The AX Matter Moves To The Next Phase

Commissioner Frederick Waterman – Photo Credit: Nation

The final arguments from lawyers representing all parties in the Alexandra School Dispute have been submitted and Barbadians await the report from lone Commissioner Frederick Waterman. It is obviously the report will be delivered before the September school term begins.

There was a sense by BU during the last two weeks of the Inquiry that it was hurried along; and for an obvious reason. The  first school term is scheduled to begin on the 10 September 2012 and given known timelines the Waterman Report will be late. Therefore the 64k question is – what will be the next phase of the AX Affair?

It is early days yet to evaluate the performance of the Alexandra Commission. However, BU is concerned the Commissioner made some questionable decisions which will impact the quality of the final report.  For example, it is understood from our sources that the aunt of Miss X whom we reported on another blog the student in the transcript affair was to go to live in the USA to facilitate school there, was in Barbados and prepared to give evidence. BU understands she was seized with interesting bits of information as a result of her visit to the school to which Miss X was to attend and where the transcript was allegedly sent by the secretary. Our source has advised that she had proof no such transcript was received by the US school. A reasonable conclusion to be made, the transcript was never sent. We have been reliably advised that Commissioner Waterman refused to allow this witness to be called.

Continue reading

'Learned Layman' Challenges Law Professor

Submitted by Caswell Franklyn


Cecil McCarthy QC (l) Caswell Franklyn (c) Jeff Cumberbatch (r)

I have always said, rather simplistically, that since the language of instruction in Barbados is English: in the end, no matter which subject we are studying, we are really doing English comprehension. Rightly or wrongly, I have adopted that approach and so far it has worked for me.

In the Midweek Nation of March 23, 2011 and on this blog, I wrote a piece where I questioned whether the recent amendment to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act was sufficient to enable Mr. Marston Gibson to be appointed to the post of Chief Justice of Barbados.

In my opinion, the amendment was crafted to ensure that Mr. Gibson’s experience in New York would go toward his qualification for the post. It stated, in part, that the person should have practiced in the Commonwealth or a common law jurisdiction for fifteen years. I argued that for the purposes of Barbados law, New York is not a common law jurisdiction and he would therefore not qualify. I found support for my position in the Interpretation Act, Chapter 1 of the laws of Barbados.

Continue reading