The Caswell Franklyn Column – Did Former Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin Receive Justice in the Courts?

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Former Commissioner of Police, Darwin Dottin, applied to the law courts to challenge the decision that effectively prematurely retired him from the Public Service. The decisions of both the High Court and Court of Appeal have clearly shown me that I only have a miniscule understanding of the law.

Based on my knowledge of public service rules and some court decisions that interpreted those rules, I was firmly of the view and predicted that Dottin would have prevailed. I am now reminded that a little learning is a dangerous thing. Nonetheless, I would still like to share the little learning that caused me to come to my erroneous conclusion.

Firstly, Mr. Dottin was sent on something called administrative leave that does not exist in the Public Service of Barbados, and I must add that the defence conceded that point. To my mind, the act of sending him on administrative leave would therefore have been a nullity and he should have been allowed back to his post. And that should have been the end of the matter but heads far wiser than mine thought differently.

From reading the decision of the Court of Appeal, it would appear that the Police Service Commission (PSC) came to the conclusion on its own initiative that Mr. Dottin should have been retired in the public interest, in accordance with section 11(1) of the Pensions Act. I must confess that I did not think that section 11(1) applied to him. But what do I know? Section 11(1) states:

Subject to section 13B, the Governor-General may require an officer to whom this section applies to retire from the service of the Crown in a civil capacity

(a) at any time after he attains the age of 55 years;

(b) in special cases at any time after he attains the age of 50 years.

Even though the PSC has the right to recommend to the Governor-General that a public officer should be retired in accordance with that section, there is a procedure, in the Service Commissions (Public Service) Regulations, 1978 to follow. I have been unable to find any hint in the appeal court’s decision that this procedure was even considered. Regulation 19 (1) and (2) state:

19. (1) Where it appears to a Permanent Secretary or Head of Department that, pursuant paragraph ( b) of section 11(1) of the Pensions Act, Cap. 25 an officer in his Ministry or Department who has attained the age of fifty years but not fifty-five years ought to be required to retire from the public service, that Permanent Secretary or Head of Department shall advise the officer accordingly and report the matter, together with his reasons therefor, to the Chief Personnel Officer for the consideration of the Commission, and the Commission shall recommend to the Governor-General whether or not the officer ought to be required to retire.

19 (2) An officer referred to in paragraph (1) shall be afforded an opportunity of submitting in writing to the Commission any representations he wishes to make regarding any advice given to him by the Permanent Secretary or Head of Department pursuant to paragraph (1).

I was therefore of the opinion that the PSC wrongly relied on section 11(1) even if it were applicable, since they had no authority to commence proceedings under that section. In this case, only the Permanent Secretary could have initiated that process. Mind you, I was not only relying on my limited knowledge to arrive at that position. I relied on the learning of Madam Justice Elneth Kentish who said, in the case 979/1996 Judy Lloyd v Attorney General:

“This case serves as a timely reminder to all vested with authority to make decisions under a power or duty conferred or imposed by law that where proceedings are stipulated as part of the decision making process, these procedures must be strictly adhered to …”

I must admit that the two decisions in the Dottin case are hard pills for me to swallow, but whether I like it or not, I must acknowledge that the Court of Appeal is always right in law, unless the Caribbean Court of Justice says otherwise

BARBADOS MEDIA IGNORES RELEASE OF POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION REPORT: PSC Report Recommended the Retirement of Commissioner Darwin Dottin

psc

Read the Recommendation of the Police Service Commission to retire former Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin – Read it and weep!

 

 

Averting a Legitimation Crisis–a divided country

Six years after the global meltdown and we remain an in-cohesive people

Six years after the global meltdown we remain a divided people

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.

Edmund Burke

Modern societies are fighting to stem an unprecedented level of corruption across the globe. There is  pervasive hankering for material things even when personal values are compromised in the process. Is Barbados insulated from the global experience?

There has been a lot of puffing of the chest by the political people in reaction to Transparency International’s release of the global corruption barometer for 2013. BU understands that Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart gave an interview to BBC and addressed the issue – how Barbados maintains its clean image given our high rating. Any good PR planted in the UK space is good given the dent to our reputation in the last 12 months. BU is not bowled over by Transparency International reports because we know this is based on a ‘perception index’ and then there is the relativity of the result. What is the significance of Barbados registering a better score on the corruption index compared to Jamaica, T&T, EC countries and others in the English speaking Caribbean anyway? Let us smile about the PR opportunity for Barbados but let us not forget that the incumbent government ran its campaign in 2008 on what it perceived was corruption by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Who do we believe Mr Prime Minister you or Transparency International?

More important should be the focus by Barbadians on what political science refers to as ‘legitimation crisis’. This is defined when  “a governing structure still retains the legal authority by which to govern, but is not able to demonstrate that its practical functioning fulfills the end for which it was instituted.” Some will argue that BU is being harsh in its assessment of the reality that is Barbados. We think NOT.

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What Do Mottley and the BLP Want?

Submitted by Douglas
Mia Mottley's has bee critical of the way Commissioner Dottin has been removed.

Mia Mottley’s has bee critical of the way Commissioner Dottin was removed.

Since late last year, and again earlier this year, some persons in the BLP had been telling this country that they had no confidence in the Police Service Commission. They wanted to see the back of the the Commission that was chaired by the highly respected and above-board Dr. Trevor Carmichael, and the other members.

I guess after all the griping and bad-mouthing of the Commission, Dr. Carmichael, an outstanding Barbadian of impeccable character, appeared to have had enough of the idle talk and stepped down.

A new Chairman, an attorney at law, an untarnished former senior police officer and former Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Barbados Anti-Money Laundering Authority, Mr. Guyson Mayers, a man with an unblemished reputation, was appointed.

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Commissioner Darwin Dottin Leaves…

Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

News reaching BU indicates that Commissioner Darwin Dottin has been sent on administrative leave. Given the recent development that a Deputy Commissioner was being selected without the input from Dottin provided a clue that sanction against Dottin was in the offing. A few weeks ago we also learned that Dottin had to return from vacation because his recommendation of the person to act while he was on leave was declined by the Public Service Commission.

Stay tuned!

We Expect Better Behaviour From Public Officials

Submitted by Benny

I am wondering what example is being set in Barbados. The behaviour of four public officials and professionals come to mind. First we had the government Minister Mr David Estwick being accused of either pulling or exposing a gun to Mr Dale Marshall. Second, it was the Commissioner being charged with misconduct in public office and being held up to the people of Barbados as a liar.Yet still these two individuals are allowed to function in public office without being sanctioned I deliberately referred to these as individuals until  they are exonerated. They certainly do not deserve the title of gentlemen.

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A Policeman’s Cry to Prime Minister Stuart

Submitted by Benny
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

I wish first to congratulate you on your  return to office. The people of Barbados have instilled their confidence in you. I do personally admire you, and despite the beating that your leadership style has taken throughout the years I am satisfied that the Barbadian electorate is justified in returning you to office.  We believe that your are  honest,  of sound character and  fully capable of making this nation proud again. I must say though that I felt disappointed that you thought is necessary to respond to Muscle Mary as it was not worth the effort. In a day like today when persons cannot articulate themself without referring to another person physical appearance it is a sad. We accept the beauty of your character and honesty and the magnitude of your intellect; I buy into your concept of building a society. Mr Arthur explicitly stated that he does not know any  philosophy about building a society, he only  knows about building an economy. Well where the only vision is an economic vision the society becomes an open prison where respect is lost and freedom is curtailed by there resulting acts of criminality. Mr Arthur failed to see that when everything is premise on the almighty dollar it leads eventually to a state of anomie.

Mr PM you must take fully in your hands the reigns of leadership. You have created history being the first Prime Minister to inherited a Government and won back in the election, and  to add to that, in the toughest economic times. This definitely speaks volumes to the high regard in which the right thinking Barbadians hold you and your Government, may God bless you and give you the health and strength to continue.

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Commissioner Dottin, Attention!!!

Submitted by John Bergan
Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

Mr Commissioner I would like to compliment the officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force for swiftly apprehending those two criminals charged with the shooting of the visitors. I do hope however that we will be able to secure a conviction as the record of achieving this has not been to promising in the recent pass.

This situation to the incompetent people you have consistently place in position over the years. It is not much different with those Bertie Hinds also has recommended for promotion in your absence. It seems that the two of you were both playing friends first. I can only say that both of you have systematically destroyed the organisation.

Take for example Sgt 734 Spooner who has been in this position for about 20 years he is used religiously every year to manage all of the stations in the Southern Division irrespective of the volume of work. It is known that former ACP E Moore  when he was the officer in charge of that Division exhibited full confidence in Mr Spooner. This is to the point where he rejected Station Sergeants who were recommended to manage Oistins in preference to Mr Spooner and yet still Mr Spooner is persistently over looked.

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What Have You Done Commish?

The following submission was sent to BU on March 9, 2013 but was snared by the spam bucket.

Submitted by Benny
Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

I am amazed at the recent public statement by the Commissioner of Police Mr Dottin advising Barbadians to leave their jewellery at home. I do honestly think that this is a testimony  of your inefficiency and the inability of your administration to properly manage the crime situation in this country.

I think that by now you should have realised that managing the Royal Barbados Police Force is more than the manipulation of statistics.  I guess that you cannot give instructions to the effect like a few years ago when you advised that when a house is broken into but nothing is stolen to register a case of disorderly behaviour instead of burglary. because the former would paint a different picture.

On the issue of house breaking when I leave my jewellery home and the thieves decide to break in and take it what would be your advice then to bring my home to the nearest police station or stay home and watch it? Please do not answer because I do believe that your are capable of finding an answer to that.

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Dottin, Pack Your Bags Please!

Submitted by St. George’s Dragon
Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin continues to dig himself and the Royal Barbados Police deeper into a hole on the matter of Derrick Crawford and the wrongful accusation of double rape.

Not content with saying he did not think Crawford was innocent, he is now reported in the 28th December Barbados Today as saying effectively, that Crawford got off because all Black people look alike to Whites. Is this man for real?

Wait until the British press gets hold of that statement – Barbados reputation will be in further tatters.

Is DPP Charles Leacock on the Golf Course While An Innocent Man Awaits JUSTICE?

Charles leacock, DPP

BU continues to follow the story – Rapists, Commissioner Darwin Dottin and the Integrity of the Evidence – of a poor Black man accused of raping two English visitors to Barbados. That the story has taken an interesting twist must be termed an understatement. Last week in an unusual occurrence for Court systems around the world, the two women raped appeared in open Court to argue that the man Commissioner Darwin Dottin says there is incontrovertible evidence they believe to be innocent.

To update this matter from the Barbados Court: the case has been adjourned until December 13, 2012 to await direction from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Charles Leacock. BU sincerely expects that given the extraordinary harm this story is having and will continue to have on the reputation of Barbados and its people, that decision makers are giving this matter their urgent attention. BU would be very disappointed to learn that DPP Charles Leacock has continued his weekend routine of being on the golf course at Sandy Lane or Westmorland when his urgent feedback is required to resolve this matter. Why the hell did the Magistrate feel compel to adjourn this matter until the 13 December 2012?

To those who believe it is not an urgent matter, a scan of the widely circulated UK press The Telegraph shows its lead story in the World Section as – How two British women raped in Barbados declared their ‘attacker’ innocent. The story is currently listed in the newspaper’s Top Ten most read stories.

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Rapists, Commissioner Darwin Dottin and the Integrity of the Evidence

Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

BU shared the Rising Crime + Tourism = Bad News story in November 2011 which was widely circulated in the UK media. At the time we were concerned – and we remain so – that the bad publicity was bad news for the toursm sector and Barbados, we are heavily dependent on tourism.

In a bizarre development to this story, the man charged for the crime who Commissioner Dottin has stated publicly this week the police has a preponderance of evidence against, the victims are saying he is innocent. To prove it, those said to have been raped have waived their right to anonymity according to press reports, and will testify that the man Commissioner Dottin says there is good case is the wrong man. What the hell!

The naive question which BU poses to the Commissioner is:  How  can he expect a conviction when the victims say it is the wrong man?

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Caribbean Democracy Organization Blasts Barbados Police: Prime Minister Stuart Asked To Review Police Involvement In Murder Investigation

CGID President Rickford Burke

The New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) yesterday slammed Barbados’ Police investigation of the death of Clinton Norton. A Barbadian of Guyanese and Barbadian parentage, Norton died under suspicious circumstances in Bridgetown, Barbados on September 3, 2012.

Hinting at a cover-up or possible Police misconduct, CGID’s President Rickford Burke in a letter to Barbadian Prime Minister Freundel Stuart called for “an independent and fair inquiry into Norton’s death; possible Police misconduct and involvement and the partiality of the investigation.”

Norton’s body was found inside a Liquidation Center on September 3rd.  Workers said they saw blood on the floor when they opened the building and called Police who merely responded, took a report and left. Workers reportedly stumbled upon Norton’s body amidst a pile of plywood and dust, during a search of the building after Police left. The body had several apparent cigarette burns, laceration, wounds and bruises, which CGID said suggest he was either in a struggle or was severely beaten or tortured.

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Cash For Gold or Bash For Gold?

Submitted by Old Onion Bags

It is time the authorities step in and regulate the cash for gold industry once and for all. There is a definite and certain correlation between the number of personal robberies and this questionable trade. Recently on the call in program, a victim related of how he was relieved of this property (gold chain) by a  burly perpetrator who on committing the act, proceeded to walk on head held high, not looking back, as if to say, he could not care less.

Similarly,  with the situation of vehicle been driven with most blinding bright white lights at night time, it is time the Commissioner of Police steps forward  and do something about both these injustices to the public. Whether it be the call for immediate and more aggressive legislation or a more committed effort on the part of officers, it is time something is done to stop both these transgressions, which left unattended, will only give credence to these perpetrators that all is well. We need action and we need it now !

On What Criteria Was Sparman Issued A Gun License Commissioner?

In some countries the right to bear arms is regarded as an inalienable right. In the United States as an example it is regarded as a Second Amendment Right. Barbados despite rising crime ‘relatively speaking’ is still regarded as a country where to tote around a gun on the hip or ankle is considered unusual . For example, during the last general election in Barbados there was no serious case of violence reported if we exclude Don Marshall’s tiff   The same cannot be said for Jamaica and a few others in the region!

Having established that Barbados is a relatively peaceful  place to reside. Some Barbadians for one reason or the other will apply to the Commissioner of Police for the right to carry a firearm. It is difficult to establish what is the criteria to be issued a firearm in Barbados, except to state that the process appears to be a fairly arbitrary one, with the final decision resting with the Commissioner of Police. Citizens do have the right to appeal the decision should they be declined to the Attorney General of Barbados.

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