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:

  1. After a period of relative silence, he has now resurrected the issue of his appointment which was opposed by ALL REASONABLE INDEPENDENT PERSONS as an appointment that should never have taken place given his political involvement.
  2. It is utterly amazing that a former Chief Justice would seek to jettison the HALLOWED LEGAL PRINCIPLE that you do not attack ANYBODY WHEN HE DOES NOT HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO DEFEND HIMSELF. It would seem that Sir David has waited until Mr Thompson was a SAFE DISTANCE AWAY AND UNABLE TO SPEAK IN REBUTTAL TO LAUNCH AN ASSAULT.
  3. I clearly remember that in an interview with the same NATION NEWSPAPER, Sir David Simmons towards the end of his tenure, when asked about his judicial future said , among other things , he was tired and needed a rest; he wanted to be in a position to give assistance to his daughter who was in the practice of law; he wanted to do some writing. When asked by the interviewer if he had sought an extension, HE REFUSED TO SAY. I recall too that the said edition of the NATION was held up by Prime Minister Stuart in the Parliament and made a document of the House. Is Sir David now prepared to have the whole of Barbados consider him as being DISINGENUOUS?
  4. Can you imagine that a former Chief Justice would threaten to PRODUCE DOCUMENTS to support a PERSONAL agenda he is pursuing? One wonders if there are OFFICIAL STATE DOCUMENTS AMONG THEM . The mind boggles. One thing has come to light from this threatened expose'; DAVID SIMMONS IS A BITTER MAN. HE HAS SUFFERED A HUGE DENT TO HIS PRIDE. But he has made a FUNDAMENTAL MISTAKE; HE HAS RETURNED TO THE BATTLEFIELD FROM WHENCE HE CAME, THE POLITICAL BATTLEFIELD.

That being the case, he must know that he can expect no mercy from the man at the head of the other army nor his troops. DAVID SIMMONS HAS EXPOSED HIS HAND . HE HAS PROBABLY TAKEN THE MOST INJUDICIOUS STEP HE HAS EVER TAKEN IN HIS PROFESSIONAL LIFE. HISTORY WILL BE LEFT TO JUDGE HIM.

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0 responses to “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

  1. “I have been made an offer that I cannot refuse …!” He shoulda refuse em … Give a shit if he got a brain like a sponge. Nothin’ new

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  2. @Caswell

    BU’s position is 101 on this matter. Any decision to appoint a CJ must be above political prattle. Secondly, Sir David’s tenure is being evaluated using a simple measurement, how quickly was justice dispensed. This not personal as some would make out, he seems a decent enough chap.

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  3. David you promise to debate the BSTU/AX affair after the meeting last night is over. I know it didn’t bring the results you and the RED woMAN was expecting but this shouldn’t stop you posting the blog. I agree we should not mix DS with this RED woMAN, who right now is like REDjet, GROUNDED. The good news is REDjet stands a better chance of a good result, hence assistance, than that RED woMAN

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  4. The appointment of the current CJ was similarly not above political prattle and even, imho, more egregious than the Simmon’s appointment which was indeed egregious as I’ve said on BU a number of times.

    The teasing out of one criterion only for judging someone’s tenure is quixotic and unfair, to say the least. Are you going to use that same yardstick when the current CJ leaves and the speed of dispensing justice is found to be only marginally higher than when he came in. By the way, has the data been fully gathered re. your yardstick or the mouthings ny amused and others on this matter merely anecdotal an?

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  5. The new system and parser on this blog chewed up my post above. My last paragraph should have said. By the way, has the data been fully gathered re. your yardstick? or are the suggestions of deteriorations by Amused and others on the serious delays merely anecdotal with no support from statistical data that seeks to identify if delays actually increased or decreased during Sir David’s tenure? Has the objective research been done?

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  6. Caswell Franklyn

    David

    When the appointment was first proposed, it was above the political prattle: both sides agreed and set conditions for the appointment. It was only after the deal was struck that the Opposition Leader in hindsight realized the opportunity for political, mischief and pretended to signal his disapproval. I am wondering what would have been the case if David Thompson has come out and told the truth rather than try to score cheap political points. My guess is that the critics, probably with the exception of David (BU) would have been long silenced.

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  7. @Caswell

    Understand your position but because both sides agreed to the appointment as you say does not negate the point that there was political prattle in wider Barbados. Contrary to popular believe some of us have a view.

    @checkit

    The easy answer to your question about the CJ is yes. We should be measured by performance and for the CJ one key deliverable must be ensuring the Court equitably dispenses justice. For the last decade for sure justice has been intolerably delayed. The time for back slapping is over.

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  8. @ David

    Check-it and Caswell are raising precisely the same order of questions I raised above – and which neither you nor anyone else has addressed. Why? I’m speaking of the issue of judicial quality.How can exepdition by the only criterion? I can make ten decisions this morning but they may all be wrong – and then you would say I was incompetent and make ‘competence’ the sole criterion. But on this subject, what of DS’s work on the question of retrenchment of delay? Are you trying to say he did nothing?

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  9. Of course, you’re right that the beef that most people have is about the appointment itself Both Caswell and I have addressed that in our different ways – and it’s probably not worth trying to argue it since it’s all rooted in political perceptions of the fundamentalist sort. What if there had been a delay of a year? The same beefs would have surfaced. I am yet top hear that there was a constitutional convention that the appointment could not be made. So: we are dealing with something which simply had not been done before HERE – and yes we are very resistant to change.. In fact, as I’ve tried to show there were plenty of precedents for it elsewhere

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  10. David -wordpress problems….so far as I can see, the appointment was made on the basis of judicial quality and THAT for me is the most important criterion. But yes, different people have different qualities and so bring something new to the job. The present CJ has brought ‘people person-ism’ – well, so far …and the rest has been talk. That is not meant as a criticism.

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  11. WORDPRESS _ HELP

    David – what precisely do you mean by ‘performance’? Making 10 decisions a day? Seeing 10 disgruntled people in an afternoon? Employing time and management consultants? Going to Trinidad and borrowing ideas? Raising friends to the inner Bar? Getting to work early and leaving late? Carefully crafting judgments? Joining Rotary? Listening? Reforming the substantive law? Taking a torch to Registry?…and so on…

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  12. @robert

    Don’t shift the conversation. Former CJ is under the microscope. Current CJ performance critique will come.

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  13. If it means anything, on the two occasions that I heard the current CJ speak in public he did give credit to Simmonds for initiating much of what he is about to complete. Among them if memory serves is alternative punishments and one case one judge.

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  14. Wah happen to George Hutson eye? I am no fan of these people but an eye is a serious matter even for the unsighted

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  15. Prodigal Son

    @Caswell,
    “When the appointment was first proposed, it was above the political prattle: both sides agreed and set conditions for the appointment. It was only after the deal was struck that the Opposition Leader in hindsight realized the opportunity for political, mischief and pretended to signal his disapproval. I am wondering what would have been the case if David Thompson has come out and told the truth rather than try to score cheap political points. My guess is that the critics, probably with the exception of David (BU) would have been long silenced”………………………………………

    Because Caswell, the dead king played nasty politics all his political life.

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  16. @ David

    Sorry you’re being perverse. I was not shifting the conversation. I said different people bring different things….and was explicitly not being critical….the point being that we often expect too much from any one person though they all have some merit. Different people are good at different things. As someone said above, we expect them to be gods and so expect too much. As with the rest of us, they are no doubt trying to do their incompetent best. But if you want me to be picky and DIRECT, please address the questions that both Caswell and I have raised about quality.

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  17. @ David
    “The issue for many is the distasteful period between Simmons the politician and Simmons the CJ. Whether he is a good man or not is not in dispute by many.”

    Interestingly enough, you supported the amendment of the law and the appointment of CJ Gibson based on his character and qualifications.

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  18. Ross

    Please advise. I understand that today it was claimed in the CCJ hearing that the CCJ is NOT recognised in Barbados law … Makes sense to you?

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  19. @enuff

    Former CJ Simmons reached retirement and BU supported a Barbadians who is qualified for the job. The fact that the government had to amend the law to ensure his appointment was bulletproof does not change the fact that he is a legal scholar who is as good as anyone around to do the job. Some may prefer to become warapped up in the technicality of the moment for whatever reason, it is something Bajans have become good at. Time will be the judge of his body of work performed as CJ.

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  20. David; stop parsing the words. The current CJ was not qualified for the job prior to the amendment of the act. The act was amended to ensure his qualification for the post and he was appointed soon after. That does not negate the fact that he will probably be an excellent CJ as does the fact that CJ Simmons appointment as the former CJ soon after being AG and heavy immersion in politics did not make him a poor CJ.

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  21. Well David I feel vindicated.

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  22. Not getting into the pedantic side of this discussion. BU supported a qualified Bajan for the job, period.

    The issue here is that BU is questioning why former David Simmons would be making a fuss about the DLP government not appointing him for a period that is left to discretion. Was there legitimate expectation on his part? We shall see but one can easily say that if Simmons appointment did not attract the political prattle which his did for reasons discussed nobody would even care about his recent utterances. Time will tell if Gibson gets similar coverage. The thing is Gibson is a relatively young man and his retirement is a decade and a half away.

    BU makes no apology for our position which has been defended on the blog. We are entering a new paradigm of how we need to do business. The status quo must be rattled.

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  23. @ BAF

    I don’t know what was said. Clearly Barbados as Guyana and Belize accepts the jurisdiction of the Court. I wonder if what was suggested was that there is no domestic legislation which serves to ratify the accession to the jurisdiction of the Court for the purposes of domestic law. The Court has held, however, that this is unnecessary where a treaty has been ratified by way of the deposit of the instruments of ratification TYhe approach is ‘monist’ not ‘dualist’Today’s proceedings were concerned with the original jurisdiction of the Court and so was concerned with the interpretation of the Treaty ofChaguaramas – and sono question of Barbadian domestic law arose. To put it in a broader context, the case is concenred with Barbados’ obligations under International Laws and, in that sense, her domestic law is irrelevant.

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  24. @ BAF
    Sorry WordPress is giving me problems. But one rider to what I wrote above. There is domestic legislation – the Caribbean Court of Justice Act 2003 and the Constiutional Amendment Act which came into force by Proclamation in 2005 under which Barbados recognises both the original and appellate (for appeals from domestic decisions) jurisdiction of the Court. It is my second point, therefore, which is applicable.

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  25. Ross

    I am in debted to you

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  26. Now the case has a new dimension from finger raped to “hasslefreemovement of DRUG MULES!

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  27. @ac

    Perfect!
    Now your name has a new dimension from ac to ASS.

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  28. ‘What kind of “anew system of governance” can you be more specific such theories and ideas have been talk about over the years’
    ac- i am not suggesting change for the sake of change but because i genuinely feel that the parliamentary governance not only in Barbados but in the other islands as well have been replaced by government by political institutions.The affairs of Governance needs to be taken back by Parliament and not left in the hands of the masquerading opportunists who now occupy by default the once hallowed halls of George street and Roebuck street on the legacy of those who who understood representation.The frequent and harsh criticisms of politicians on this forum suggests that thinking people are fed up with the system. THE COMMENT BY NONE OTHER THAN ESTEEMED DAVID THAT “IT IS HIGH TIME THAT POLITICIANS REALIZE THAT WE ARE TIRED OF THIS FOOLISHNESS” IS INSTRUCTIVE. So what do we do AC, lie down and play dead. No there must be a better way.It is recognized that the road will be hard in changing peoples attitudes to accept a concept of governance different to the one we have practised since self governance in 1954; but prior to 1954 Barbados had a different form of governance.It was not always as it was now where our way of life is literally managed by the decisions made by political institutions led by illprepared persons unsuitable for such a herculean task. In a nutshell, i would first like to see representatives elected from the bowels of their constituencies and go to parliament to represent the interests of the constituents and not the political party.There will be no Ministers managing administrative affairs. This task would be left to the Public Servants free to offer unbiased advice without having to satisfy the whims and fancies of the political directorate. There will be various oversight committees of Parliamentto initiate policy with respect to Education. Health, Finance, Foreign Affairs etc and these committees would be suitably advised by qualified personnel before forwarding decisions of Parliament to the administrative arm of the Public Service for implementation.I stop there for now.

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  29. @ David
    “The issue here is that BU is questioning why former David Simmons would be making a fuss about the DLP government not appointing him for a period that is left to discretion.

    He told you he was doing such? eh eh

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  30. @lABOUCHe

    sO YOU LIKE NAME CALLING HOW BOUT YOU BEING A” DOUCHEBAG:

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  31. David Weekes

    @Robert Ross

    I would respectfully disagree with you on your submission on the CCJ issue and would ask you to comment on the validity of this 2003 law in light of the “Agreement to Enable the Entry into Force of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (2006).

    This “Agreement to Enable the Entry into Force of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas Establishing the Caribbean Community Including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy” (paragraph nine (9) reproduced below) states:

    “CONSCIOUS that Article 233 requires that any amendment to the Revised Treaty be subject to ratification by signatory States in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures”

    This recital explicitly states that amendments of/to the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTOC) while provided for under Article 234 of the “Revised Treaty”, are subject to (fourteen) “ratifications”, to be effected in accordance with the “respective constitutional procedures” of 14 original signatory Member States.

    Did you hear of any such Constitutional Procedures Mr. Ross? Surely with a grapevine as sophisticated as that of Barbados where you cant carry more than US$10K into the US without declaring it and that being well publicized in BIM for all we bajans, how then can these constitutional procedures have been effected in 14 member states and not a soul ent know?

    It is to be noted that Paragraph 13 of the Agreement to Enable the Entry into Force of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (paragraph reproduced below) requires that these “Instruments of Ratification” be deposited at CARICOM’s Repository.

    Paragraph 13 (reproduced here) reads – “Determined to secure the entry into force of the Revised Treaty by 1 January 2006 ; Hereby agree as follows : Article 234 of the Revised Treaty shall be amended to read as follows – “This Treaty shall enter into force on 1 January 2006 IF INSTRUMENTS OF RATIFICATION have been previously deposited by any twelve of the States mentioned in paragraph 1 of Article 3 and if not, then on such later date on which the twelfth such instrument has been deposited.”

    Twelve States signing this amendment MUST abrogate the 2001 RTOC‘s signatory requirement in Article 234 titled “Entry into Force” that states that all (fourteen) original Member States are required to sign to amend the RTOC.

    It would seem Mr. Ross that having “amended” the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas in 2006 that any prior Act, Laws, Bills or Special Instruments like those you reference in 2003 and 2005 would in themselves NOT BE APPLICABLE & HAVE TO BE REVISITED since they refer to a period prior to 2006 and this currently amended RTOC.

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  32. An Observer..

    @Caswell..
    ” locally , some lawyers, INCLUDING OBSERVER , would pick his brain rather than research some point of law on their own .”
    You continue your Indentification Parade exercise without dealing with the questions posed to you earlier . If observer is indeed a local lawyer he would be totally lacking in self respect to be engaging in a brain – picking exercise rather than doing ” his own research ” . That statement alone confirms that YOU REALLY DONT KNOW THAT OBSERVER . Peace .

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