The Nation Newspaper Gaffe: A Case NOT to EXPLOIT Children

Photo Credit: Barbados Today

Photo Credit: Barbados Today

The Fourth Estate plays a critical role to the proper functioning of a democracy, it must. Providing citizens with information which equips them to make the best decisions and at the same time act as a watchdog targeting those who act as gatekeepers of authority and influence in our society. Any attempt to sanitize, filter, manipulate information which it feeds to the public must be rejected as a fourth estate reneging on its obligation. The consequence is a compromised democracy.

In Barbados the media [fourth estate] is heavily self-censored. With the exception of a couple media practitioners there is a lack of respect for the profession by the decisionmakers and general public. It is fair to suggest that media workers demonstrate a lack of respect for themselves if we are to judge their inability to promote a vibrant union or association. The Barbados Association of Journalists (BAJ) does not even have an official website or Facebook presence in 2013 such is the inadequacy of how media workers see themselves.

Related Link: Statement issued by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ag) Crime, Lionel M. Thompson

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Police Service Commission Should Have Passed Darwin Dottin’s File to the Director of Public Prosecutions to Seek His Arrest

Former Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

Former Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

The top story of the week stoked by the local media is that a newspaper snagged a video which was circulating on Facebook for over a month and posted a blurred image of two teens having sex in a classroom full in the knowledge they were being video recorded. BU has no doubt the public outcry provoked by this incident like all the others before will pass with nothing material done to address the factors at the root of juvenile and parental delinquency in our society. It must be said that the newspaper at the centre of the incident must have experienced a spike in sales.

This is one week  since the Police Service Commission Report to Retire Commissioner Darwin Dottin was released by BU and ignored by traditional media. How can anyone take the local media and the bevy of talk show hosts seriously when in one breath they pontificate about the moral issue emanating from the sex video, and rightly so, but ignore an issue which attacks a key plank in our governance system.  What separates Barbados from the rest has been our ability to maintain law and order on our little island. Despite all of our challenges Barbadians have always prided themselves in being a peaceful and law abiding nation.

While Barbados was consumed this week by the sex video saga the global media reacted to news that the USA (Big Brother) hacked the phones of prominent persons across the globe. All part of adhering to national security. And in Britain there was the news that the long awaited trial of Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson is set to begin, a case where two journalists are alleged to have hacked the phone records of members of parliament, members of the royal family and others – Phone hacking: Court told of tabloids’ ‘decade of deceit.

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Resolving Crime with Education

All too often, we see our children in the news. Whether rape, theft or murder, we see too many of our future generation making headlines for all the wrong reasons. We have to now look at ways to reverse the growing trend of youth crime and violence. And, peace education is one of the best ways to resolve and reduce these crimes. Informed learning can provide alternatives to resolve social conflicts within our society. Many young persons may not have the ability to know the difference between crime and its effects on the community, the society and the self. But if clearly demonstrated, they can be taught and in turn, encourage a positive message amongst their peers.

President of the Caribbean Mentorship Institute, Felicia Browne notes that “the past few weeks, and in the last 24 hours we have witnessed a rising trend of violence amongst our youths. There are deep fundamental questions that must be investigated to provide the best solutions to their problems. However, crime-prevention education and conflict interventions can alleviate some of these existing problems. The growing concerns of youth advocates are the age groups and genders of these victims. The victims of violence crimes have little or no social assistance to resolve their problems. For instance, we are observing a trend in young males being victims of violent crimes- some of which are or have been done by either a family member, friend within their circle or someone within their communities.”

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Tell Us About Wiretapping Mia

Assistant Superintendent met with the Commission on 22 July, 2011. She gave an account of a meeting she attended with Commissioner of Police and Inspector Anderson Bowen, during which meeting the Commissioner manipulated his laptop computer and played a recording of a telephone conversation between Inspector Bowen and another person…

(Extracted from the Police Service Commission Recommendation of Retirement of the Commissioner of Police)

The passing of Inspector Anderson Bowen has given reason for pause in the BU household. While many may remember his exploits to capture the fiercest criminal, BU will always remember him for daring to challenge Commissioner Darwin Dottin in 2005 and as a consequence suffer uncalled for indignity before his peers when he was disciplined in 2007.   Although he was reinstated by the Police Service Commission in 2010, his career had been effectively derailed by Dottin.

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Notes From a Native Son: Desperate Youths are Resorting to Shoot-outs as they Battle to Survive

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

Barbados is becoming like a war zone, with reports of shootings almost everyday by reckless and underemployed young men (they are almost always men). It is now taking on the characteristics of West Kingston in the mid-1970s when a surplus of arms fuelled the resentment of gangsters affiliated to the two dominant political parties. This aspect of Caribbean shootings has not yet raised its ugly head in Barbados, nor has the savagery of the murderous gangsters in Trinidad, although the choke and rob muggers of Guyana has been adopted by some Barbadian youths. In all this, the apparatus of law and order seems helpless, apart from a demand to better arm the policy and the unopposed willingness to put the Defence force on the streets and parading some of the West Coast beaches. It is a development that will eventually end in tears.

Crime and punishment is one of those subjects that have been raising people’s blood pressure since Adam and Eve. From the church to every man and woman at the street corner, we all have explanations for the break down in law and order. Those opposed to the drift in to a more repressive society (see: Stuart Hall: Drifting in to a Law and Order Society) are frequently forced to ask: whose law, what order. However, crime causation is the issue that pre-occupies most criminologists and criminal justice workers.

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Militating Against Crime In Austere Times

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, overtime and extra duty removed from the Police Force announced in the recent Budget

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, overtime and extra duty removed from the Police Force announced in the recent Budget

Submitted by Posh

I read in the Barbados Today publication about the meeting held between the Force and persons who have a vested interest in the St. Lawrence area. I particularly noted that it was stated by Inspector Streeks that the mobile unit is sometimes only staffed once a week due to resources. For those who don’t know resources really means man/woman power. (Not trying to patronize anyone).

There are one perhaps two issues I’d like to identify and perhaps offer my own opinion as to what might assist this situation. Firstly, the man power situation within the RBPF is not going to improve any time soon and in fact is only going to become worse. With the end to overtime and extra duty, all short falls in man power which would previously have been reinforced by extra/overtime is now no longer an option.

Then you have the ugly side effect of morale, no extra duty means low morale for any police force and while it is unfortunate it is unavoidable. So this tourist season we should all be prepared for less patrols, less visibility and less presence. What might happen is that some areas might be left vulnerable while others are bolstered.

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An Ex-Cop’s View of Darwin Dottin

Wade Gibbons

Wade Gibbons

The following was extracted from Wade Gibbons’ Facebook Page. He is a reporter for Barbados Today and is a former policeman.

Some excellent administrative and proactive moves by acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith. He is going to make a terrific leader of the RBPF, a position he should have held a long time ago.

The phones of innocent law-abiding Barbadians could not have been tapped by Dimwit Dottin without the knowledge and participation of some in the Special Branch which Dottin once headed. It was an ongoing criminal act by Dottin, deserving of imprisonment and not pension, and as such the hierarchy of that specialised department should have squealed on the thug and not be drawn into his criminality. No commissioner of police – an incompetent one at that – can compel a police officer to commit a crime.

If the force is to be purged of Dottin’s criminal presence, then of necessity some house-cleaning has to be done in departments such as the Special Branch. One transferred from that department is as close to me as a brother and I love him as such but wrong is wrong. Now that the Dottin cancer has been removed the organs of the body should gradually start to heal and return to a state of normalcy. Full praise to Commissioner Griffith. May God guide your every move.

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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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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Police Investigation Involving High Ranking Officers Questioned

Updated 05 September 2013
Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

Barbados Today published the story that former COP has formally handed over to COP Griffith and withdrawn from court matter against the Police Service Commission.  Included in the report is alleged authorization of wiretapping by Dottin.

Read report: Darwin Dottin officially hands over reins of police force

  • Letter sent to Commissioner Darwin Dottin by the Police Service Commissionparts I,II

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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!

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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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 the Attorney General

Submitted by Benny
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite

Mr Brathwaite can you not see that the members of the Royal Barbados Police Force and the wider society is loosing confidence in you. In following the debates on this blog all appeals are being made to the Prime Minister, what is happening is under your portfolio and we the citizens of this country fully know this. We understand our system of government. Had I been in your position I would be seriously concerned that  they are calling for the PM to micro- manage.

I am wondering why your voice is so deafeningly silent on these issues. Why cannot you order an investigation into the whole Derrick Crawford issue? I am  in a trusted position and I will only divulge this much, the COP has refused an offer of technical assistance from other quarters in an effort to solve the issue. Why is he so adamant that he is sticking to his guns and now that the bluff is being called for him to expose the so called information that he said he has he gone sick?

Of interest is that I understand from reliable sources that his cousin, the female sergeant made mention of on this blog had indeed been transferred and she took his lead and reported sick. Is this what we the tax payers of Barbados is paying for?

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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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Shanique Myrie Goes to Court

Shanique Myrie

Shanique Myrie

The Shanique Myrie matter is currently being heard before the Caribbean Court of Appeal (CCJ) and is being followed closely by BU. Frankly it appears both sides have been …  By showing itself to be an itinerant court it shows how the CCJ is configured to deliver justice in a region which may require such flexibility given our geographic and economic diversity.

Something however has bothered the BU household since the Shanique Myrie vs Barbados matter with  Jamaica subsequently given permission to intervene. While the CCJ has the jurisdiction to hear an original application dealing with the Treaty of Chaguramas, it does not have the jurisdiction to hear an original application dealing with the civil and criminal cases of assault. BU’s view of the matter is that the alleged assault took place in Barbados and therefore must be heard before the Barbados courts.

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Prime Minister Stuart a Pressing Matter Deserves Your Attention

Submitted by Peter Rabbi
An intriguing case

An intriguing case – photo credit: BBC

I think that this sordid mess concerning the Derrick Crawford issue has more than gone far enough. It has now reach to a stage where it is before the British Parliament with a recommendation that a travel advisory be issued against Barbados. We can only wait and see but we can logically anticipate a fall in tourist arrivals from that market. In addition to that, if a civil suit results from that we the tax payers of this country will most likely have to compensate Derrick Crawford, a known criminal who has been a parasite preying on visitors for years.

I do think that this is a serious indictment on the AG who has either refused to or believes he is powerless to act on this issue.  I can only now call on the PM to do something. I was in total agreement with the way that you handle the Alexander issue, but certainly Mr PM if that industrial dispute that did not even meet national proportion attracted your attention; should it not be more compelling that this issue that has reach global proportion merit some attention?

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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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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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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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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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Tales From The COURTS VIII – Justice Elneth Kentish v Businessman Joseph Jordan

Joseph Jordan and Justice Elneth Kentish (inset) – Photo credit: Nation Newspaper

On Wednesday November 7, the Nation published a report headlined “COURT TWIST”. It recounted how Miss Elneth Kentish, one of our battery of so-called “High Court Judges” had recused herself from a case before her, on the basis that she herself would be suing one of the parties in the case for defamation, presumably arising out of the case. The details of the case, Coach House Limited v Joseph Jordan III, are not relevant here.

However, what is relevant is that, according to the Nation report (and the Appeal that has, it is alleged, since been filed) Miss Kentish, after having recused herself, went on to issue an order in the case. So, the allegations of the Nation and the Appeal being correct, she removes herself from the case and then issues an order in the case. Does this make sense to anyone – and we mean both and legal common sense.

And just what would have been so wrong in Miss Kentish (or our incompetent Registrar) writing to counsel on both sides in advance of their appearance before her, stating that she was recusing herself and maybe even copying them her letter to the CJ, so that they did not turn up in court and charge their clients for so doing for four hours AT LEAST of their time?

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Barbados Murder Investigation Points to a Police Cover-up – CGID

Submitted by Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

Dead: Clinton Norton

New York’s Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) Monday accused the Barbados Police Force of covering up the apparent murder of Clinton Norton, a born Barbadian of Guyanese and Barbadian parentage. Norton died under suspicious circumstances in Bridgetown, Barbados on September 3, 2012.

The institute’s President Rickford Burke last week wrote Barbadian Prime Minister Freundel Stuart asking for  an independent and fair review of the Police investigation of Norton’s death “so as to ensure justice for the family.”

Burke Monday said Barbados Police has misled the public about the facts of the case and therefore his organization felt constrained to release further information to support its contention of a possible Police cover-up. CGID, which has made human rights a corner-stone of its mission, simultaneously released several photographs of Norton’s battered body which bore marks of violence; including what appear to be burns, lacerations and bruises. It said the photographs establish that he was either beaten or tortured to death as the wounds could not have been self-inflected.

The following links lead to gruesome pictures of Clinton Norton’s badly mutilated dead body. Reader discretion is advised:

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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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Acting Crown Counsel Elwood Watts Asks High Court to Block the Appointment of Attorney at Law Alison Burke

Chief Justice Marston Gibson, heads the Judicial and Legal Services Commission

The following extracted from the Sunday Sun September 23, 2012:

“A High Court is being asked to block the appointment of a Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). In an unprecedented legal development, attorney at law Elwood Watts, who acted as Crown Counsel in the DPP’s office for the past six years, is seeking an injunction against the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, chaired by Chief Justice Marston Gibson and includes Appeal Court Justice Sandra Mason and High Court Justice Maureen Crane-Scott.

Attorney at law Alison Burke, who was recently admitted to the Bar, was to take up the permanent appointment as Crown Counsel effective September 1. But in his court filings challenging the decision of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission to ratify Burke’s appointment, Watts has complained that the position of Crown Counsel was never advertised as required by law. As a result, the former police sergeant who has been on secondment to the DPP’s office, said he never had a chance to secure the appointment.

Reports indicated that Burke, who was attached to the Ministry of Health as a staff nurse prior to her appointment, never had any experience in court proceedings. A date is to be set for hearing of the injunction.”

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How Is CJ Gibson Doing?

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

Why is the criminal justice systems in Barbados so dysfunctional? Can you imagine they are people being held on remand for over four years, without being charge of crime? Each visit to court police prosecutor D. Cumberbatch will intimidate them into entering guilty plea for crimes they never committed.

You should take a look at a defendant Earl Victor arrested for a robbery he never committed and has been held without charge for almost 5 years. It’s about time we notified Amnesty International, and The US State Department to change its aid commitment to Barbados.

Nora (received via email)

The appointment of CJ Gibson – selected from outside the inner ring – was welcomed by BU. If the delivery of justice has to fit a definition which says justice delayed is justice denied then the backlog of cases reported to be in the thousands before Gibson’s appointment represents a sad tale. It is one year since CJ Gibson’s appointment and there is no noticeable improvement in the delivery of justice from our Court System.

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Wiretapping: Mismanagement Of Law and Order

Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

The news making the rounds that Commissioner Darwin Dottin is destined to be transferred to a government department to the role of a Permanent Secretary has raised some concern for BU. It is no secret Dottin is not a favourite of the current administration. The tension between his long time Deputy Bertie Hinds is also well known. Unfortunately, Barbados society is not inclined to disrupt the long held perception that the Royal Barbados Police Force is the best in the Caribbean and therefore does not warrant criticism. Such a view explains why traditional media is always willing to give the police a pass more oft than not.

Perish the thought Barbados may soon have to recruit a foreign Commissioner because local politics and growing strife within the hierarchy of the RBPF would prevent a local from holding the position. A look at T&T, Jamaica, St. Lucia and a few others give Barbadians a view of what is possible if we continue on the current path.

Recent legal action take by 15 police officers who in an unprecedented action challenged their omission from this year’s promotions should have sent warning bells to Barbadians.   Also Commissioner Dottin’s revelation that the  Police Service Commission (PSC) has given the junior rank an audience to air concerns and at the same time refused his request to do similarly. To aggravate the matter we have the opposition political party throwing its full support behind Dottin by asking him to speak out about the problems of the force at the same time asking for the members of the PSC to resign. It has been stated on BU and elsewhere, some issues are best left non partisan.

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Calls For Inquiry Guyana Police Killings

Submitted by Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

Guyana Police Commissioner Leroy Brummell

NEW YORK: The New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) has strongly condemned Wednesday’s Police shooting to death of three unarmed protestors in Guyana’s mining town of Linden. The three were part of a large demonstration protesting a 50% increase in electricity rates.

Protestors reportedly blocked the Wismar Bridge which facilitates vehicular traffic to and from the country’s vast and natural resources rich hinterland region. This prompted riot police sent in from Georgetown to fire teargas and rubber bullets. Protestors responded by throwing stones and teargas canisters back at police who responded with live rounds, killing three and wounding dozens.

Calling for a Commission of Inquiry into the shooting, the institute labeled Guyana’s People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government “a communist, Indian-dominated ethnocracy, which views the inalienable and constitutional rights of African-Guyanese to protest as subversive.” It said historically the PPP has acted to crush such dissent.”

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Child Delinquency And Crime

Submitted by Old Onions Bag

Mary Mosely arrested on gun charge

Is it learned from our situations?

Why do we see so many young people involved in crime nowadays? Only today [13/07/2012] for instance, front page in one of our daily’s, is a young person being held for an alleged crime. Some people are quick to highlight the break downs in society…. “Why certain”Highs” in society are caught with their hands in the cookie jar, but go unpunished. Why must some be able to avoid punishment for crimes while others are remanded?  Are we unknowingly setting bad precedence for our youth to follow, only to reprimand them harshly, when they follow in some of our ways and clone on becoming adults?

The Alexandra fiasco has taken it to another level, that of the class room of some of our young infectious minds. We must be aware, the Nation’s next crop is watching. The outcome will subtly determine the psychological mindset of a next generation. So says noted German psychologist Dr. Kohlberg…his theory is that a child’s morals are set by prevailing conditions from as early as in the womb…and continues through teen years , via a set of  stages,up until adulthood ..contemplate some his views.

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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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Notes From a Native Son – A Dynamic Drug Policy Goes to the Heart of the Nation

Hal Austin

Once again the issue of drugs and the way we treat convicted drug dealers has returned to the public agenda. And, as in the original discussion, the issue has moved from the justification swung from the kind of justice meted out to offenders to the ‘humanity’ of Barbadian society and its moral compass.

But, our Christian nature aside, it is an unnecessary economic burden on taxpayers to adopt a so-called war on drugs when some of the biggest players are easily forgiven and then, worse, incentivised by being allowed to stay on in Barbados with a right of residence and, in due course, a right to citizenship. In so doing, government is recognising for the first time in our history that we no longer believe in the rule of law, but rule by lawyers and the most vocal of us. The treatment of these offenders must, however, be linked to the wider policy objective of combating drug abuse and dealing and the call for a drugs court.

First, there is no need for a specialist drugs court as is proposed. What is needed is a sentencing policy to prohibit magistrates and judges from abusing the custodial system by remanding and sentencing young drug users to lengthy terms in prison for the possessions of small amounts of drugs, usually cannabis. Rather, an effective drug policy should revolve around treating drug use and addiction in the first instance as medical and psychiatric problems, but offenders/victims should first have to cooperate fully with the authorities by giving details of suppliers, etc., before being treated with leniency.

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It Is Called Politics

Mia Mottley promised in reply to budget to restore pensions to Statutory Board workers

Employees of Statutory Boards are entitled to receive a pension after being employed for ten (10) or more years. However, in accordance with Section 32 A (1) of the Statutory Boards Pensions Act, Cap. 384, persons who were employed with Boards after September 1975 and are entitled to receive a pension shall have that pension reduced by the amount of pension payable by the National Insurance Office when this latter pension becomes due. It should be noted that those persons who were employed with the Boards prior to September 1975 would be entitled to a pension from the Board and the National Insurance Office without any reduction.

Our investigations revealed that the Statutory Boards have not been reducing the pensions of its former employees as required by the Law. This has resulted in these retirees receiving payments to which they are not entitled.

Auditor General’s Report 2011

Statutory Boards because of an oversight – BU suggests negligence -has resulted in several retirees receiving pension monies to which they have not been entitled over many years. One would have thought the error having been discovered should have been corrected forthwith. However the matter has become smothered in politics like most issues in Barbados. With a general election on the horizon the government is likely to not endear itself to pensioners who have had one pension cancelled.

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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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Tales From The Courts – Part I

Madam Justice Sandra Mason appointed acting Governor General

With foreign investments in Barbados disappearing at an alarming rate due to a justice system slow to dispense justice, BU – at the insistence of many – is commencing a series of revelations and name and shame blogs to shine a light on those in our Justice System who are responsible. Of course BU will apportion praise and approbation where it is appropriate.

THE CAIPO STORY: A well-known attorney recently filed a notice for the appointment of a director in a company in Barbados with the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Properties Office (CAIPO). It is required that the name and the PROFESSION of the director be listed on the form and this the attorney did. The profession of the director was listed as “Therapist”. The application was rejected by CAIPO, because, in their view, the profession of the director was not only illegal, but criminal. When this was protested that a Therapist was a legal and non-criminal profession, CAIPO, it turns out, had misinterpreted this and read it as The Rapist. Incredible but true! It is the current joke going the rounds of the legal profession. But how funny is it when the Bajan taxpayer is paying the salary of that employee (used advisedly) at CAIPO who actually could consider that an attorney would list such a profession as “The Rapist” on a public domain document. Appreciation to anyone who could provide us with the name of this person at CAIPO.

Madam Justice Pamela Beckles

SOLICITOR GENERAL: Are Bajans aware that the office of the Solicitor General, replete with attorneys, has had to advertise externally to fill 12 senior positions? Why not promote attorneys from within the Solicitor General’s office, we may ask? Simple! Because NONE of the junior attorneys are sufficiently competent to fill these 12 senior positions. It appears the ones from within the Solicitor General’s office who have applied – and been turned down – have been there for YEARS perpetuating their incompetence – and no one has fired them! Instead, the Bajan taxpayer continues to pay them for jobs for doing, effectively, a lot of damage and, as a reward, when they face retirement age, will doubtless have the pleasure of paying their pensions.

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CCJ Justices Condemn Barbados JUDICIARY

CCJ Justices

During the recent sitting of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Barbados, BU has received information from a credible source that the CCJ justices met with Barbados’ judges and expressed to them their displeasure and dismay at the state of the Barbados courts. While the CCJ placed all the blame at the feet of the Barbados Judiciary, BU feels that the Registry must share this blame equally.

The source of the massive build-up of 3,500 cases that have remained unheard for years, or part-heard for years or on which judgements have been undelivered (reserved) for years stems from the time of the appointment of Sir David Simmons as chief justice, it can be revealed.

Prior to the appointment of Sir David Simmons, cases were motored through the courts by the lawyers themselves, who had to answer to their clients for delays or a failure to adequately prosecute matters.

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Will No One Rid Me Of The Meddlesome Priest?

On 22 March 2012 the issue of David Weekes’ quest to procure A Request For Copies Of The Instruments Of Ratification [Caricom] was highlighted. In the period since there has been an interesting development.

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

Hal Austin

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

Hal Austin

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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The Force Compromised By Manpower Shortage

Submitted by RUSERIOUS

Commissioner Dottin asking Barbadians to apply for openings

Hello friends it is I once again. I have to tell you that I used to work as a volunteer counsellor with the Police Juvenile Scheme. It is a good initiative, and I made many friends. I believe that everyone has a chance in life and deserves a second chance. There’s not very many evil or bad to the core persons in Barbados, just some wayward youngsters causing a lot of aggravation. I digress, that’s a little about me, since I blog semi regularly, today’s topic is about the recent Front page news story relative to a Policeman being allegedly kicked in the family jewels by a teenager.

Most of us keep up with the news and courts and we see a lot of teenagers getting charged for robbery and all kinds of stuff. So I asked a buddy of mine in the Force, what’s with teenagers kicking your *ss now? The individual told me that Police still get a lot of respect from known criminals, persons with criminal history, and most adults, but he said you see those teenagers and young adults? They are the ones to be afraid of, they never come quietly, they almost always fight.

Well fine, Police gotta face the people who resist from time to time, so use non lethal force right? Well yeah if they had them. The crux of this matter is, the Force is short in man power, we know this for a fact, and it’s getting shorter each year, vacancies have been at 100 or more for as long as I can remember, so they aren’t getting a surplus of recruits vs people leaving.

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Mia Agrees With Law to Protect Perverts and Sexual Predators

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

According to the Nation newspaper of Thursday, February 16, 1012, former Opposition Leader, Mia Mottley has called for the removal of the “anomaly” in law which prevents children aged 16 and under from seeking health care without parents’ consent. She went on to clarify that she was dealing with the situation where the law allows children to have sexual intercourse at 16 years of age but, the same child cannot seek medical assistance without the parents’ consent. Further, she claims that it is a matter which she felt strongly about, and that she has sided with the Minister of Health, Donville Inniss.

If I understand the issue correctly, the Health Minister is in favour of removing parental rights in this regard. However, I fear that their position is myopic, focusing on one aspect of the problem rather than looking at the bigger picture. Their views can only be described as an endorsement of child abuse which is currently legal under the Laws of Barbados, but nonetheless abuse. Rather than protecting children, taking away the parents’ rights would open the floodgates on sexual abuse of our vulnerable children.

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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 !

Notes From a Native Son: Policing a Small Society

Hal Austin

Recently, the prime minister, the man of silence who claims to be knowledgeable about our history, declared that although we need more police, Barbadians would not be happy being policed by non-Barbadians. This may well be true, but if my analysis is right, Barbadians are the most committed Caricom supporters of all the nations affiliated to that regional body. We have always had a sizeable population of St Lucians, Dominicans, Vincentians and other Eastern Caribbean people living among us. They are our brothers and sister and we are proud of them. More important, since the abolition of slavery the main Barbadian export, along with sugar, has been people: to Bermuda, the Bahamas, St Kitts, Guyana, the US, Canada, the UK and elsewhere. Even to this day Kittians still talk of Barbadian police, Bermudans of our police and prison staff, the same for the Bahamas. Vieux Fort, in St Lucia, has a population mainly descended from Barbadians, the Panama Canal was built with Jamaican and Barbadian labour. So, although the prime minister may be speaking a recent truth, it is one that he should discourage. Leadership is about leading public opinion, not just playing to populist prejudices.

Police Organisation and Management:
Although it is true that our police are not given the status and remuneration that they deserve, a lot of the problems they face are down to poor management, poor training and poor use of resources. Let us take, for example, the ever-expanding headquarters, with its sclerotic bureaucracy. At head office alone, the police have one commissioner, one deputy commissioner, four assistant commissioners, seven senior superintendents, nine superintendents, 15 assistant superintendents, 42 inspectors (yes that is correct), six station sergeants, 12 sergeants, ten constables, 25 clerical officers, 12 telephone operators. This army of bureaucrats are in the main a drain on taxpayers. Where Barbadians need police officers – uniformed officers and not muscle-bound young men in baseball caps chatting up young women – is out in the community, talking to ordinary people and reassuring them that things may look bad, but compared with the rest of the world, even with Trinidad and Guyana, Barbados is a haven. Good management could prune the fat cats in police headquarters, in their brown uniforms, sitting behind their expansive desks,and get them out in the streets where it matters.

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Crime Punishment And Employment In Barbados

Submitted by Yardbroom

Crime Stats Canada

By way of introduction I offer you one view of a psychological perspective on why people commit crime; it is not a definitive one by any means but it is certainly worthy of some consideration.  “Every human behaviour is done to serve a certain important psychological goal including the crimes people commit.  What seems irrational from the outside like crime is actually an attempt to do something completely rational like reaching a certain psychological goal.

For example if a child felt inferior during his childhood then there is a big possibility that he will strive for superiority as an adult.  Now what if that child didn’t manage to achieve his goal using the normal ways such as academic or financial success?  At this point he might decide to become superior by being dangerous or in other words by becoming a criminal.”

If we accept that psychological factors, during human development influence behaviour.  We could then look for other elements, in this instance unemployment.

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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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Did Someone Get Away With Killing Luke Bjerkhamn And Wounding His Father?

Submitted by Caswell Franklyn
Funeral luke Bjerkham

Flashback to the burial of Luke Bjerkham

I have heard a lot of comments about the Director of Public Prosecutions giving Bjerkhamn a slap on the wrist for killing his son. Some have even called the DPP’s integrity into question. While I understand the sense of outrage that is being demonstrated throughout the country, I am not one of those that would jump on the bandwagon without a clear understanding of what transpired.

Persons who have been critical of the DPP’s actions in this case clearly do not know or do not understand the procedure in Barbados. It would appear that their understanding of the law is being influenced by American television programmes. The first problem for the DPP is that his office does not have an investigative arm. He has to rely on the Police to investigate cases and then they would forward their findings to him so that he can decide whether or not to file a charge. The public does not know what is in the police report, so the DPP could very well be taking some undeserved abuse for a situation over which he had no control. Before I can come down on either side, I would have to be privy to the police report.

This case clearly demonstrates that the evidence in matters like this should be made available to the public after the conclusion of the case, and after the time for the appeals process has expired.

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