Tales from the Courts – Madam Justice Cornelius Delivers on the Dr. Richard Ishmael v QEH Matter, FINALLY Part XIV

Madam Justice Cornelius

Madam Justice Cornelius

We see the ruling on Dr Ishmael has at last been given by the courts. The Nation has published the decision which is highly unflattering to the MoH and the QEH. BU refers readers to the recent Tales From The Courts, where some of the issues discussed are similar and pertinent to this edition. The decision on this particular matter was reserved by Madam Justice Cornelius since 30 March 2011, a period of 818 days, or 2 years 2 months and 26 days. INEXCUSABLE!!!

It is not for the judge to take into consideration that Dr Ishmael is back at the QEH. The judge’s SOLE concern, other than the constitutional rights of the litigants, ought to have been the fact that there was a matter before her that might seriously, fatally and detrimentally affect the health of patients at the QEH. Indeed, this might be considered a matter affecting public policy and therefore to be accorded the urgency of any public policy matter. Instead, Madam Justice Cornelius took almost 2.25 YEARS to provide a judgement that ought to have been produced in a maximum, given the potential prejudice that delay would cause, of 60 days.

Thus, has Madam Justice Cornelius BETRAYED the trust and best interests of the people of Barbados and for that she deserves to be instantly suspended pending the outcome of an enquiry to dismiss her. Additionally, judges are expected to render decisions within 60 days, with an outside limit of 90 days for complex cases. Regardless of the circumstances between Dr Ishmael and the QEH, Madam Justice Cornelius has egregiously and improperly breached the Constitution.

BU is advised that the unconscionable delay by Madam Justice Cornelius was such that the parties had finally decided to meet last week to broker a settlement of the issue. The sole reason they did NOT meet was because Mr. Leslie Haynes QC, counsel for Dr Ishmael, was out of the country.

It does not escape BU that, had the parties been able to meet, the whole matter would likely have been quietly settled with no political backlash as occasioned by the judgement. It therefore begs the question why, after 2 years 2 months and 18 days, Madam Justice Cornelius rushed to pre-empt a settlement by finally delivering her judgement. It is also a fact that no prior notice of the delivery of the long-delayed judgement was given to the parties or their counsel, but was sprung upon all on Monday morning, necessitating counsel to undertake emergency rescheduling and beg the indulgence of other courts before which they were scheduled to appear.

While BU, and indeed most of Barbados, has long considered that the conduct meted out to Dr Ishmael was illegal and reflected poorly, not only on the QEH, but also on the Minister of Health, BU must now reflect on an even more serious matter. That is, the possible political manipulation of the courts for political ends.

BU does not take sides in this issue as both the actions of the MoH and the QEH were wrong, as well as the rush to deliver a long-deferred judgement for by the judge. HOWEVER, of the two, the overwhelming prejudice to the people of Barbados lies in the actions of Madam Justice Cornelius who, not content with betraying the Bajan public with a decision in a matter touching on our health service by delaying same for 2 years 2 months and 18 days, has clearly delivered that decision, not for the sake of long-delayed justice, but for political ends.

On 16 August 2010, the CCJ handed down its judgment in the case of Gibson v The Attorney General. http://www.worldcourts.com/ccj/eng/decisions/2010.08.16_Gibson_v_Attorney_General.htm. BU is aware that this is a matter of criminal law, but can anyone refute that the principals apply to all aspects of the Barbados Justice System?

Of particular note is paragraph [50] and [51] of the judgement to pay attention of which will likely cause all Bajans to boil:

Blackman J’s judgment indicates that counsel appearing on behalf of the  Attorney General submitted to the judge that “delays were typical in Barbados and consequently ought to be tolerated” (para 53). The judge also records (para 65) that another counsel had deposed that, “[w]ith the notable exception of the court presided over by Magistrate Pamela Beckles, a …preliminary inquiry into a charge of murder generally takes between one to four years to commence” and that “the Crown takes a very long time to respond” to requests for disclosure of the statements of witnesses. If these statements are accurate, and there was nothing to suggest that they were not, members of the Barbadian public have every right to be concerned about what may be considered as blots on the criminal justice system.”

BU wishes to enquire as to the name of the person from the Attorney General’s office who said, “delays were typical in Barbados and consequently ought to be tolerated” AND YES, CCJ, WE IN BARBADOS ARE VERY CONCERNED, BUT ABOUT THE ENTIRE STATE OF THE JUDICIARY AND WE DO CONSIDER IT TO BE A BLOT ON THE REPUTATION OF THE ENTIRE COUNTRY!

As for the Opposition, the mess originates with them. And as we look at this latest from Madam Justice Cornelius, we know WHY. But, the CCJ continues.

To be fair, inordinate delays are not unique to the State of Barbados. They are prevalent in other Caribbean States as well. But this provides no justification for countenancing delay. Some States have actually made assiduous efforts to address the problem. The authorities in Saint Lucia, for example, have embarked upon such a course. It has involved the overhaul of the entire criminal justice system harnessing in the process the efforts of all the important sectors that have roles to play in it whether from the Executive, Legislature or Judiciary.[FN26] From all accounts it would appear that the measures taken, which seemed not to have required enormous expenditure, are yielding some measure of success.”

It seems abundantly clear that almost the entire bench needs to be replaced in Barbados. Delivering JUSTICE continues to be under threat.

59 responses to “Tales from the Courts – Madam Justice Cornelius Delivers on the Dr. Richard Ishmael v QEH Matter, FINALLY Part XIV

  1. Simple Simon

    David this article is a bit of convoluted nonsense.

    1. The truth is pat of the reason our courts are clogged up is that not one in ten of our lawyers can write a sentence in good PLAIN ENGLISH. UWI should refuse to admit anybody to law school unless they have first earned a grade 1 in CXC English.

    All of them the judges too should be sent back to elementary and secondary school to learn how to write good plain English.

    2. The Ministry of Health and or the QEH should never have taken action against the good Dr. Ishmael. What they did was foolishness from day one. Anybody who went to elementary school could see that.

    When are we going to learn that we do not have to kiss the asses of foolish politicians (even if they are Cabinet Ministers) or especially if they are Cabinet Ministers.

    Cabinet Ministers don’t have any more sense that anybody else.

    In fact nowadays many of them (BLP and DLP) have less sense that the average voter.

    The days are long gone when brilliant young Barbados scholars joined political parties and were elected to Parliament.

    Nowadays our Parliament is composed of perfectly ordinary Johnnies.

    Many of whom have unfortunately massive egos.


  2. Simple Simon

    in na point punishing Justice Cornelius because lawyers can’t write and politicians are idiots.


  3. Simple Simon

    robert ross June 26, 2013 at 8:26 AM…. “In any event, Ishmael is not the only cardiologist at QEH.”

    Is aright for you to talk nonsense.

    Ishmael may not be the only cardioligist at the QEH, but he is the best, especaily when it comes to the very, very small hearts of newborns and infants.

    Ya poppit!!! almost anybody can operate on the heart of a big guts old man who has a bad heart because he ate too much good bittle.

    But it takes a special kind to treat newborns.

    And the politicians and the idiotic folk who kiss their asses thought that tele medicine could replace the skill and experience of an excellent doctor.

    When oh when are we going to stop kissing the assess of politicians?

    Somebody need to tell the emperor politicians when they are walking ’bout with all their botsies exposed.


  4. Simple Simon

    This case had no business clogging up our court because in the first place it was an idiotic decision to suspend Dr. Ishmael.


  5. I calculate that the interest owed on the sum awarded is just a little less than half a million dollars. In other words, the interest will be more than the award.


  6. My comment above is in relation to the Transport Board employee case. Interest will likely be calculated at 8% pa. The delay has certainly more than doubled the amount due.

    I know of one case where, having delayed the decision for years, the attorney general and the judge are sued in a multi-million dollar claim. But the claim has been stalled in the courts for years, presumably in the hopes that it will go away. It won’t. The judge is Elnett Kentish. Predictably.


  7. page 9 of BarbadosToday

    Good luck Plantation deeds..


  8. Ross

    Look man, Amused has got a healthy sense of humour and that is all I seek.


    Look man, Ross has got a healthy sense of humour and that is a rarity in this neck of the woods.


    Give me a l’l more time … I still thinkin’



    Hants @ Thanks. What good luck or good law comes our way , will also go the Barbados in lower prices and cost for All Bajans,If half of what the police knows of and found out is even True as We claim , Most of the Person fighting to raise prices to make more money each year will come down,
    Another note. This is what we see as part of a bigger Picture, The time is here for the NWO. Most dont know or overstand that this is warning to the others of their kind. That the world must be turn over to the rightful owners. That is why so much is hidden and stolen ,
    They have a notion that We will treat them the way they treat us ,
    That is not true for we know the pain of the unjust.
    So in the mean time , they will take hoard and run
    . looking to carry off more Gold than they can carry and now cant even walk to take it away. Banks and internet allow them to carry it off by wire. Well now many look to unplug that wire .This is much bigger than Barbados , But here you can see all the Elements .Act like the American and get the same results ,Look to be more like Bajans and learn from the false past written .


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