Barbados Government Selects Next Chief Justice From Outside The Inner Ring

Chief Justice Designate Marston Gibson

BU has received word from an unimpeachable source that Marston Gibson has been named as the next Chief Justice of Barbados.  When he assumes office he will become the 13th  Chief Justice of Barbados.

There has been robust discussion on BU about the attributes David Simmons’ successor needs to bring to the job. It is no secret our Judiciary is in need of leadership. In recent years we have seen how an inefficient Registrar of the Court combined with the influence of a few lawyers have held our Courts to ransom. The BU lobby supported an appointment from outside the circle of the Barbados legal fraternity; someone who should possess the breath in qualification that straddles academic and administrative experience. Based on our source it appears Prime Minister David Thompson and Cabinet have taken the bold step by selecting such a person.

Here is a brief Bio of Chief Justice Designate Marston Gibson:

Work and Education


  • Supreme Court of New York, Nassau County May 1998 – PresentCourt Attorney – RefereeMineola, New York

Grad School

  • Hugh Wooding Law School, Legal Education Certificate (L.E.C) ’81L.E.C.
  • Oxford University, Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L) ’79 B.C.L.


  • University of the West Indies, Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) ’75Law

High School

  • Foundation School ’70
  • Harrison College ’72

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120 Comments on “Barbados Government Selects Next Chief Justice From Outside The Inner Ring”

  1. Adrian Hinds August 16, 2010 at 8:00 AM #

    Wow! Amused can hardly be accused of being amused by the Barbados justice system. A stinging rebuke that was!


  2. Jeff Cumberbatch August 16, 2010 at 8:00 AM #


    Marston graduated from the Faculty in the same year Ientered,1975, but in those days so few Barbadians were doing law that we all knew of each other. I don’t know what he did post graduation, apart from Oxford of course, but we met up again at Law School and then became very close friends when he joined the Faculty full time, 1981-86 or 87.
    Marston is a great choice for CJ. He has one of the finest intellects I have ever come across, has a wonderful sense of humour and writes well. He certainly has my support.


  3. Fair Play August 16, 2010 at 8:05 AM #

    BU really on the ball. You got the scoop on all Barbadian media. They are now reporting. Maybe they are reading BU and using it as a source.
    People with an internet connection really do not have to buy the daily newspapers. Both the Nation and Advocate print stories that were on the net days before. It is the front and back page and local sports that you pay for.


  4. BAFBFP August 16, 2010 at 8:06 AM #

    WOW …

    The above make interesting read as separate topic … no?
    Wow … Make interesting read as Newspaper article …



  5. David August 16, 2010 at 8:07 AM #

    VOB’s Tony Best from NY joined BU in going with the tip off in the news this morning.


  6. BAFBFP August 16, 2010 at 8:09 AM #

    Oh No … If Marston is friend of Jeff, then Marston has political tie … no?
    Laugh at that out loud…!


  7. Jeff Cumberbatch August 16, 2010 at 8:24 AM #

    Very very very VERY loud, BAFBFP!


  8. G.C. Brathwaite August 16, 2010 at 8:45 AM #

    @Jeff Cumberbatch and BU in general

    I have lots of respect for your views though we may sometimes differ. I take your endorsement and praise of the gentleman’s intellect as my guides. Less I am misrepresented by anyone, I reiterate my congratulations and go further by wishing the goodly gentleman every success that the position must entail. Anyone who thinks that any political leader or party will get it right 100 % or wrong 100 % on each occasion fails to be pragmatic. I look forward to the system being enhanced and on this I know that it is not just the CJ, but a team of players that will or should make the difference. Yet again, Barbadians can say they continue to have in their grasps unlimited resources for advancing the cause of all. No apologies necessary.


  9. BAFBFP August 16, 2010 at 8:58 AM #

    Sorry I meant Jeff Broome ….


  10. Jeff Cumberbatch August 16, 2010 at 9:12 AM #

    Ah, so, BAFBFP. Forgiven, of course! (Smile)


  11. Amused August 16, 2010 at 9:37 AM #

    @G.C. Brathwaite | August 16, 2010 at 8:45 AM | A gracious and graceful comment. Now that is more like the man we all know and respect.

    @David. What you did took great courage and keeping an ear to the ground, but you scooped all other media with a lot of time to spare. Indeed, why bother to buy the papers, as anything worth reporting can be read right here on BU. I have to wonder, though, if any of these “fourth estate” organs will bother to be magninmous (and honest) enough to credit BU. Well done!!!!


  12. Anonymous August 16, 2010 at 9:45 AM #

    Difting quickly through a certain two other Bajan blogs, it is noted that neither seems to have picked the story up yet. Of course, as they have both, with much fanfare, removed BU from their sidebars (or is that a singular, collective sidebar) they may not now wish to link. Food for thought – and speculation.


  13. David August 16, 2010 at 10:01 AM #


    Truthfully BU is not about getting a pat from the Fourth Estate. It will not happen although individual media practitioners have worked with us to date.

    We will continue to do what we do to bring opinions and news to the people. Thanks to all who continue to support us.


  14. Anonymous August 16, 2010 at 12:00 PM #

    @David. It will not have escaped your attention that our new CJ is a musician of some skill. Better and better.


  15. Anonymous August 16, 2010 at 12:49 PM #

    The preceding CJ was also a trumpeter of some skill!


  16. Anonlegal August 16, 2010 at 1:31 PM #

    @ Amused

    Unless I am not as anonymous as I think I am, I don’t know how you would be so certain of what I know and what I don’t know.

    That aside, I had to scroll through the thread to see where I made any point about the court system being a paragon of efficiency. I acknowledge the efficiencies in previous comments and I have speculated as to why such efficiencies exist. You (and others) disagree and have placed significant blame on the shoulders of David Simmons, citing his lack of administrative skills (notwithstanding the fact that the inefficiencies predated his tenure). I can’t speak to David Simmons’ administrative ability. A QC who I greatly respect has told me that Sir David is a good administrator and you, an anonymous blogger who I do not know anything about, says otherwise.

    I merely asked for specifics on the problems that you have experienced in the Barbadian Courts so that I may better judge if the problems can be chalked up to the CJ himself or if it is just a case of blaming whoever is in charge.

    You have answered my question (albeit with a smidgen of acrimony). I thank you.


  17. Anonlegal August 16, 2010 at 2:56 PM #

    Sorry, in my last post I said:

    “I acknowledge the efficiencies in previous comments and I have speculated as to why such efficiencies exist.”

    I meant:

    “I acknowledge the inefficiencies in previous comments and I have speculated as to why such inefficiencies exist.”


  18. Amused August 16, 2010 at 4:02 PM #

    @Anon Legal.

    Your points are well made. However, surely it is distressing to have clients come into one’s chambers, know that they have a case, know that they are due justice and assure them of this. Then, to have them telephone or come to see you to ask (after some years) when they can expect said justice. Indeed, when their case will be heard, or be finished hearing or, worst of all, in what decade the judge intends to deliver his/her judgment.

    You can then explain to your client(s) that really it is not your fault and you have been begging and threatening (sometime simultaneously) to have the matter (sometimes one of trite law) determined, but that the Registry, judge whatever is the malefactor.

    Now, for the older members of the profession (and I would guess – probably without foundation – that you are one such) these clients will probably not have received bills from one. These will all be sent after the case is concluded and costs have been awarded (although probably not taxed or agreed, but at least in the offing). Younger lawyers do not do it that way. They bill for their time every month on the dot and every time the client telephones them or emails to ask why the delay or some such, they bill for their time. And who can blame them? Most of them do not have the resources that will allow them to wait for payment.

    So these days a case that should cost the client, let us say $15,000, ends up costing $150,000. To be sure they get the money back at the end of the case (or one hopes they would and will), but the strain and financial stress it places the client under, is soul-destroying. Indeed, it often destroys more than souls – things like marriages and the ability to properly educate children – even the possibility of according a loved one expensive medical treatment.

    If the justice system is responsible for this (and it usually is), they we need to strike the word “justice” from the phrase “justice system”.

    The worst part is that it makes some truly dedicated lawyers look like crooks whose sole interest is money. They are dead of they do and damned if they don’t.

    I have a real problem with that. After all, being a lawyer is not just a profession, it is a vocation. So in the same way the souls (and much else) of the client is destroyed, so to is the soul and dedication to justice of the lawyer.

    I agree that there were many pre-existing problems that David Simmons inherited. Sure there were. But did they need to have been multiplied by quite so much by the time he left? And multiplied they have been – and you and every legal pracitioner knows it.

    If we do not have a working justice system that delivers justice, then we could as well shut up shop and let our country sink. Myself, I harbour the absurd hope that our new Chief will scale the mountain and bring justice back into what it now merely a system. He is well capable of it and I believe that he has the most imprtant element of all to complete the task. The WILL! His appointment is the most heartening news I have heard in years.


  19. Crusoe August 16, 2010 at 5:28 PM #

    Amused ”He is well capable of it and I believe that he has the most imprtant element of all to complete the task. The WILL! ”

    Lol…we shall see. Certainly a bright man, by the record. But according to the news gleaned, not having operated as a criminal justice, only civil? Now to take control over all?

    Add to that, that certain problems are systemic, which will require legislation to change, not just mere ‘administration’.

    I suspect that there are other major issues as well, that are have not been highlighted, though I suspect that ‘Anonlegal’ is well aware.

    Add to that, his age. He is new to this, coming in will give him say a two or three year ‘learning curve’. That will make him about sixty, then to make changes. He will have ten to twelve years at that, but at a time when he is tyring to make sserious changes, his constitution will be reducing i.e. 60-70.

    Note that when Manning brought in Ivor Archie, which is one of the few excellent things he did, that gentleman was in his early forties.

    You want change, then get young and vibrant, but with the same intellect.

    I too wish the gentleman well, but be aware that his constitution had better be up to it, things may not be as cut and dried as some of you seem to think.


  20. ac August 16, 2010 at 5:44 PM #

    Good job ! DLP supporters. GCB has been reduced to a marshmellow. My advice to him “If yuh can’t stand the heat Stay out the Fire”. Now I can wear my DlP card again in my sleeve. I wonder if the goodly soon to be appointed CJ is married!


  21. Anonymous August 16, 2010 at 6:02 PM #

    Call me cynical but I predict that whether Mr Gibson or some other person is appointed CJ very little will change. One man cannot change anything. There is no real motivation for attorneys to seek change. All are making a good living at present why would they want to change? Let’s grow up and stop these high minded speeches about “justice” and “poor people” etc. The bottom line is always “what’s in it for me?”


  22. Bush Tea August 16, 2010 at 7:56 PM #

    @ Amused

    Thanks for that. It is refreshing to know that there are lawyers as caring and concerned as you appear to be, about the matter of justice.
    The Bush man too is optimistic that the new CJ can bring much needed change.
    Justice is more important than peace or economic advancement.


  23. J August 16, 2010 at 7:57 PM #

    ac asked “I wonder if the goodly soon to be appointed CJ is married!”

    No. He is divorced.


  24. ac August 16, 2010 at 10:51 PM #

    Thanks for that information. Now I really have my work cut out for me. Got to get in touch with Morris King!BAL


  25. BAFBFP August 17, 2010 at 12:38 AM #

    Anonymous | August 16, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    You speak for my family …


  26. G.C. Brathwaite August 17, 2010 at 4:50 AM #

    You wrote: “Good job ! DLP supporters. GCB has been reduced to a marshmellow. My advice to him “If yuh can’t stand the heat Stay out the Fire”. Now I can wear my DlP card again in my sleeve. I wonder if the goodly soon to be appointed CJ is married!”

    I find your input confusingly misleading and it would appear that there are more than a few ruffled feathers in the DLP. I do not think that I am the blame, nor do I think the dear ‘Conference coordinator’ may be pleased that you call me a ‘marshmellow’. Be careful what you show on your sleeves, after all, signs of intimidation in politics can represent the line between winning and losing, this is the first-past-the-post system. Hence, being pragmatic and political expedient may make more sense than standing the heat.
    Tell me something, is it for real that you support the view that there are persons out there seeking to destabilise the government? I am opposed to that, but I also note that the government appears to be on a path of implosion while the people are growing restless. Too many stirrings from the unions and Kelly coming out at Boos does not help. Do you believe that the most qualified CJ will be able to drastically change a system on his own? If my friend was not literally vacationing in the Mediterranean, is it possible and consistent with all that has been happening, that the current administration is perceived by increasing numbers of publics from all walks of life as languishing in tossing seas unaware of where the currents shall lead them? The DEMS came in on winds of change, do you believe that appearing rudderless furthers the opinions of many that the DLP hierarchy is truly out to sea? The Mediterranean, The Black Sea, The Red Sea, The Baltic, the North Sea, and maybe seas in outer space; you can go on and on without mentioning the Caribbean Sea since that would be too close to home.
    If they do not come after me, and I do wish them well in their efforts, I am sure that there will be a sea of change after the next general election in Barbados. Fight your fight and leave me alone. Let me criticise or praise as I see fit. I am not attempting in anyway to topple your government. While it has not done everything right, in the same token, it has not done everything wrong. What is clear though, is that the Government of Barbados under the DLP-administration at this time lacks confidence. Pay attention to that!
    I wonder what would prompt one Cabinet Minister to appeal to students to be conscious of the $12 million being spent to ease their parents on the one hand, and the other, a Cabinet Minister appears bent on using discretion to introduce another means of categorising, hand-picking, and being arbitrary in calling for Mini-buses to help out? Do you think, God forbid, that yesterday’s accident with the Transport Bus and the Mini-bus was an indication of the signs of the times? Kind of makes you wonder about change for changing sake, does it not?


  27. ac August 17, 2010 at 5:44 AM #

    OK> You right I”ll leave you alone to the Dees . I am a capitalist I like making nuff money. People talk change but when change is given we all complain . BTW I fight nobody fight unlike you who spend so much time fighting with the DLP Party !
    As for the CJ he has his work cut out for him and it is not goingto be easy but I am not gleefully waiting to see him fail like you.
    As the present government is showing a lack of confidence . But the previous government was overconfident and left a mess for this current government to clean up. Six of one and half dozen another!


  28. G.C. Brathwaite August 17, 2010 at 6:28 AM #

    “the CJ he has his work cut out for him and it is not goingto be easy but I am not gleefully waiting to see him fail like you.”

    You are DEAD WRONG AGAIN! Will you ever get it right? I am not evil sir. I am a Barbadian (and not barbarian) before I am a member of any political party or association. Moreover, I may not have much to go on, but I am sincere. If I did not wish to congratulate and mean well, I would not (a very stubborn Taurean). We can both agree that the job is not easy nor does one realistically anticipate such; hence, it is up to persons like yourself and my comrades to ensure that we assist where possible. Overworked cliches will not help!


  29. Amused August 17, 2010 at 8:24 AM #

    @G.C. Brathwaite | August 17, 2010 at 6:28 AM | Again, very well said.


  30. Anonymous August 17, 2010 at 11:50 AM #

    you don’t have a job to go to? or something to help develope your intelligence – gosh man you sicken me


  31. ac August 17, 2010 at 7:31 PM #

    I hope you are notrunning for any political now or in the future. Because you seem totalk out from both sides as the mouth. Just like a politician when it suites your interset.
    Here are a few quotes from you previously about the appointment of the CJ
    “Please do not disassociate the person from current or past or party affiliation.
    “I do believe that his appointment raised many more eyebrows.”
    “I too would want to wish whoever is the next CJ the very best but that doesn’t mean I have to buryt my head in the sand.”
    “On the question of CJ .As long as the person record can be held up to scruttiny and their effort matches or surpass those set by Sir David . I seeno reason why I should have objection>”
    Those are some of your quotes about the appointment of the CJ. by you. Now somewhat magically you are singing a much suttle tune. BTW that is what politician s do
    Are you looking to place your name on the ballot come next election. I think i might have to do some research on you. I know your real name is not GC Brathwaite
    None of the above quotes seem very congratulatory to me. Maybe that is not the image you want to present if you are would be running for public office.Now be careful how you phrase your future comments i will be watching.


  32. Adrian Hinds August 17, 2010 at 8:59 PM #

    Does he not remind you of that Jamaican who left Barbados? chuspe


  33. G.C. Brathwaite August 18, 2010 at 4:08 AM #

    Either the type of English Language that you are accustomed to vastly differs from mine, or comprehension was never part of your course. You pulled quotations and not one, not a single one can suggest anything negative about the gentleman or the appointment. What I did do is to do as they do in places around the world inclusive of the USA, that is to say if we will appoint, we can scrutinise, and we should not make assumptions unless we know and use the facts.
    As a matter of interest, I speak because I want to speak. I write because I want to write. In the event, and that is very doubtful, if I decided to run for politics, I would have nothing to hide. My life is my life, the good and the bad. I am not a saint, never was, and now you can use this against me, I do not bury my head in the sand. My friend, I would rather advocate on behalf of those who are marginalised, have no voice, or are the forgotten faces in Barbadian society than represent the kind that you may find succour in your times of attack on a man who has done nothing else but express an opinion (mild at that).
    I am sure that you entreat a greater peril for me than I would have anticipated. To deliberately even with the flimsiest of pieces of quotes that in no way suggest that I am double-speaking on the matter tells me that you are discourteous and very close to being dishonest.


  34. Anonymous August 18, 2010 at 6:09 AM #

    @GCB. Man, when you write directly and unamiguously (as I think has already been pointed out to you) it is readable, intellegent and compelling. When you start to use a lot of ambiguity and big words and pseudo-intellectual drivel, it is boring. I think (but I cannot speak for him) that is what people like Adrian are teasing you about. What I do is just start to read what you have to say. The minute the language strays from direct to PPP (prevaricating, pompous and pretentious), I move on to the next comment.


  35. ac August 18, 2010 at 6:11 PM #


    Sorry buddy. Those are your words not mine!Maybe you should slow down the thought process before putting it into high gear. No i wish no evil on anyone.However I find your post very thought provoking and I hope you will continue to submit them.


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