In what could be a first in Barbados’ judicial system, Justice Elneth Kentish yesterday removed herself from the case Coach House Limited versus Joseph Jordan III, informing the No. 12 Supreme Court that she had referred the case to Chief Justice Marston Gibson for a new date because she would also be commencing litigation
Interesting times Hantsie!
It is interesting to hear Lashley critiqing the justice system. Of course BU has laid bare the matter on several occasions.
Unfortunately in a debate in the House last week Lashley was full of praise for Director of Public Prosecutions Leacock who is part of the problem of an inefficient justice system.
On the “Welcome” site could not be responded any more, so we take the liberty to place a word over here.
It is nice to have people speaking out. To a democratic system this can only give that system life by making sure that different opinions can be spoken out and that people have the opportunity to go into discussion in a friendly manner, respecting each liberty and freedom of speech.
In all circumstances there should be a “search for the truth” and a “defence of truth.” People sharing their thoughts and giving the right to reply is one way of providing discussion ground and a ground for lying open the reality of what happens or happened.
In certain countries actions should come from “underground”, but to be democratic they may never be “under” or “below” the ethical grounds. We do hope you are willing to represent matters as they also can be proven to be so, and in an honest opinion. Always taking care that no corruption can creep in and everybody knows from which point of view something is looked at.
Good luck with your writing.
Public sector reform??? How about a public officer, in relation to the sale / auction of land, saying that ‘no court can tell him what to do/’, while the ownership of the land in question is in court dispute?
How about, contrary to court order and in contempt of court, a person can sell property that is under court dispute, and get the money to his new location, Florida? This happened.
With no reaction by said court? How is this ENABLED?
As your lawyer Amused says, the legal system is broke, and there are those who know ‘how’ to get things done, however THAT is.
Mr. Editor, I have a story to send you, when the appropriate time comes.
And it shows the ineptness of the courts at dealing with some who literally holds them in contempt, and a query as to enablement by public officials who themselves need investigating. And lawyers, what lawyer presides over a sale he knows is in contempt of court?
There are people who need investigating, no mind the person who was able to hoodwink and scheme to avoid court orders in Barbados, was himself investigated by the FBI previously, for money laundering.
Very interesting, you may send details so that we can investigate further and get BU’s legal eagles, of which there are quite a few, to have a look.
Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is great, let alone the content!. Thanks For Your article about Tales From The COURTS | Barbados Underground .
I love this website this is my first time visiting. I find that the high court of Barbados is just for government workers. I have a case there where that the judges are being bias because the other party is a police officer. then Mr marston Gibson made a court order that was actually stopping me from getting a job. I mean recession is in but I would have had the jobs if this particular court order was not done the way it was. the court order was done in a way that it only benefits one party and it was not me.
Even with the Ms. Kentish removing herself from that case, I think I will try to get her remover from my case also. but I really like your website and I think it is a good idea that you a articles about TALES FROM THE COURT. Please continue the good work
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Some of the attributes of the scofflaws he represents seem to have rubbed off on Mr. Pilgrim and he is a QC to boot.
Pilgrim does a Justin Bieber ” sorry ”
“On Friday I behaved loud and aggressive. I apologise unreservedly for my conduct, and I hope you can find it within your bosom to forgive my grave indiscretion,” he told the magistrate in hushed undertones.
“The video showed the constable kicking and cuffing Brathwaite before the lawman was pulled off the accused by another constable.”
“I think we need to prosecute people for taping policemen,” said Magistrate Bannister,”
So in theory a the police should have a right to privacy while beating the crap out of a citizen.
Dig up de pitchfork Bushie.
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JUSTICE FOR THE RICH
” The husband of Emma McManus yesterday declared he was willing to take a test as he denied he told Coroner Graveney Bannister, in a telephone call allegedly made to the magistrate shortly after his wife’s death, that they had been doing “a little cocaine”.
John Paul McManus further denied he telephoned the magistrate several times in an attempt to get his wife’s body released into his custody.”
Chief Justice points to causes of court backlog
The Chief Justice has blamed attorneys as well as the Registration Department for the backlog of matters in the judicial system.
Sir Patterson Cheltenham’s comments came as attorneys for businesswoman Asha “Mrs Ram” Mirchandani and the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) admitted the record in the Casa Grande Hotel vs the Barbados Water Authority case had not been settled.
The matter had been set down for case management in the Court of Appeal.
Attorney Ezra Alleyne, who represented Mirchandani, admitted that to the best of his recollection, he had not been summoned to settle the record. He also conceded that his Notice of Appeal was “deficient” since it did not have a High Court judge’s decision attached to it.
Attorney Gregory Nicholls, who appeared for the BWA in association with attorney Ona Harewood, said the record had not been settled between the parties, but the reason the matter was on the court’s calendar was as a result of an email, sent by him to the Deputy Registrar last month.
“And that is why we have this backlog issue, partially because there is lack of momentum coming from counsel even though the rules are quite clear. And there is also a lack of momentum coming from the Registration side,” Sir Patterson said.
“I am not in the business of allocating blame. I am simply trying to get matters rectified and move forward.”
The Chief Justice said the appeal appeared to be “stuck in mud”, which was “contrary to the ethos of the court”.
“We are trying to take all matters that seem to have become orphaned and to give them some energy and bring them on for hearing.
“And we are quite prepared to bring matters on even if that critical first step of meeting with the Deputy Registrar and settling the record has not occurred, because if we have it in hand, we can give directions and hopefully have some momentum,” he said.
The Chief Justice, who presided with Justices of Appeal Frances Belle and Margaret Reifer, ordered the parties to contact the Deputy Registrar by March 19 to settle the record. He then adjourned the appeal until July 6.
Mirchandani and her Casa Grande Hotel have appealed the decision of a High Court judge, who ruled in the BWA’s favour in the wake of the company’s disconnection of the water supply to the Oldbury, St Philip hotel.
The BWA had disconnected the service after discovering a connection from the Bowling Alley to adjoining premises at Knitwear Ltd.
The judge ruled that the company had exercised its discretion under Regulation 13 of the BWA Act, and that it was neither unlawful nor unreasonable in disconnecting the water supply.
The judge said Regulation 13 permitted the BWA to continue the disconnection for “the duration of the contravention”.
one accused 5 lawyers ?
” Queen’s Counsel Michael Lashley, Faith Greaves-Agard, Justin Leacock, Sade Harris and Seantelle Parris.”
CCJ blasts Barbados over ‘cuss-out’
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has taken Barbados to task again for “a cuss-out in a schoolyard” landing at its steps 12 years after the accused was charged.
Earlier this month, the Trinidadbased court sent the case, involving Dottin’s Academy Incorporated versus Beverley Norville, back to the Barbados’ Court of Appeal, but not before once more chastising the country’s slow pace of dealing with legal matters.
Norville was charged with six offences in 2009, including use of indecent language, causing a disturbance and threatening to burn down the private school after it removed her son without returning to her the $5 000 fee.
Norville was convicted six years later in 2015, but never sentenced because she appealed and that case was heard in 2016 with a ruling four years later in 2020. The Court of Appeal, headed by then Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson, found that Dottin’s Academy had no legal standing to bring charges against Norville.
The academy then applied for special leave to appeal to the CCJ which, led by President Justice Adrian Saunders, stated: “This was simply a cuss-out case that called for determination of the single issue of whether the appellant, Dottin’s Academy Incorporated, had been the proper party to lay the information as it did. The reason why this court decided to hear such an apparently trite appeal was because it raised a question as to jurisdiction and, as well, it appeared there were two egregious errors made in the decision by the court below which it would have been manifestly unjust to leave standing.”
The CCJ found that the Court of Appeal “fundamentally misdirected itself” to the facts and the law ruling the school “lacked standing” stating that the decision was “badly flawed” and had to be set aside.
The court, it said, erroneously stated the incident occurred in 1999 when in fact it took place in 2009, which resulted in the Court of Appeal concluding that
at the time of the incident, Dottin’s Academy Incorporated did not exist.
Strongest criticisms were reserved by Justice Winston Anderson, who said: “The purpose of this very brief opinion is to record my deep disquiet that this ‘cuss-out’ . . . continues to dog the judicial system, with no clear end in sight.”
“In the absence of evidence, it is impossible to assign blame to any specific person, but this was way too long,” he stressed, adding that ensuring a felicitous and conducive learning environment in school requires the prompt and public discouragement of the kind of behaviour of which Ms Norville was convicted.
“That, clearly, did not happen through the engagement of the magisterial process in this case. But it gets worse. Much worse,” he said, while expressing dismay that after convicting Norville, “the learned magistrate did not pass sentence then and there”.
“With the greatest of respect, this delay was extravagant in a simple case such as this, especially since it was unaccompanied by any explanation or apology. That delay may well have contributed to the egregious errors particularised by my brother in his judgment.
Justice Anderson pointed out that the overturning of the decision by the CCJ, which he noted dealt with the matter expeditiously, could lead to even further delays in Barbados because of the complexities of the case.
“When a simple case, such as this one, is presented in the Magistrates’ Court, the magistrate should be encouraged to decide it quickly, within weeks, three months at most. If a conviction is recorded, sentence should be pronounced promptly, unless there is a very compelling reason to do otherwise . . . .”
He also called for legislative distinction between certain categories of crimes.
“The tremendous economic and infrastructural challenges faced by developing countries in our region, including Barbados, are entirely impatient of a cuss-out
in a schoolyard occupying over 12 years of court time even before, potentially, the halfway mark in the litigation has been reached. An objective and dispassionate observer could well be forgiven for thinking that those responsible for this wanton and profligate expenditure of judicial resources ought to be sent to the principal’s office,” he concluded.
Attorney General Dale Marshall in response said: “I cannot fault the depiction by Justice Anderson of our judicial system, and it would be disingenuous of me to try to make even the slightest excuse for it. That an incident which took place 12 years ago and tried in the Magistrates’ Court, is still taking up judicial time and which we cannot be sure will not continue to do so, is an indictment on the system.
“I have been speaking stridently about the delays in the judicial system long before we came back to office. As a new administration, we have put things in place that are intended to speed up the delivery of justice – the expansion of the judiciary from 13 judges to 20 judges, and establishment of specialised Divisions of the Supreme Court, the increased use of technology through electronic filing which will shortly go live. All of these will bear fruit and our initiatives will not stop at these,” he added.
CJ: More mediation a must
Chief Justice Sir Patterson Cheltenham is resolute that judicial officers will employ mediation more.
“It has the potential to create a parallel pathway onto which courts can divert matters identified as amenable to the mediation process,” he said.
Sir Patterson was delivering remarks during the Canada-funded Improved Access To Justice In The Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) Project mediation workshop on Wednesday in the Goddard’s Conference Room, Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management, Cave Hill Campus. Course facilitator Urban Dolor, with community mediators Miles Weekes, Anthony Howard and Victor Felix as coaches, were set to train eight magistrates and one High Court judge.
Sir Patterson said judicial officers must have at their disposal the requisite skills to assess and identify matters that could be directed towards mediation.
“In Barbados we have two protocols; No. 1 of 2019 and No. 2 of 2019’s Practice Direction which have made mediation an essential component of case management in the civil sphere. I am not persuaded that much use has been made of them for reasons which are quite understandable. After your training, it will now be expected that you will utilise this additional option in the judicial armoury,” he told participants.
Regional project director, Professor Velma Newton said the programme was in its eighth year and IMPACT Justice’s research had revealed no mediation programme was in place within the magistrate courts.
“I would stress that IMPACT Justice is not here to question why no mediation system has as yet been implemented in the Magistrates’ Courts of Barbados, because we know from experience that more than one course is usually needed, especially if a mediator wants to specialise in family, commercial or community mediation,” she said.
She added their work in the field had suggested governments in the region, other than Jamaica, needed to embrace mediation by setting up comprehensive national strategies for improving the training infrastructure for mediation.
High Commissioner of Canada to Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Lilian Chatterjee said IMPACT Justice was one of two rule-of-law projects Canada supported regionally.
“This $19.2 million project seeks to ensure better access to justice for vulnerable and marginalised communities, as well as Governments, the private sector and individuals. This project operates in Barbados and the broader CARICOM region to address making laws, accessing legal materials, providing training opportunities, to train drafters in other areas of law, educate the public on rights and access and provide opportunities for mediation in the community,” she said.
She added Canada’s supported justice sector reform efforts in Barbados and the project, since its inception in 2014, had established community mediation service points at Speightstown Resource Centre, St Peter and at the Calvary Moravian Church, The City. Since that launch 19 cases were referred to mediation and two were resolved. ( RA)
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