS

What’s up my fellow bloggers, just thought I’d stop by with a small bit of information you thought you knew. 🙂 Do you really want to know the sad, pathetic state of the judiciary and our laws? Here’s how it goes. Our young friends who are snatching your phones, your jewellery and your handbags from your cars, as you drive in traffic, walk in Bridgetown or even just go for a stroll down your gap do not fear the law, capture or the Police.

Why you ask? Aren’t they going to go to jail? Well yes and no. You see the act of snatching your property from you is a minor offence under the Theft Act. No jail time. Then there is the youthful offender who is sorry, and the bleeding heart judiciary who gives him a chance to commit more crime. Meanwhile poor grandpa and some women (the main targets) suffer at the hands of these thieves.

Moving right along, there are the ever increasing robberies, which are just as frequent as snatching, where your suddenly attacked and before you can hit the ground you are overwhelmed and your property taken. Now the even more sinister part. Some youngsters are appearing before the court with about 5-10 charges of robbery and theft. But instead of pleading not guilty they plead guilty. Why you ask? Well here is why they learned to stop worrying and love the court.

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