Barbados Courts Delivers Double Whammy to Government

Submitted by Mark Jones

Justice Cornelius (l) next to BLP candidate and husband Ralph Thorne (r)


The talk around town this week was about the double whammy the Government got in the same day with two important decision going against them.

The Government lost the Hyatt case against Comissiong and they lost the case with the BIDC. The Bees in the bar were gloating about the licks Hal Gollop and Michael Yearwood got in the two cases but a man in the crowd thought the whole thing was very suspicious to him. He thought it was a STRANGE COINCIDENCE that the two cases could be decided on the same afternoon one after the other. He said he was waiting to get his hand on the BIDC decision but he had seen a copy of a decision his friend had in the Hyatt case and could not understand how the judge Dr Sonia Richards could arrive at the decision she gave; all the reasoning pointed to the fact that she should have ruled against Commisiong being allowed to contest the case but she held otherwise. He also said that it was clear to him from the manner in which the judgment criticises itself that at least two different persons wrote the decision.

The other case was before Cornelius, the wife of BLP Politician and Candidate Ralph Thorne!

My man said it appeared to him that the two judges had some agenda other than law and he felt that politics had now raised its head among the judiciary. It is known that Gollop and Yearwood are two Dems lawyers and they had to put the two of them in their place! The man continued that it is now a sad thing for Barbados that people are losing faith in the judiciary. If the judiciary is now engaging in corrupt practices and lawyers are being targeted where will this all end?

Also a very serious and pointed concern has been raised by a senior QC from the region who has also questioned why judge Cornelius did not recluse herself from this very political fuelled case such as this BIDC case being the wife of a BLP Candidate Ralph Thorne?

And it is also being asked why the judge Richards did not recuse herself since she is a known active Methodist!

Relevant Links:

The online paper said Gollop immediately informed that he was appealing the decision but it was noticeable that he did not speak to the press. On the other hand Comissiong was holding forth. The other matter raised was how he could suddenly be questioning every decision the Government takes. The feeling is that can only happen because there is a number of anti government judges sitting in the bench. It is not known if Yearwood will also be appealing his decision but whatever happens these two decisions have raised eyebrows among the public and likely to create serious doubts about the ability of judges on the bench to give a fair decision on the law before them and not which party the person involve support.

The public must be confident that when they go to court that they will be treated fairly but this now seems very suspect!

QC Showed Judge His Silk II

Alair Shepherd QC

Alair Shepherd QC

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

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

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

Related Link:  QC Showed Judge His Silk

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