CJ Marston Gibson Has Mountain To Climb

Chief Justice Marston Gibson

… we have a lot of blogs [BU] on the subject, but don’t you think that two months has been enough time for the CJ to have clearly thrown down some kind of gauntlet?
…like a maximum time for a judgement to be completed or else….
…like an analysis of outstanding judgements and serious actions taken against the worse defaulters. When can we expect some kind of action? In 11 years or so…? –
Bush Tea


Barbadians who expect the job of incoming CJ to be a breeze obviously have no appreciation for the  gargantuan task which confronts the gentleman. To those who expected significant changes or announcements after two months is like turning water into wine. The Barbados Judiciary has been decaying for for several years despite plaudits and conferral of knighthoods. The yardstick to measure the efficiency of Barbados Courts must be the extent to which justice is denied because it was delayed. Palatial judicial buildings,  wig clad QCs, smooth talking Attorney Generals, comparison to other jurisdictions mean nothing unless matters are processed efficiently and justice is seemed to be done.

If the task of the CJ was one hindered by the lack of resources, financial or human, Barbadians would have cause to be optimistic. The gargantuan task becomes vivid now that the CJ has had time to appreciate that key personnel in the judiciary and support government departments lack the know how to administer the system efficiently.

Here are a few examples to assist with outlining the challenge which the CJ faces:

Costs: Unlike some other countries, when the Registrar taxes costs in a matter, it is done based on the entire file. All the particulars of letters written when, what affidavits have been drafted and filed etc. are considered to determine hours.  In some other jurisdictions, the rules applied are different, for example counsel are required to submit itemised bills of costs. Many members of the judiciary appear to be ignorant of the Barbados rules and try to apply rules from other countries, like the UK.  Even the judges suffer from this education deficit of Barbados rules.

Letters to the Registrar: Ordinary Barbadians and companies struggling in the harsh economic environment have to pay good money to the army of lawyers to write letters to the Registrar. When the Registrar does not respond – and BU does not care what the reason is – it means more money has to be spent to repeat the process.

Access to Judges: So many time lawyers on both sides have asked to speak to judges pre-trial on matters that might be considered to be pre-trial motions. To be expected, what is normally a routine request in other countries it is impossible to get a response in Barbados. Such a process usually has the effect of speeding up matters. We have cases which have been lodged in our court system for 12 years, incredible but true.

Lack of knowledge of law and the rules: Every time an under qualified person makes a mistake in the Judiciary or government department that supports the Judiciary there is a cost. Money and time then has to be spent correcting it. Obviously if it is not corrected, it propagates and the system becomes trapped in a sea of inefficiency. The enormity of the task for CJ Gibson becomes apparent when these wrongs are repeated in an aged old system. In this scenario ordinary Barbadians become hostage by a system meant to dispense justice in their favour but fails to deliver because John Citizen does not have the money to right the wrong.

If CJ Gibson is to make a mark Barbadians will have to embrace some realities: At the same time Government must work with the CJ by making available the required resources and ‘muscle’.


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66 Comments on “CJ Marston Gibson Has Mountain To Climb”

  1. Paul Barnes December 21, 2011 at 6:22 AM #

    David – What are legal insiders saying? Does the new CJ look like he is making any progress tackling the ascent of the mountain? Is he busy scouting the terrain, reviewing his maps, checking his climbing equipment, assembling his base camp and support team? There is a lot of preparation required to make a serious attempt to conquer Everest. And it certainly is not a one-man endeavour.

    Or does he even appear to be a capable mountaineer at all?


  2. Yardbroom December 21, 2011 at 7:52 AM #

    A “competent” Chief Justice will not move into the Judiciary cracking whips, that would be a sure sign of incompetence.

    He will use sound judgment in analysing the power structures that he will undoubtedly have to confront. He will try to ascertain who are like minded to his objectives.

    He will show no favours but let it be known by his actions that there is a bridge available for those who wish to cross over.

    He will firm his footing before he moves but he will not play to the public gallery for effect.

    You have not engaged a rampaging bull, you have appointed a Chief Justice.


  3. Carson C. Cadogan December 21, 2011 at 8:47 AM #

    Anyone coming after Simmons will have two mountains on top of each other to climb.

    He was a waste of time.


  4. ac December 21, 2011 at 9:28 AM #

    I guess theCJ has already figured that it is hard to store new wine in old bottles.


  5. Bush Tea December 21, 2011 at 10:17 AM #

    @ David

    Yardbroom sounds like a typical local civil servant….give it time…

    Anyone with any idea of change management can see that the ONLY way to improve the local judiciary is to do the following:

    1 – Engage an outsider who is ingrained in a system that actually works. David Thompson understood enough to do that.

    2 – The person must be at the very TOP of the organization with the POWER to enforce change – that matter was fixed!

    3 – The change must be instituted from the very start – ELSE THE SYSTEM WILL OVERWHELM THE “CATALYST” AND RENDER HIM INERT….. and instead of changing a critical system, he will find himself talking shite at speech days and independence parades.
    This is exactly how civil servants “handle” ministers who start with high intentions…

    Gibson should START by laying down the law on what he expects; what will NOT be tolerated; and what the penalties for non conformance will be.

    Then he should identify a few tjokers to be made examples of ( any one of us can do that with our eyes closed) and reward those who make the needed changes


    Better men than him have tried the Yardbroom approach.

    ….or failing this wanna can always wait a few months and see how BBE, through the Bushman will do it….


  6. David December 21, 2011 at 10:27 AM #


    There are so many political structures at play here.

    Depending on who you speak to the story changes.

    He has the support of the Bar and the government but it will take more than lip service. Understand Bush Tea’s position but a two month report card is pushing it.

    The fear is if the government changes. If Gibson is to achieve any headway he must have political support.


  7. Amused December 21, 2011 at 10:42 AM #

    @Bush Tea. Agree, but a two month report card, as David says, is pushing it. But you are 100% correct in what is needed and what will happen if things are allowed to slide.


  8. millertheanunnaki December 21, 2011 at 10:57 AM #

    @ Bush Tea | December 21, 2011 at 10:17 AM |
    “Gibson should START by laying down the law on what he expects; what will NOT be tolerated; and what the penalties for non conformance will be.”

    I want to support you on this one. It’s time the lay citizens demand a higher standard of performance from these so-called professionals in which the taxpayers have invested outrageously vast sums of money in educating even up to UWI level. This level of inertia and incompetence should not be acceptable.
    Please don’t come with the excuse of “they want training and educating”.
    Its not only ironic but also hypocritical how an agency like NISE can make pronouncements on the quality of service provided by lowly (and low paid) service providers who have to put up with a generally rude, haughty public (and in some cases with a supercilious “don’t you know who I am” attitude) yet allow this obvious case of exceedingly poor service delivery go unscathed for so long.
    But one can be assured that any time you encounter a business or organisation with poor service delivery it is the Management” of that entity or system which can be fingered for such a poor state of affairs.


  9. Yardbroom December 21, 2011 at 1:04 PM #

    Hi Bush Tea,
    I am “not” a local civil servant and have never been one, that said there is no axe grinding from my quarter against them. However, I do have some experience as to how the Judiciary works. When Mr. Gibson’s proposed appointment was first mentioned on this blog (BU) and others said he should say this and that. I cautioned against that course of action, because I knew before long there would be trenchant opposition from some quarters, and so it was….I will leave it at that.


  10. Amused December 21, 2011 at 1:26 PM #

    @millertheanunnaki. As you can see, Bushy has my support as well. However, I do NOT agree with you on the issue of education. Like any other university education, it does not cover the practical aspects. You learn the theory at university, but only experience and on-the-job training can provide practical knowledge. In most North American firms, there is ongoing training, particularly for support staff. There are almost yearly amendments to the rules of procedure and it is required for staff to be educated on these. In most North American firms, they have a special section whose job it is to train all members of the firm, including the lawyers, on the computer systems that the individual firms use, from word processing to Excel to whatever docketing system they use. They train on use of scanners etc. and this training generally is mandatory for all, including even the most senior lawyers of those firms. If you view the Supreme Court, Magistrates Courts and their support organisations etc. as being akin to a large law firm (which is exactly what it is, in fact – or should be) this ongoing education is vital. In large country-wide firms, all the systems are as one and you can pull up documents drafted in New York from Texas, for instance, as soon as they are saved. These systems even extend to the ability to draft a document and, instead of attaching it to an e-mail to send to another city in another state or province, you can print it from New York on the printer of the person who you want to receive it in Texas. Then there are systems for tracking changes to documents by “legal redline” the best of which is not provided by Microsoft, but by a system called “DeltaView”. Such a system would allow orders to be drafted and sent to all counsel involved, the changes of each counsel to be made and shown and finally for the completed document to be sent to the judge through the system for his or her changes, before it is agreed and accepted and then signed by the judge. And there is a chain of evidence generated in the computer that demonstrates each step. The saving in terms of time is unbelievably enormous and it is extremely cost effective. BUT IT REQUIRES ONGOING TRAINING AND EDUCATION!!!! And far from being a major time problem, these sessions usually take about an hour to an hour and a half every two weeks or every month or so. There is absolutely no reason why education on the rules of procedure cannot be dealt with in the same way. The problem, as I see it, will be to identify the areas on an ongoing basis where clarification and education is needed (based largely on where errors are identified as having been made) and manuals produced that are constantly subject to update and arranged in such a manner that they are an easy reference guide. The Courts are, in fact, one of the largest law firms around and it is time to start running them as such, as if they are businesses dependant on results and not sinecures for life where people merely mark time until they can retire and draw pensions – which then brings me right back to Bushy’s insightful and completely correct and appropriate comments.


  11. David December 21, 2011 at 1:45 PM #

    Some of you who use anti virus AVG got a virus alert between last night and early this morning when attempting to post on BU. Please note this is an AVG issue and not BU and those affected should update AVG on their systems.


  12. Bush Tea December 21, 2011 at 2:32 PM #

    @ Amused
    Bushie is not asking for a report card after only 2 months. That would be crazy. What is needed is an ACTION PLAN and some kind of commitment to CHANGE. The longer he delays the more he will become acclimatized and ineffective as a change agent.

    @ Yardie
    You know full well that Bushie was pulling your leg… But the point is that the kind of change needed in our courts is revolutionary, not gradual. The time for nice orderly change has long passed.

    @ Miller
    Agreed that there is great hyprocracy in our NISE approach which always seem to focus on the lower level employees when everyone knows that the root problem AND RESPONSIBILITY lies with those at the top.
    This is exactly why drastic and urgent action is needed from Gibson.
    Unless he is willing and able to dismiss at least two or three High Court judges within the next six months he could as well pack up and go long back to NY.


  13. Yardbroom December 21, 2011 at 2:51 PM #

    Hi Bush Tea,
    As always I respect your position…..but do not agree with it at this juncture. Nothing is worse than a General who shouts charge!!! only to look behind him and there is no one there.


  14. lemuel December 21, 2011 at 3:03 PM #

    To Bushie;
    I am supporting your position here, but within management systems, the change agent never gets the chance to manage the organization that she or he has transformed. Lawyers are pedantic, not giving to too much originality or thought, except outside the realms of taking from their clients. For the most part they KNOW the rules and with this knowing of the RULES they scheme and manipulate entire societies into believing how smart and awesome they can be.

    Marston Gibson is no exception, and he too shall fall in line and become very familiar with the abuse of judicial power and those 1/2 days every day. In any other society with good governance, most of our judges would spend time in prison. Remember the CJ who retired to the south of France; do you know how expensive the south of France is? The small fry that has be coming before the courts recently is only a drop in a big ocean of judicial miasma.


  15. David December 21, 2011 at 3:36 PM #

    @Bush Tea

    Understand your point but CJ Gibson must be given a reasonable time to familiarize himself with the units under his span of control and influence. Then he needs to be given addition time to evaluate and assess using his value judgment. He has not had enough time given the enormity of the task he confronts.


  16. Amused December 21, 2011 at 4:11 PM #

    @Bushie. Well, as you know I completely agree that the Chief has to fire some judges and very soon. Truth is, he needs to fire most of them. The level of incompetence in the judiciary is alarming. Every time I read a judgement I ask myself first, “I wonder what c*** this jackass gon write this time?” And I hear the cash registers in chambers ringing joyously as counsel contemplate the bonanza of grounds of appeal these judges have provided them with. Sleepy was right. Judges in Barbados DO think they have a constitutional right to be stupid – and man do they exercise that right to the fullest.


  17. Sunshine Sunny Shine December 21, 2011 at 4:11 PM #

    Eight weeks is not enugh time for the CJ to affect change.


  18. Sunshine Sunny Shine December 21, 2011 at 4:17 PM #

    Some of you with all your rhetoric are being just plain rediculous.


  19. Amused December 21, 2011 at 4:20 PM #

    @Sunshine Sunny Shine. You want to see rediculous? Go visit the courts!


  20. BAFBFP December 21, 2011 at 4:53 PM #

    Wunna mekkin’ out this Gibson guy to be big shit … well here is the thing, he is undoubtedly a first class academic, but he has absolutely no credentials as an administrator. I vote Freundal “Stasis” Stuart fah Chief Justice … Clear some space in Cabinet …!


  21. millertheanunnaki December 21, 2011 at 5:21 PM #

    @ BAFBFP | December 21, 2011 at 4:53 PM |

    But BAF, if you get rid of “Stasis” who will run things? Only one left worthy of your consideration. That is the gun-slinging Doc. Unless you want to see the fellow engineer “soft” fellow float to the top of the sh**t pile!


  22. BAFBFP December 21, 2011 at 5:47 PM #

    Doc fah PM … Doc fah PM …! 🙂


  23. millertheanunnaki December 21, 2011 at 5:51 PM #

    @ Amused | December 21, 2011 at 1:26 PM |
    If you view the Supreme Court, Magistrates Courts and their support organisations etc. as being akin to a large law firm (which is exactly what it is, in fact – or should be) this ongoing education is vital. ”

    I must agree with you that “continuing professional development” is a “sine qua non” for all professionals offering their services to the public or working for organisations.
    But tell me, how would you explain sending a person to prison for using marijuana or “stealing” a can of sardines or corned beef? Why not community service as in the case of a gun offence?
    Consistency and fairness are not principles one must be continually trained to apply. But lawyers are in business and money makes the mare fly, not so?


  24. lemuel December 21, 2011 at 6:21 PM #

    To Miller:
    What is worse is that ALL the legal people are trying to get this Pilot off who was smuggling DRUGS into Barbados, and a whole set of it. But his family is known politically and legally so he shall journey with community services to be done in his homeland. And the sardine thieves still remain behind bars. I like the magistrate Deborah Holder; has not for her recent cases against lawyers would not have been dealt with properly.


  25. David December 21, 2011 at 6:24 PM #


    MME responded to you on the ultra sound blog…fyi.



  26. Notunusual December 21, 2011 at 6:53 PM #

    A blind man on a galloping horse can see that the judicial system is in a mess and it reflects badly on us as a nation – it points to immaturity in self governance. The lawyers who run the system at all levels – as they become the magistrates and judges should hang their heads in shame – they are engendering a national travesty. BUT we must give Marston Gibson the support and reasonable time to get it sorted. I’d like to see BU setout the goals that we collectively would like to attained and on the first of every month or every quarter, give a grade in each area. Onr thing for sure the timeline will not be a few weeks. If CJ Gibson can clean the system up in 2-3 years, we should make a statute to him in Heroe’s Square. From all appearances he has the wherewithall to do it.


  27. Bush Tea December 21, 2011 at 6:57 PM #

    @ David and Yardbroom
    What give him what reasonable time what?!!

    It is time that Bajans come to realize that we live in the real world and that while BBE does in fact have a distinct leaning towards this little rock, we are intended to GROW UP.

    If The new CJ came and took up that job (after a full year’s delay for legal reasons, and after months of questions, objections and dilly-dallying ) without a good understanding of what to expect; and without a clear plan of action; then we can all forget about any chance of improvements in that sector.

    This would be the only justification for the CJ to sit around for months doing nothing and allowing himself to become tainted with the same nonsense that he is supposed to eradicate.
    You mean to tell this bushman that it is not obvious that this is the same trap that the DLP has fallen onto after criticizing the BLP? They came and sat around with the very same civil servants and ran the same errands – being sent off to give menial, conformist speeches – and to quickly get caught up in the same arrangements, contracts and connections that they were elected to deal with.

    In short time they had to become defensive of the very system that they were to improve……stupsssss. Sigh!!!!

    In a few more months, Mr Gibson will be defending the ‘excellent’ work of HIS people and will be able to articulate exactly why Bajans should grin and bare the ongoing shite that passes for justice on this rock. That is UNLESS he takes a clear, public and transparent stand UP FRONT that disassociates himself from the existing low standards.

    When will you folk realize that the bushman KNOWS what he is speaking about…? have a look at the approach that the Trinidadians took when they acquired previously shabby institutions like the former BNB…… Or find out how the Canadians have gone about the task of ‘Canadianizing’ BL&P….. Or how successful people like Bizzy operates…

    This is not a subject for someone who never even managed a snow cone cart, so Bushie will not respond to any ‘sunny sunshine’ emotional , feel- good’ , rhetoric; except to say that the challenge of bringing some of the most powerful and well established high flyers in society into line, to properly serve the general public is not one for the faint of heart or the slow of wit…..


  28. Bush Tea December 21, 2011 at 7:03 PM #

    …and folks, let us get our moot straight. Bushie is NOT talking about the CJ getting the system all sorted out in weeks or months… Hell if he can make a 10% improvement in a year he would be “bush tea ready”.

    Bushie is talking about NOT allowing himself to be entrapped into the system and neutralized.

    …If he start wrong there is only one way he will end….


  29. BAFBFP December 21, 2011 at 7:17 PM #

    “… have a look at the approach that the Trinidadians took when they acquired previously shabby institutions like the former BNB…… Or find out how the Canadians have gone about the task of ‘Canadianizing’ BL&P….. Or how successful people like Bizzy operates…”

    But all these people don’ earn a f*ckin’ cent in FX fah Ba’bados, not one cent. In fact not only are they net extractors of FX, they feed off ah people like me, the Bajan consumer who in many instances have absolutely no choice but to utilize their services, at a juck out yah eye price …! No, these people do not impress. BNB in any event (and they will be changing their name very soon) acquired ALL of the Government business, ALL of the Credit Union business with none of the debt … what a steal… that is not good business, that is just disparate assassin governance …


  30. BAFBFP December 21, 2011 at 7:21 PM #

    And make no mistake, BL&P was ‘Canadianized’ thru the same process, a desperate Government in need of FX selling its citizens as a market to a foreign concern and pretending that there was in fact a need for a rate review hearing that was to serve in the interest of the same citizens… We are f*cked …!


  31. Bush Tea December 21, 2011 at 8:16 PM #

    @ BAFBFP
    Don’t you think that you should ease off the lemonade?
    You very acid nowadays. Man trek it easy – try and alkalyse yourself a bit nuh….you will feel a lot better.
    The issue is not the nature of the business mentioned, it is the management effectiveness in achieving desired results.

    By the way your FOREX paranoia, while in many ways understandable, should not neglect or belittle the role of domestic contributions.

    The situation where one family member goes to work to bring home a salary while another stays at home and raised the family and builds the home is identical, – and no one nowadays questions the value of the domestic contributions. In fact, in cases where most members focus on external wages ( or FOREX) we know that the overall results in the family are disastrous.


  32. Hants December 21, 2011 at 8:28 PM #

    BAFBFP |wrote “BL&P was ‘Canadianized’.

    Al least Hants Canadian family will be buying shares. Hope other Bajanadians will do the same.


  33. BAFBFP December 21, 2011 at 8:40 PM #


    I plan to start the lemonade in a couple ah days. This is the las’ bit of venting fah de year, and you gone an instigate it…

    FX paranoia is a good thing, a damned good thing. It is the lack of appreciation of its relevance that will see the death of us all. Barbados’ economic model CANNOT be seen as a family, it is NOT. Neither my parents nor my siblings nor my extended had a need to charge me big money for being a part of the family. BL&P is not my family, nor is Bizzy Williams, business man, Amused, CCC, Caswell Franklyn, Halsall or any of these service providers that feed off of the ground that is the Barbadian public. This is NOT family. If they were family they would get off their lazy backsides and try to exploit Canadians and Trinidadians in an effort to earn income as a family, NOT sit back and exploit their own …. see the differnce?


  34. BAFBFP December 21, 2011 at 8:42 PM #


    You do that, then when I become influential enough to effect a Nationalization program, I gun mek sure you lose every red cent …:)


  35. Bush Tea December 21, 2011 at 9:04 PM #

    No wonder you are so prone to be banned…. Of course they are your family. You may selfishly guard your own personal assets, but that does not divorce you from your family – just make you a black sheep.

    Why don’t you force your wife, children, in-laws and siblings to go out and work for hard dollars and see what kind of family you would have…!
    A rIch one, no doubt, but there are more important values.

    Like all things, we need a balance…and due respect for all the important roles.


  36. BAFBFP December 21, 2011 at 9:59 PM #

    No no man, you have this thing all wrong. Big time. I will not be related to anyone who sees me as a commodity to be exploited. You may very well be guilty of living in the past Bushman …! My wife, children, in-laws and siblings understand the unity that goes beyond earning potential but also they understand the need to develop that potential. In this Ba’bados that I live in today, it is yah brek fah yaself, and fool the rest that you is a family … ask Andrew Bynoe or Brugga Johnson, Cthru Arthur or Stasis Stuart, brek fah hyaself hear and yah family … and let the devil tek the hindmost … pragmatic, fah real!


  37. Hants December 22, 2011 at 1:48 AM #

    I just read the Nationnews report on the jerkum case. In the spirit of the season I will not be too harsh but the reported comment by the magistrate with regards to the DPP tells me that the Justice system in Barbados truly needs reform.

    The contortions these legal eagles” went through to get the desired result clearly shows that you get the best result if you can retain the best lawyers.

    Will this case set a precedent for future cases?


  38. Sunshine Sunny Shine December 22, 2011 at 6:52 AM #


    It is what it is in Barbados because know one has the balls to challenge the nonsense that happens here. Even now the most that any of us can do is vent our fustrations via this medium. You tell me, if a concerted effort is not made by the people to force thte government to change the crappy systems that purposely delay the cause of justice how else are we going to see the change we desire so greatly.

    I know and you know that the judiciary is poor-rakey to say the least but putting pressure on the new CJ so early in his tenure after only 8 weeks in that seat is not enough justification to say that the man will not do anything or that he will soon be drafted into the ole boys club. I believe about 6 months should be enough time for him to figure out what he is dealing with then he can put a plan of action in place to deal with. This CJ comes over as a person who knows what he has to do. Compared to the former CJ Marston Gibson has brought a breeze of fresh air; lets hope it is breeze that remains fresh and not get stale.


  39. David December 22, 2011 at 7:07 AM #

    CJ Marston Gibson’s job can be liken to President Obama. He will need the support of many and this is where is has to demonstrate his leadership capability, his previous job would have supported he has the administrative and intellectual disposition to do the job. We are looking for leadership!


  40. Sunshine Sunny Shine December 22, 2011 at 7:15 AM #


    YOu know how leadership goes in Barbados. Strings attached to every aspect of the leader makes him a useful puppet to do bidding and conform to the wishes of the people who really rule and control this little island. If the new CJ allows himself to become entagled in that yoke, he will be no different than the last CJ. We need leadership yes but leadership that will not be influence by the little shine things and other trinkets of joy and comfort


  41. David December 22, 2011 at 7:20 AM #


    The result in the case with Johan Bjerkhamn is not entirely unexpected. Remember we dealt with it in a previous blog.



  42. BAFBFP December 22, 2011 at 7:55 AM #

    I wid Sunshine Sunny Shine except for one thing … the strings done attache… long time. This man was CHOSEN by operatives in an already corrupted environment.


  43. David December 22, 2011 at 8:01 AM #


    By your fuzzy(?) logic the system does not have the capacity to select a competent CJ.


  44. Christmas December 22, 2011 at 8:58 AM #

    Sir Roy Trotman’s take on the unfortunate Eager 11 confusion in Bdos Today is the most sensible so far kudos to the Duke of York for his reasoned thought provoking analysis.


  45. lemuel December 22, 2011 at 9:27 AM #

    To BAFBFP:
    Your socialist model has gone down the drain. You now have utter contempt for lesser mortals. But your deterministic materialistic shift shall haunt you forever more. Where ever you put that FX it shall be a risk. There are no safe havens any more. But remember the life is built on a system of relationships. If it were not so who could refer to as economic parasites who feed off your brilliant efforts at making FX. Ponder on these things for next year, and the drink can not quash the need to free the man from his materialistic cycle!


  46. Hants December 22, 2011 at 4:18 PM #

    David wrote “Remember we dealt with it in a previous blog”

    What you didn’t deal with is the reported statement that the magistrate said that the DPP was wrong to charge him on the lesser count.

    It is “typically Barbadian not to discuss this case on the blog.

    At least wunna showing nuff mercy dese days. Thanks to Bobby Clarke two more get out a dodds after 25 years,


  47. David December 22, 2011 at 4:21 PM #


    What would be your charge if your were DPP?


  48. Hants December 22, 2011 at 4:27 PM #

    @ David. Ask the magistrate and the BU legal experts.

    Hants is not a Lawyer.


  49. Yardbroom December 22, 2011 at 5:25 PM #

    I will go out on a limb here and I know I will get some licks….but so it is.

    (1) Some are against Bjerkhamn because he is white.
    (2) Some are against him because he is perceived as rich.
    (3) Some are dissatisfied with the sentence because of the nature of the offence.

    The first two hold no traction in “Law” people are allowed to be white and rich in Barbados; as they are allowed to be black and rich.

    So to the third element was he reckless, was there intent. Should someone with his experience or a reasonable person know not to clean a weapon as he was alleged to have done in the circumstances.

    After conviction, he was charged he did not make the charge – therefore not his fault- that is the duty of the prosecution.

    What is the purpose of the sentence:
    (a) Punishment
    (b) Rehabilitation
    (c) To protect the public
    (d) Or a combination

    How best can the above be achieved.

    There are many ills in the judicial system in Barbados we cannot sentence him because of them to show our disgust.

    We must have a “structured” way to arrive at failr decisions in Law.
    When the shouts go up, crucify him!! crucify him!! it is not good enough to be first in the line shouting “I have the hammer and nails” – that is not what justice is about.

    That attitude will not improve a culture which is endemic in Barbados, it will only demonstrate the culture that spawns such thinking. That is why it will take The Chief Justice Marston Gibson “time” to turn this oil tanker around.


  50. Hants December 22, 2011 at 9:23 PM #

    I hope that the same care, compassion and empathy shown to Bjerkham will be shown to all of those who go before the courts of Barbados.

    For example all those who are in Jail awaiting trial for possessing a gun should be released on bail. If they haven’t used the gun to commit a crime they should be home with their families.


  51. David December 22, 2011 at 9:26 PM #


    You are trivializing the matter.


  52. Hants December 22, 2011 at 9:40 PM #

    My apologies to you David for trivializing the matter. I will not comment any further.


  53. David December 22, 2011 at 9:49 PM #


    Why are you so sensitive on the matter?

    The magistrate already outlined her hands were tied in the maxium sentence she could have administered.

    The DPP is the person who determined the pat this case should follow.

    You should read Yardbroom’s submission, a boy was killed but how did it happened? what evidence should the Court use to evaluate and issue sentence?

    People from all walks of live walk out of Barbados Courts monthly after being chaged with involuntary manslaufghter. It is nothing new.


  54. Carson C. Cadogan December 22, 2011 at 10:53 PM #


    Min. Steve Blackette’s father died this morning in Canada. RIP.


  55. Bush Tea December 22, 2011 at 11:03 PM #

    @ Hants
    Sounds like you would want to punish someone for committing suicide.
    Foolishly and carelessly causing the death of your own and only beloved son is MUCH worse a fate than suicide…..

    What possible further punishment would (could) you recommend?


  56. Hants December 22, 2011 at 11:10 PM #

    @Bush Tea
    I am no longer commenting on the matter.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous new year.


  57. ac December 22, 2011 at 11:19 PM #

    come on Hants defend your position.No one likes a quitter. i think you have good grounds for cause and reason. i am the thirtheen juror. now plea your case .


  58. Hants December 22, 2011 at 11:54 PM #

    @ac merry Christmas to you and yours. I quitting the negativity and starting up the niceness now.

    I taking Johnny For a Walk er… outta de likka cabinet to start de season off real good.


  59. ac December 23, 2011 at 12:03 AM #

    look hants take the party on de merry xmas blog i gonna be ova there to have a drink wid you.BAF and kikik and de slandgal and others stop by i tink David is de DJ. so bring de licka and we can partiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitill Xmas, BTW i see GEORGIE PORGIE he drop by but didn’t say toomuch. Lookin fuh yuh ova day uh here.


  60. lemuel December 23, 2011 at 8:07 AM #

    To Yard Broom:;
    You really can not be serious. There are too many instances in Barbados where having money made a difference in the way you are treated by the police, public prosecutors and the judiciary. Remember N. E. Wilson rape case; remember Duman killing his wife; remember Mick Jagger’s wife and her dope in the suit case, and remember currently the pilot bring dope to Barbados. What do you tell the sardine thief who is given time for a tin of sardines. What are we saying about what kind of society we are. The only person who responded well to him killing his son were the Americans. They put him in JAIL; we brought him back and gave him bail and leave to vacation in Miami. Yard Broom do not continue to sell your soul! Take the white thing off the table!!


  61. David December 23, 2011 at 8:13 AM #


    Having money allows those to buy the best legal and it is not unique to Barbados. We have to separate the issues.


  62. lemuel December 23, 2011 at 9:57 AM #

    To David:
    If he had done what he did in the US the book would have been thrown at him. His expensive lawyers would then have to figure out how to extricate him. The DDP slapped him on the wrist and no one in Barbados was surprised at least not me. I do not have a problem with rich people purchasing their representation; I have a problem with us always capitulating when we need to enforce the law. the DPP should be held accountable for this madness that Barbara Cook had to deal with.


  63. David December 23, 2011 at 10:36 AM #


    Agree that the focus should be on the DPP and not the decision by the court. The maximum sentence under the charge was 3 months.


  64. lemuel December 23, 2011 at 11:22 AM #

    To David:
    The DPP is a powerful office and Caswell or one of the other legal eagles would have to indicate what are the provisions for reigning or censuring the holder of the office. But on the surface it looks really bad. Barbados can not seriously talk about approaching first world status if this is the way we dispense justice. Right now we are just below the rank of banana republic. That office ALONE decides what and how the accused shall be charged. I think the current DPP may have been in that position too long. They need to make room and make him a judge, at least the accused can appeal.


  65. Yardbroom December 23, 2011 at 12:03 PM #

    Hi lemuel Dec, 23, 2011 at 8:07am
    I am very serious indeed.

    When you are in a position to administer the Laws of the land you are not there to be vindictive.

    That “some” in Barbados have failed to perform that function – of fairness in Law – satisfactorily is no reason for me to climb into that vortex.

    We talk of the white man this, and the white man that.

    The “truth” is there are few places in the world that a black population have as much power at their disposal as they do in Barbados; do we use it satisfactorily? No, we do not and that is not the fault of the white man, that is our fault.

    You have bought into building the white man as some sort of bogey man; wrong focus, focus on what black people “collectively” can do that is how real progress can be made.

    You must endeavour to change the system which allows the decisions to which you have alluded to happen. There is a cancer at the root here and if he was given “fifty years” in Dodds that would not change the system.

    Any-how this is Christmas have a happy holiday with family and friends.


  66. ac December 24, 2011 at 7:39 AM #

    One can help but wonder in the Berjkham case giving the same circumstances if this was a poor person if he would be free to spend time with his loved ones at Xmas or would he be still awaiting trial locked up in Dodds until whenever . One can;t help but Wonder! So to downplay the Money card and only focus on Race is disingenuous and shortsighted. there is a saying.”Money talks bull sh…t walks”


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