Justice delayed is justice denied [William Penn]
For several years BU has been ridiculed by many for making the observation Barbados law courts are stymied by a backlog of cases and unable to dispense justice in a timely manner. BU is on record advocating that QCs function as deputy judges to help with building efficiency in the courts.
The Barbados Bar Association (BA) in a report carried in the local media titled Go with acting judges confirms BU’s message. The article quotes the BA wanting more judges to help reduce the backload and is calling for government to increase filing and application fees both in the Supreme Court and the Registration Department. The BA’s grievances were addressed in a letter directed to Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler. The letter also made the point ‘the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) had on several occasions reprimanded both the Court of Appeal and the High Court for the unacceptable amount of time it took for cases to be tried and judgements given’. Does any of this looks familiar?
BU states for the record we are against the BA’s recommendation to increase filing and application fees. At a time of unprecedented financial crisis in Barbados such a move is bound to reduce access to justice by the poor, tipping the scale further in favour of the well off. What manner of people are to want to implement a pricing system to hinder ordinary citizens access to justice?
Are we about selling justice now?
Originally posted on Barbados Underground:
Retired Judge Peter Williams earns a BU star.
The idea anyone should have to spend eleven years on remand or have to wait a decade to have an appeal heard is unacceptable in any society concerned with delivering justice. When unacceptable delays occur, and some will be justifiable, the legal maxim justice delayed is justice denied comes into play and must be addressed with haste by a caring society. When the person who has to suffer the injustice is a Barbadian it makes it all the more egregious. Others may add we have a government who offered the rhetoric it is committed to build out a society rather than focused on the economy.
BU has posted exhaustively in the Tales from the Courts about the dark side of the Barbados judiciary. Regrettably Barbadians are more concerned (if at all) with other matters. How can we have a wholesome society…
View original 311 more words
Marston Gibson, Chief Justice
Former Chief Justice, Sir David Simmons
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite
Dale Marshall, MP
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart
It was with more than passing interest that BU read the Nation article of 15 January 2014 entitled SLOW JUDGEMENTS HEAVILY CRITICIZED.
It is somewhat daunting to note that the Nation has only now espoused this cause as the result of cross-party agreement in the House led by former attorney general, Dale Marshall and supported by the PM and the present attorney general. This, after all, is an issue that BU – Tales from the Courts – has been resolute in airing for some years now and it appears that it is only now that a leading economist has publicly pointed out the obvious, that the demise of the justice system is almost completely responsible for the fall off and withdrawal of off-shore and foreign investment, that it now has been raised. Although, to be fair, last year in Toronto, the PM did serve notice that the justice system and courts had to be sorted out. But still his warning appears to have fallen in deaf ears and he himself has not done anything since.
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.
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.
Updated 05 September 2013
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 Commission – parts I,II
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.
Barry Gale QC, President of the BA
BU has been able to access the audited financial report of the Bar Association (BA) relative to the Compensation Fund. BU notes that the fund holds in excess of $2 million. The authority for the Fund is to be found at Part VIII of the Legal Professions Act Cap. 370A of the Laws of Barbados.
Briefly, the Act states:
The Fund is the property of the BA and must be paid into a separate bank account to the credit of the BA to be known as “the Attorneys-at-law Compensation Fund”.
Every attorney-at-law is required, when a Practicing Certificate is issued to him, to pay to the Registrar his/her annual contribution to the Fund, without which no Practicing Certificate will be issued.
“50. (1) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Bar Association that any person has sustained loss in consequence of dishonesty on the part of an attorney-at-law or any clerk or servant of an attorney-at-law in connection with that attorney-at-law’s practice as an attorney-at-law or in connection with any trust of which that attorney-at-law is a trustee, then, subject to the provisions of this section, the Association may, if it thinks fit, make a grant to that person out of the Fund for the purpose of relieving or mitigating that loss.”
A few points to ponder from the reading of the posted financials.