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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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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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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Not This DAVID – Who Writes For the Blogs!

Submitted by David Bryan, Attorney-at-Law and former General Manager of the Barbados Advocate Newspaper

I received a telephone call last Friday June 8th, 2012 by a concerned person, who decided to do what rarely Barbadians do, when they have heard a rumor about someone, and that is to approach them directly about it.

Even though I was surprised what this individual informed me on what people were saying concerning me, in this country. Indeed, I was not disappointed, since it is systemic in our culture to gossip about individuals regardless of the consequences this behavior may cause. Hence the law of libel is there to protect such innocent parties.

In any event, I would like to “clear the air” as it relates to these rumors which according to my anonymous friend were circulating for the last 5 or so years, to which I obviously had no idea, until now.

Why the last 5 years? Well as the story goes this was the time, that the Barbados Underground and the Barbados Free Press started their blogs. It was also around the time in which I resigned as General Manager of the Barbados Advocate newspaper.

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History Will Be The Judge Of Former Chief Justice Sir David's Decision To Break His Silence On The Refusal Of Government To Extend His Tenure

Former Chief Justice, Sir David Simmons

It is no secret BU has developed a good relationship with some members of the legal fraternity. Today’s Sunday Sun reports that former CJ Sir David Simmons plans to reveal ‘shocking’ details about the refusal of the government to extend his tenure has prompted a ‘BU Op-ed’ from one of our legal sources.

Former Chief Justice of Barbados  Sir David Simmons has broken his silence and in an interview reported in today’s Sunday Sun, “is promising to reveal “SHOCKING” details of the Government’s refusal to extend his tenure as the Island’s top judicial officer two years ago “.

In addition, Sir David has promised he would “soon tell all to the nation regarding the decision to turn down his request “. He is further quoted as threatening:  “When I reveal all the facts in due course after the inquiry, I promise that it will be clear that it was a political decision. I have a lot more to say and documents to produce that will shock the people of this country .”

This new stand about to be taken by Simmons is both surprising and shocking for the following reasons:

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Arthur Master Tactician My Foot!

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Someone wrote, “Many Barbadians believe in the world of local politics Opposition Leader Owen Arthur stands head and shoulders above the rest as the master tactician”.

I have heard that before but I am yet to hear that comment from someone other than a BLP adherent. Where is the evidence to support this hypothesis? Other than BLP members who spout this propaganda, who are these many Barbadians that believe that Arthur is this master tactician?

Arthur became leader of the BLP after Henry Forde came to the realization that he would never be able to lead the BLP to victory, which made him sick, and he demitted office as Political Leader of the BLP and Leader of the Opposition. At that time, Arthur was the only member of the BLP parliamentary group that was not gainfully employed outside of holding a seat in the House. He was then managed and his every step choreographed by David Simmons and a few others to make him Political Leader and Opposition Leader in order to give him a decent salary.

You should recall that the death of Errol Barrow caused a fracture in the DLP in such a way that the party became unmanageable with the Dems descending into turmoil. That instability coupled with a recession in the early 1990’s made the DLP extremely unattractive to the electorate. Arthur’s victory in 1994 came as no surprise and was like taking candy from a baby. So far up to 1994, there is no evidence of any master tactician emerging.

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