Bail

To Bail or NOT to Bail?

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart and Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart and Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite

A recent statement by Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart which suggested he was ‘hit for six’ b the fact individuals charged with heinous crimes have been granted bail by the Courts. This has had the effect of traumatizing our small societies where the culprits are very well known. The following Barbados Advocate addresses the matter in a pointed way – The Barbados Advocate (10/05/2016)

The issue of the grant or denial of bail to certain accused offenders has recently re-entered the public discourse. This was generated to a significant extent by the admission of the Prime Minister at a media luncheon last Friday that he had been “hit for six” on learning that a murder accused had been granted bail, as he wondered aloud at the likely reaction of a relative of the victim encountering the accused in the supermarket or elsewhere in public. Earlier, we had heard calls from a few members of the Criminal Bar for there to be some consistency and even certainty in the principles governing the grant of bail for drugs offences by magistrates.

The Prime Minister was immediately taken to task for his comments that were described by one attorney as being “out of touch with the realities of the delivery of justice in the country”.

We are not sure what this criticism means. Was the Prime Minister making a legal point that the law does not permit the grant of bail to murder accused so that the judicial officer had acted inappropriately or was he simply asserting a sentiment felt by many citizens that there should be no legal possibility of this occurrence?

If the first, he is plainly incorrect since local law, unlike some others, does not expressly prohibit the grant of bail to one accused of murder, even though one relevant consideration in that determination is “the nature and seriousness of the offence or default…”

The second, however, is more excusable, since it merely amounts to an assertion that were he the officer, he would not have granted bail to such an accused, a sentiment that should resonate with more than a few Barbadians. In other words, that he would have exercised his discretion differently. Similar sentiments were expressed in New South Wales, Australia, two years ago when an accused wife killer was legally granted bail. One anti-violence campaigner described it as a “slap in the face” to murder victims and their families.

It may be precisely this general sentiment that lies at the heart of the criticism of the inconsistent bail rulings levelled by some members of the Criminal Bar. The cry for certainty in a circumstance where decisions are made on the basis of personal judgment appears misplaced and would amount to a constraint on the judicial officer, thereby removing the discretionary nature of his or her decision and converting bail decisions into a matter of precedent.

On the occasion on which he spoke, the Prime Minister promised to consult with the Attorney General on the matter, but he must have forgotten that the Honourable Attorney General had in April publicly dismissed any suggestion that the Bail Act should be amended so that those charged with murder should have no entitlement to bail in the High Court, “Rather”, he had declared, “what needs to be done is that the court process must be sped up…”

Indeed, the notorious relative sloth of the local court process is no mean contributor to the grant of bail in these cases where, according to the Bail Act, another relevant consideration is “the length of time the defendant would spend in custody if the court were to remand the defendant…” [BU’s emphasis]

The decision as to whether or not bail should be granted on a criminal charge locally involves a collision between the presumption of innocence, the need to ensure the presence of the accused at the trial and the constitutional right of the accused to be afforded a hearing before an impartial tribunal within a reasonable time.

It is within these bounds and those considerations expressed in the Act only that the decision must be made.

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56 Comments on “To Bail or NOT to Bail?”

  1. Well Well & Consequences June 11, 2016 at 8:29 AM #

    Many attorneys would be frustrated that there are not enough judges at the court…which we hear should be remedied soon, but not soon enough, it’s overdue because ofvthe incompetence of the ministers in parliament to legislate and laziness of the attorney general of the last 8 years and the past attorneys general of the last 3 decades.

    Frustrated because of the police never being ready with their files for the cases to proceed….frustrated because the judicial processes are too slow and need upgrading….frustrated because other attorneys wilfully and maliciously hold up the processes becsuse of useless procedures which need uograding…..frustrated because the judges do not have enough powers to stop malicious attorneys from wasting the court’s and everyone’s time with needless and unnecassary delays in bringing court related matters to an immediate end…..particularly personal injury cases, divorce cases etc….it’s the antiquated procedures and rules at the court that the useless parliamentarians refuse to do their jobs and upgrade.

    Insurance companies should not in 2016 be allowed to misuse the court to drag out personal injury matters simply because they do not want to pay the claimants and for no other reason, but to see if the claimants would die….judges should be able to dispense with those types of nuisance delays….in short order….the same goes for all the other unnecessary, time consuming delays…free up the judge’s time.

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  2. David June 11, 2016 at 8:36 AM #

    @Chief Justice, Attorney General et al

    Will increasing the number of judges and magistrates address the issue of lawyers not being present, files missing and the myriad of other issues which impact the timely delivery of justice in Barbados? Where is the analysis to show how it will reduce the backlog. If the prima facie evidence points to the accused being the murderer how should the bench factor this when exercising discretion for bail?

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  3. Bernard Codrington. June 11, 2016 at 8:43 AM #

    One important new development is that the Barbadian society has become too litigious. Every man looking for revenge.Every man looking for a piece of change. Failure to settle things outside of the Law courts. Every man and child have rights and are seeking to exercise them. The consequences are expansion of the Judiciary and the prisons. When will it all end?

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  4. Saffyah June 11, 2016 at 8:48 AM #

    This man lives on mars even the school children knows this info. He is definitly not in touch with reality sigh

    Shalom

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  5. balance June 11, 2016 at 9:06 AM #

    “Bernard Codrington. June 11, 2016 at 8:43 AM #

    One important new development is that the Barbadian society has become too litigious. Every man looking for revenge.Every man looking for a piece of change. Failure to settle things outside of the Law courts. Every man and child have rights and are seeking to exercise them. The consequences are expansion of the Judiciary and the prisons. When will it all end?’


    An insightful post but every matter cannot be settled outside of court and perhaps that is why there are courts for redress of such matters for instance defamation of character

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  6. Pieceuhderockyeahright June 11, 2016 at 10:02 AM #

    The attorney who is quoted as saying Fumble is “out of touch with the realities of the delivery of justice in the country” is being kind with his statement which should have read “Fumbles comments about bail for the accused in a murder trial are out of touch with the realities of being domiciled in any cuntry” on earth!”

    Some people are really not in touch with reality as this article here about a rapists at Stanford University underscores http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36375300

    The issue in summary deals with the six-month jail sentence handed to a Stanford university student who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.

    THe boy’s father actually tweeted that his son “did not deserve a long sentence, for “20 minutes of action”, because he had no prior criminal history and had never been violent toward anyone.”

    The Prime Minister made an inappropriate response.

    If a man is in a bank and a robber comes in brandishing a weapon and the customer in protecting himself from a perceived threat kills the robber, or the madman brandishing a knife/cutlass in a public place, or a party goer confronted with a belligerent, drunk patron armed with a dangerous weapon that is acting in fear for one’s life, self defence? or self preservation.

    Murder to my layman’s understanding has a different connotation and sequence of actions and while a jury can meditate on mens rea and all them things that Judd for the Defence and Perry Mason and Tom Cruise in a Few Good Men were allowed to talk bout, the system needs to dole out a specific response as such relates to self defence or murder.

    Next thing we going have a law that for Drug Dealers arrested at Grantley Adams who come from Canada/USA/UK with big drug quantities that they get fined and released without spending any time at Dodds while Guyanese and “low island people” (I gots to be careful with that designation cause De Words gine jump pun me, perhaps i should have said denizens from the latitude that is greater than ) while foreigners does get lock up fuh years.

    Either which way, it was an ingrunt statement by an equally disconnected Prime Minister and I ent care whu Mia Mottley got to say bout respecting the Office of the Prime Minister, if de man in de office foolish, he foolish and if de soon to be replacement is an autocrat and despot dem is a despot

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  7. chad99999 June 11, 2016 at 10:17 AM #

    I see two problems here. Problem One: Several of you are giving short shrift to the presumption of innocence, to which every defendant, even in a murder case, is entitled. Why should bail be ruled out? Balancing this presumption against other considerations should be left to the courts. The PM, of course, was speaking in his role as a political leader, so his comments are influenced by community sentiments to a greater degree than a magistrate or a judge can allow.
    Problem Two: Our courts are overburdened not because there are too many disputes, but because the legal system we inherited from our colonial masters is archaic, overly complicated and far too expensive for a Third World country. We need a simpler, more accessible system, but there are so many selfish people who are invested in the status quo we will never see change without a radical revolution that overthrows the entire social order.

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  8. David June 11, 2016 at 10:24 AM #

    @Chad99999

    Balancing this presumption against other considerations should be left to the courts.

    And who/what does the Court represent? The denizens of a small society hath no right to voice disapproval to a worry state of affairs because of a dysfunctional judiciary?

    In theory what you posit is fine but in unusual situations extraordinary actions sometimes must be taken. The issue at the Oistins Courts comes to mind where those charged are repeated being deposited back to Dodds on remand.

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  9. Old Baje June 11, 2016 at 10:39 AM #

    If we are becoming too litigious one solution would be to have another layer of court costs that a judge can impose in cases where the judge determines that the losing party was manifestly wrong in not settling the matter.

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  10. Well Well & Consequences June 11, 2016 at 11:10 AM #

    Exactly Old Baje…but how long in the 3 or 4 year deliberately orchestrated delays by the lawyers…in some matters…10, 15, 20 and 30 years delays in others, before the judge can apply costs for the attorneys wasting the court’s time….and how much in costs can the judge apply that will act as a future deterrent, where plantiff’s and defense attorneys would be horrified at paying 1/2 million dollars in costs to the courts and would never consider maliciously wasting everyone’s time again, but will conclude the matters expeditiously.

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  11. The Gazer June 11, 2016 at 11:12 AM #

    @BC,
    I was getting you until “Every man and child have rights and are seeking to exercise them”.
    Tell them which of these rights they should exercise
    F̶r̶e̶e̶d̶o̶m̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶e̶x̶p̶r̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶s̶e̶l̶f̶.̶
    ̶F̶r̶e̶e̶d̶o̶m̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶s̶h̶i̶p̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶w̶i̶s̶h̶.̶
    ̶R̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶a̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶m̶p̶t̶,̶ ̶f̶a̶i̶r̶ ̶t̶r̶i̶a̶l̶ ̶b̶y̶ ̶j̶u̶r̶y̶.̶ Some would argue that this one is already lost.
    ̶R̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶v̶o̶t̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶e̶l̶e̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶s̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶p̶u̶b̶l̶i̶c̶ ̶o̶f̶f̶i̶c̶i̶a̶l̶s̶.̶
    ̶R̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶of ̶e̶m̶p̶l̶o̶y̶m̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶.̶
    ̶R̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶r̶u̶n̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶e̶l̶e̶c̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶o̶f̶f̶i̶c̶e̶.̶
    ̶F̶r̶e̶e̶d̶o̶m̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶p̶u̶r̶s̶u̶e̶ ̶“̶l̶i̶f̶e̶,̶ ̶l̶i̶b̶e̶r̶t̶y̶,̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶u̶r̶s̶u̶i̶t̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶h̶a̶p̶p̶i̶n̶e̶s̶s̶.̶”̶

    Copied from the US, but I suspect yet applicable to Barbados)
    Life would be a lot worse if people were not quick to sue.

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  12. Well Well & Consequences June 11, 2016 at 11:16 AM #

    Here is where I am hoping that the attorney general would do his job and sensibly include a caveat to his draft legislation for changes to the legal professions act, that clearly states….attorneys can no longer deliberately and maliciously delay cases that can be settled or a judgement reached within a 3 month period….without very severe penalties…that should stop some of the crap that too many attorneys are famous for when clogging up the court system to jam up a case.

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  13. Retribution-things that make me go hum! June 11, 2016 at 11:21 AM #

    Frumble and the Judicial system is well aware that granting bail to a murder accused will speed up justice faster than not granting them bail – hence, the taxpayers saves money. So; I agree, grant them bail – Justice will be speedily!

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  14. Jeff Cumberbatch June 11, 2016 at 1:42 PM #

    Do you mean what I think that you mean, R-ttmmgh?

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  15. David June 11, 2016 at 2:48 PM #

    Surprised there has been no comment so far about the conflicting positions from the PM and AG highlighted in the Editorial.

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  16. Colonel Buggy June 11, 2016 at 4:07 PM #

    Did you hear the guy on the block ,near where the latest victim was gunned down, speaking to the media yesterday?

    Things are tough. Men of the block are frustrated. There is no work, and a man may come along ,juck a gun in your hand and tell you to bring back $500 for him. You have to go out there and rob 3 or four innocent people.
    Barbados has become more frightening that Belfast.

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  17. Amused June 11, 2016 at 6:04 PM #

    @Jeff. I’m afraid (s)he does mean it.

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  18. Pieceuhderockyeahright June 11, 2016 at 6:39 PM #

    @ Colonel Buggy,

    I can bet you that, for every 50 people that saw that clip, one heard him, and of the ones that heard him, when you do another cumulative count within that subset, for every 100 that heard that, just understood the reality of what is happening in Barbados.

    It starts just like that, a few fellahs hungry, no work, need money, rent a gun, rob a fellah, meet a bad man, tek he out, carry back de gun, and de very man you rent de gun from talk and say dat you kill de man.

    Cordite got a smell.

    The news circulates and de partners of de fellah who get tek out say “we ent tekking dat, Killa ent going out so”, and retribution comes a calling and de tit for tat begins.

    Pretty soon de fellers at war but, in addition to de vengeance, dem gots tuh pay for de rental of de gun, so we gine target Kentucky in Speightstown, and Hole in de Corner, and de gas station at *** tuh help we proove dat we bad.

    And, because de robbers ent too bright, we gots tuh leh peeple know dat we bad, so we bust a few shots off and kill a few people dat we robbing, cause we bad.

    But in de middle uh all uh dat, as a bad man, i living in de neighbourhood, and de peeple deah is not all vagabonds and a few does lick mouth bout me so I got to mek an example of them cause if dem talk Babylon ah come for me.

    If the police do not find the criminals quickly after a while the community that the criminals become afraid of the criminals because the “criminals” start to swell with new blood and pretty soon we loose the fight especially when some of the very police that are there to protect and serve are warning the bad boys, who are just fellahs dem grow up with, “we coming for you tonight”

    Laventille in Trinidad a la Barbados, kill it befo’ it grow.

    But why should the haves care what happening among the have nots? We got Night Vision security Cameras, and security guards and “that is wunna problem”

    Just remember we from de heights going church tommorrow, with Pastor david Durant, and we and he, going sing lustily bout, “There is Power in the Blood, I gine give my tithe, and you going pretend to give yours, all uh we going hug Sister Headley and the young girls in the congregation, and den we going lef heah till next week Sunday.

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  19. David June 11, 2016 at 7:18 PM #

    @PUDRYR

    We are not at the Laventille stage but we are heading in that direction. Heard that interview Colonel Buggy referred and it was heart wrenching. The youth are crying our for help. Our education system, our social support structure is failing, our government is failing, the well being our our society is deteriorating at a rapid ace. While this is happening we have political yardfowls who see everything as political warfare.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Colonel Buggy June 11, 2016 at 8:39 PM #

    Our education system HAS already failed,us and these young men. who have not the intelligence to reason that to be bullied into carry a gun and robbing someone , is WRONG and could only lead injury, death and prison. Say what you like of the education of yesterday . It however ensured that those slow learners and hard heads, as we like to call them, did not leave school unable to read or write,and as the old folk used to say, “spell for themselves”,as there were “Special” classes organised to accommodate them. Many of these “not so bright fellows”, ended up as outstanding tradesmen/artisans in their respective fields.
    But for years I’ve been chiding the authorities for turning a blind eye to children for the complete disregard of the Road Traffic Act and Regulations. We stood by and said nothing. Pretty soon these same children grew up and became Motor cycle and Motor car drivers, and we wonder why there is no respect for law and order on our roads. Some of them become PSV drivers and we spend all day and night pulling our hairs out ,asking Why? Why?Why?
    Now our young men have graduated to Guns and Killings, with the same abandonment as when they were bicycle riders. And we are still asking our selves YYY?

    It happened in Jamaica, I was not a Jamaican ,so it interested me not.
    It happened in Guyana , I was not a Guyanese, so it interested me not.
    It happened in Trinidad , I was not a Trini, so it interested me not,
    Now its happening on my own door step, and I do not know where to turn.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Colonel Buggy June 11, 2016 at 8:43 PM #

    And what a contrast. Yesterday a great man was laid to rest, Muhammad Ali, a man who refused to take the gun jucked at him ,and orders to go an kill people, by one of the biggest bullies in the world.

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  22. David June 11, 2016 at 8:46 PM #

    Youth want ceasefire

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  23. Well Well & Consequences June 11, 2016 at 10:15 PM #

    The leaders are failures, it’s the trickle down effect. More than enough blame to go around.

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  24. Colonel Buggy June 11, 2016 at 11:02 PM #

    So when are we going to amend the various pieces of out-of-date legislation , and to utilise the Defence Force in this uphill struggle in containing the importation, supply and distribution of guns in this country.
    Our illustrious leaders do not want to put soldiers on the street, as this may deter tourists. They should also realise that, if we stay back in our usual wait-and see mode, its not going to be long from now, before we see the US Ambassador putting pen to paper.

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  25. Amused June 12, 2016 at 3:55 AM #

    @ David June 11, 2016 at 8:36 AM. Good questions. Let me weigh in.

    • Increasing the number of the Bench. Without, as you have correctly identified, a study being carried out to see how other judicially successful jurisdictions fare in the sense of how many members of the Bench there are per capita and the relative time it takes to render judgements, then it is not possible to say. Increasing the size of the Bench without such a study risks merely increasing the number of incompetent and slothful judges and magistrates whose salaries and emollients and subsequent pensions the taxpayer will have to pay – and it does NOTHING to address the backlog or the quality of decisions. That said, because of the mess, there is clearly a need to bring in more judges and it seems prudent from the point of view of the public purse to this on a temporary or acting basis. I have said before and I restate now that queen counsel are acting judges. In England and Wales they are brought in as needed on a temporary basis as judges. I am aware that in the recent past three such have been coopted in Barbados. But given the size of the backlog, which is now close to 5,000 cases, that is not enough.

    • Timely delivery of justice. That is down to the judge, in civil cases. In criminal cases, it is down to the preparedness of the Police and the DPP and the scheduling by the Registrar (although these days the scheduling is controlled and directed by the CJ). Criminal cases are heard by juries and the judge has little to do, except follow the evidence, point it and the law out to the jury and then relax. No judgements to write. In civil cases, however, we face situations where judges have, before we come before them, not read the files, not read counsel’s submissions and most importantly have not read and have not a clue about the Civil Procedure Rules. Thus the cases are hung up on often meritless motions and competent judges could dispose of in seconds, while our judges adjourn to consider their decisions, sometimes for years – and I am not exaggerating this. Then, once the case is finally heard, our judges reserve their decisions, again often for years, instead of the 90 and 180 days. It boils down to them not having the slightest idea what to do OR can it be due to external influence.

    • As for the discretion for bail, well that is the call of the judge, based on the evidence presented. The problem in Barbados is that if remanded, an accused can wait an unacceptably long time for the case to come to trial and their guilt or innocence to be proven. Imagine the destruction and havoc this does to the life of an innocent accused. And before the law, all are innocent until proven guilty. The problem we face is that a disproportionately high number of alleged murderers on bail have allegedly re-offended while awaiting trial. Therefore, in the exercise of their discretion, judges have a duty to consider the chances of this happening, even down to requiring psychiatric profiles. On the other hand, all such cases ought to come to trial in no more than six months, not several years as is the case in Barbados.

    The PM is a very fine (at least in my opinion) attorney himself. He is also a very careful attorney and it is almost impossible for me to conceive that he would ever make the comments he has, without first having examined all the facts. Then too, the PM has to walk a very fine line with regard to the independence of the judiciary. However, that independence is not, as many including the CJ and most of the bench seem to think, absolute and the PM has the constitutional right to step in and request/instruct the GG that the CJ must be removed and, if the CJ does not act to remove a recalcitrant or unsatisfactory judge, indirectly the judge as well. But this discretion of the PM must be very carefully exercised, or there is a risk of abuse. I would therefore tend to take the view that the PM has issued a stern rebuke that judges (and the AG) would be well advised to listen to, because this PM would not have commented unless he intended to take action and had rock solid grounds for such action.

    I am extremely dissatisfied with the record of this government. However, I have to reflect on what Mia would do with the PM’s constitutional discretion, given the Maria Agard issue. In judicial matters would this discretion take the place of her whip/teeth?

    I see it is also mooted here in comments the fact that Bajans are becoming more litigious. This is true and in fact they are less litigious than they ought to be, due to the judicial delays and incompetence of our Bench. There used to exist in Barbados the conditioning that you never went up against those stronger than you in a court of law. While that conditioning to a great extent no longer exists, thank God, the unnecessary delays of the courts now replace the conditioned sense of inferiority. So what an advancing society has given on one hand is being negated by the justice system on the other. Not good at all. It promotes crime and civil unrest.

    @Well well….Not as simple as you portray. Especially in PI cases. Often these involve soft tissue injuries that are difficult to evidence or refute. Often they also involve psychological damage which is equally difficult. And the insurance companies have the right to defend with vigour, given the number of “nuisance” claims they receive. So, it is necessary to collect (which takes time) all the evidence and make sure that the case is unappealable, as, if appealed, it prolongs and makes more expensive the whole process/pain. Then, the insurance companies will simply increase costs of insurance for the rest of us so as to meet their profit predictions. And the more insurance is increased, the greater temptation for people not to take out insurance and, if you are suing the driver of an uninsured car that has no assets to go after, you have a problem…..a big problem. BUT you are right that lawyers do drag it out for as long as they can and the courts do not help at all and that is to be condemned.

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  26. de pedantic Dribbler June 12, 2016 at 6:47 AM #

    A blogger uses often the term ‘dog whistle’ to describe remarks made by politicians to call to their devotees in a way that those not of keen hearing would be unaware. It appears the Barbados judicial system has been dog whistling to its devotees for quite some time and we the public have not the wiser…or so it was expected.

    I thank this very experienced legal practitioner for finally admitting so clearly the collusion to silently sic the dogs on us. A few examples.

    ** Our judges are described as: incompetent judges; not having the slightest idea what to do; possibly controlled by “external influence” and often do not prepare for their cases nor “have not a clue about the Civil Procedure Rules”.

    ** We -average citizens- were never supposed to match legal fights against wealthy educated folks above our class and status, because “There used to exist in Barbados the conditioning that you never went up against those stronger than you in a court of law.”

    ** But now that we can purchase legal services more readily the wealthy and important have “unnecessary delays of the courts [to] replace the conditioned sense of inferiority”.

    This is a very powerful and its own excellent whistle to the public. But in Its own way because it simultaneously calls for public unrest which would of course ensure more lawyer activity.

    It was noted that “it is also mooted here in comments the fact that Bajans are becoming more litigious.This is true and in fact they are less litigious than they ought to be.”

    And the ‘pièce de résistance’ was the appeal to resistance: “So what an advancing society has given on one hand is being negated by the justice system on the other. Not good at all. It promotes crime and civil unrest.”

    It promotes it and so should it be is the message.

    There is a concept of moral decay where a society falls in on itself. This post is perhaps the best example of that I have read.

    Moral dishonesty is an experienced lawyer who is “a very fine attorney himself” is now after eight years as PM and 25 plus at the legal bar suddenly not appreciating the nuances that result in murder accused being granted bail.

    We elevate the law and people who are in the profession to an esteemed status and often rightly so and we disparage folks who try to bamboozle us and take our money without offering anything in return as con men.

    Lawyers and the legal system in not a con-job obviously but there are con-men who have much more integrity than several lawyers however.

    Respect to our PM, but the remarks attributed to him re the bail issue and the remarks of a seasoned lawyer on his profession suggest this is some fancy con-job ongoing here though…a complete lack of integrity.

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  27. de pedantic Dribbler June 12, 2016 at 6:52 AM #

    Not eight years as PM correction; six of thereabouts to be more precise

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  28. balance June 12, 2016 at 6:55 AM #

    default…”

    “The second, however, is more excusable, since it merely amounts to an assertion that were he the officer, he would not have granted bail to such an accused, a sentiment that should resonate with more than a few Barbadians. In other words, that he would have exercised his discretion differently. ”

    My response to the above excuse for a defence is to repeat what the late Mr Lester Whitehead former Chairman of a National Insurance appeals tribunal uttered to someone appearing before the tribunal in support of an appellant and I quote
    “Good effort Sonny, Good effort but no defence-

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  29. Well Well & Consequences June 12, 2016 at 6:57 AM #

    Nice to see you Amused.

    As you said PI cases are not easy, particularly soft tossue damagem but, defense attorneys on the island make them more difficult than they need to be in a bid to unnecessarily delay the cases for years on end.

    We discussed some time ago on the Philip Nicholls link, there is an NCV test that accurately measures the damage to nerves and muscle and is indisputable. ..of course if the claimant is not aware of this test, the defense will definitely not gove up that information, this causes years of delays in sift tissue cases.

    As far as I know, there are 3 very competent doctors on the island who perform the NCV test, 2 renowned neurologists and a pain management specialist, all equally qualified to read and translate the medical terminology from the equipment reading the test results… into layman’s understanding.

    The judge can read and so too the attorneys, defendant and plaintiffs….it should not be a problem.

    A very competent neurologist can determine whether the claimant needs psychological intervention…which from personal experience I know can be life long, with soft tissue damage depending on the level of damage to muscle and nerves, that is what the insurance companies try to run away from, but then, they should not be in the insurance business because people will be injured, accidents will happen and since they are insurance companies….they will be held liable….most think they are collection agencies only there to collect money and pay out none.

    So I really don’t see why it’s so difficult for insurance companies to accept liability once these conditions are met…it’s understandable the judges have to be careful the defense is not given wiggle room to appeal, that would be the out they are looking for, even if they know the claim is genuine.

    The insurance companies have a reputation for not wanting to compensate even when they have proof that the cases are not nuisance cases….they do not have good reputations in Barbados and are well known for wasting the judge’s time and taxpayer’s money….as you are well aware. Not to mention the dirty and conniving tricks their attorneys play and very wicked lies they tell the judges.

    The judges need more power to stop the nuisance factor the insurance companies themselves display, no PI case should extend more than 18 months…these cases should not be dragged out for 7 to 20 years….that is gross incompetence and maliciousness.

    Like

  30. Well Well & Consequences June 12, 2016 at 7:11 AM #

    In regard to the Fruendel comment…Amused, though he might be trying to be careful as PM with some executive powers re the judiciary, it is not appealing as a criminal attorney, that he should be dishonest about his knowledge.

    He really needs to exercise those powers and do something about slothful judges and those who do not read files, give timely decision, it should not take a judge decades or years to hand down a decision, judges who go easy on attorneys because they are both lawyers, have prior working relationships, judges who have relationships with insurance companies, judges who are always absent, always adjourning cases, always frustrsting lawyers and their clients…..these destructive matters need to be addressed and should have been….8 years ago when Fruendel was attorney general…it’s long overdue.

    Now you have Adriel Brathwaite, attorney general, 7 years later and the same issues still exists destroying the judicial processes.

    Like

  31. erice June 12, 2016 at 7:13 AM #

    balance note what the man said -EVERY MAN LOOKING FOR A PEICE OF CHANGE -maybe he know u well

    Like

  32. ac June 12, 2016 at 7:18 AM #

    That ONE hit me for six ! was the nature of the question referencing to bail for all murder accused, i suspect that the PM was referencing his comments to a specific cases /s

    Like

  33. Well Well & Consequences June 12, 2016 at 7:19 AM #

    I am not usually mean about people’s appearnces, but this image keeps annoying the hell outta me.

    Both Fruendel and Adriel look sickly……stuffed into those black suits…dont these ministers know that they live in a tropical country….take off those stupid monkey suits, it might help them think clearly.

    I hope they don’t think that they look alluring and handsome….maybe only to that retard yardfowl AC.

    Like

  34. Well Well & Consequences June 12, 2016 at 7:25 AM #

    As you know Amused….insurance companies and defense attorneys care nothing about wasting taxpayer’s money…they relish the practice.., that is how they get fat, wasting taxpayer’s money and the court’s time….it’s a decades old practice that the attorney general, prime minister, chief justice and the judges need to put an immediate end to….or none of them are serious about stemming the flow of destruction to the court system.

    Like

  35. ac June 12, 2016 at 7:34 AM #

    Like

  36. ac June 12, 2016 at 7:37 AM #

    the above video/s posted in error but you can have fun the intent was to copy video dealing with the PM press conference

    Like

  37. Well Well & Consequences June 12, 2016 at 7:41 AM #

    Lol..

    Like

  38. Donna June 12, 2016 at 7:43 AM #

    No need for me to comment. Amused has said all of what this layperson would have said but without the credentials to be taken seriously. Thank you, Amused.

    Like

  39. ac June 12, 2016 at 8:45 AM #

    Like

  40. David June 12, 2016 at 9:21 AM #

    @Amused

    Good response. We have to be pragmatic in Barbados how we make decisions to impact the whole. When the dust settles though we need to fix the sloth how justice in Barbados is delivered.

    Like

  41. Amused June 12, 2016 at 9:26 AM #

    @Well well…without going into any detail, will you accept that I have considerable experience with PI claims both plaintiff and defendant? Trust me, I do. It really is not as simple as you are being led to believe. I wish that it was. Potentially in Barbados we are in the position to speed the process up (but don’t) above that in other countries, most notably the USA and Canada. That is because, being a civil case, it does not come before a jury. In Canada and the States, a “Jury Notice” is an option and, I regret to say, usually filed. The basis of that is that it then devolves not on an equitable settlement or even an equitable verdict, but on what the prevailing attorney can talk the jury into. Remember, the jury has the job of assessing damages in these cases. Then, of course, you can usually expect the jury’s decision to be appealed and then it comes before three justices of appeal where the damages awarded are usually considerably reduced and the costs considerably elevated. But, as I say, we follow England and Wales and there is no jury in our cases.

    I have a friend within a similar jurisdiction to ours who just happens to be a legal practitioner and was involved in an incident in which no fault attaches to them, but liability has been admitted by the other party. The incident occurred about three years ago and as yet no proceedings have been filed, but solicitors on each side are talking to each other. This is necessitating a large amount of medical tests as pre-existing conditions have to be identified and ruled out. Also, if the current medical conditions are proved to be as a result of the incident, as they are going to be ongoing for the rest of my friend’s life, several expert medical opinions are required to establish not only existing damages, but damages going forward. Once settlement is achieved, you can be sure that the insurance company will require that an indemnity be signed by which the claimant cannot go back to the courts in the event that there are any further damages arising out of the incident. Therefore, these medical assessments are vital for counsel and mediator/courts in establishing the amount of damages to be paid. It is bad enough, as you know, getting any court to act quickly (although Barbados certainly wins the prize for slowness); but when you add the medical profession into the mix, well……I guess you can fill in the blanks.

    Then too, even in countries that do not officially sanction no win – no fee (contingency) most PI counsel do actually work on contingency. Typically, they take about 30% of whatever is awarded in lieu of fees. So counsel obviously want to get the best deal for their clients, since they themselves get to keep about 30% of it. – so they have a vested interest.

    So, I ask you to factor this into your views. Understand me, I am not disputing your censures on the system (including PI attorneys) as in far too many cases in Barbados, you are right. I am merely suggesting that it is not as simple as you seem to think. I also suggest to you that the outpourings of Philip Nicholls are not a reliable indicator, as I find it very hard to trust/believe anyone who sues others for non-payment and claims same in a book, only to find that the payments were in fact made and we have receipts and cancelled cheques to prove it. So I vote no confidence in Mr Nicholls and his book. However, I will defend to the death your absolute right to place your confidence in Mr Nicholls – just don’t expect me to join you.

    Like

  42. Well Well & Consequences June 12, 2016 at 9:56 AM #

    Lol….Amused, it was not Nicholls who gave up the information about NCV testing, it was me, on the Nicholls link, let not your heart be troubled…I only shared the information about the nerve test because of personal experience and because I checked and found out that there were only 3 doctors on the island…a physiarist and 2 neurologists who performed the test in Barbados..

    And…I know it’s not common knowledge on the island, not that many people know abkut the testing, lawyers dont share the information and insurance companies of course would not want claimant to know….they would lose their cases and cannot call all claoms nuisance claims.

    I know PI is your speciality, you are brilliant at it and you described the abnormally long process in the supreme court there best ” Potentially in Barbados we are in the position to speed the process up (but don’t) above that in other countries”………………..and the question then is Amused, why everyone in the judiciary or yhose who are responsible for the judiciary refuse to speed the process up.

    And then you compounded it with….”It is bad enough, as you know, getting any court to act quickly (although Barbados certainly wins the prize for slowness); but when you add the medical profession into the mix, well……I guess you can fill in the blanks.”…………………….and therein lies all the problems, those lawyers and doctors who make it harder than it needs to be…it’s not that difficult, it’s the people involved, for their own selfish and greedy reasons make it difficult, it’s not simple…but difficult. …….nah.

    I dont have to tell you that when insurance companies accept liability you have an even longer and stressful wait than when they dont….they take pleasure in looking for every reason not to pay, the wait could and does last for decades in Barbados…hoping ya will die.

    Ya stand a better chance if they refuse to accept liabilty cause sometime in the future, because a judge is in the mix, they always fall on their own swords…particularly if there are no preexisting conditions and their doctors agree with your doctors….so in such cases Amused, what is the delay in Barbados, why would a court…hypothetically speaking not penalize the defense for attempting to further waste the court’s time?

    Like

  43. Well Well & Consequences June 12, 2016 at 9:58 AM #

    *Physiatrist

    Like

  44. Simple Simon June 12, 2016 at 12:05 PM #

    It may be time for the United States to warn the foreign tourists visiting the United States – especially Florida or Texas – that they may be shot and killed due to the prevalence of assault weapons. When DisneyWorld and the airlines and the hotel chains get scared of losing business, the pressure on the politicians will begin.

    Like

  45. Retribution-things that make me go hum! June 12, 2016 at 12:45 PM #

    @Jeff – Do you mean what I think that you mean, R-ttmmgh?

    Everyword! The PM smarter than wunna think.

    Some of these cases/criminal aren’t innocent till proven guilty, some of these cases are guilty as charge.

    Like

  46. Well Well & Consequences June 12, 2016 at 12:50 PM #

    Simple..Obama tried his best to get rid of the assault weapons…the NRA , their lackeys and stone cold killers screamed….the right to bear arms written in the constitution, by dead men…. they all gave Obama his business. …this is their evil actions revisiting.

    The only change ya will get is if any of those Neo Nazis, NRA or stone cold killers had children or relatives in the nightclub Pulse…dont hold your breath though….it was Latin night.

    Like

  47. Pieceuhderockyeahright June 12, 2016 at 2:57 PM #

    @ Amused

    To whom much is given much is expected.

    You see how much time and care and attention that you gave to this article, sorting out the pros and cons and giving the fair insights to its various tangents?

    You have fortunately been given a greater task and have been bequeathed a greater responsibility to nation.

    You can be assured that, like 4 persons here seem to know who you are that you are also known by ** and WILL BE targeted for no other reason than the fact that YOU ARE.

    You remind me of a footballer who, while the match is in play, has been warming up all the time, because he knows that he will be needed.

    You are not like the rest of them who are “waiting” you are already actively participating in the melee.

    And Amused, either it is as a means to hone your oratory skills and occupational acumen or it is truly that you are truly desirous of positive to change.

    “Whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, DO THESE THINGS.”

    Rest assured that you now have a crosshairs on your back, but you dun know that long and your insurance policy is not the type that resides with Peter Harris is it?

    I shall invoke these words which you know we were raised on “Carry IT (your standards) right back where you tek it from (in the lap of the shoulders of the giants who birthed you)

    Like

  48. Amused June 12, 2016 at 5:13 PM #

    @Well well. PI is most assuredly not my specialty. I just happened to have been in the unenviable position of having worked in it with many whose specialty it was (is). And I learned and continue to learn every day of my life. At my advanced age, it is what, like with my friend @Piece, keeps me young (ish) and will hopefully mean no senility.

    @Piece. I have always been ready to serve. But I am not a leader and anyone who knows me will certainly tell you that. I am too confrontational and can be extremely divisive. Those are the qualities of a good and loyal follower, not of a leader.

    Like

  49. Well Well & Consequences June 12, 2016 at 6:25 PM #

    Got ya Amused. I still await your learned answers to those niggling aberrations that constitute the processes in the island’s court system.

    Like

  50. Alvin Cummins June 13, 2016 at 10:00 AM #

    @David,
    The education system have failed them (us), that is why they are frustrated. How is it that the same education system has produced so many hundreds; nay thousands, of outstanding citizens, scholars and successfull business persons? This does not compute. The answer lies in the very ones on the block. All they have to do is go to school and learn, and it is the responsibility of the parents eo ensure that they do this from early, and keep them focussed from early. And keep them out of Coleridge street.

    Like

  51. David June 13, 2016 at 10:20 AM #

    @Alvin

    Are you a JA?

    You posit the view then some children based on their personal experience may not negatively impact? Do you seriously think your wholesale view is a sensible one?

    Like

  52. Brathwaite June 13, 2016 at 11:22 AM #

    This man Cummings mekking a hifaluting statement that seen from the top of the Central Bank building is absolutely correct. It is coneyism to dismiss the man point like dat. This Alivinator does talk a lot of shiite when he ready but he is right on this.

    All de people dem who would have lived in years gone where dat building now casting a shadow and who march during the riot and ting were desperate to get education and wanted their children to get it too. As the years progressed from that time and after we get free education lots of peeps now smarter but we dumbing down we righteouness wid a lot of intellectual BS.

    If the effing gov’t would stop all de long talk and enforce more harsh-ass rules wid school drop-outs, fighting in school and such like, there would be much less boys pon any effing block.

    How can we progress when a bunch of coney-minded people who just start to smell de-selves, as my grand uses to say, having children. This foolishness didn’t start yesterday.

    As the man said lots of people dem come through that education system. Some of dem wid no more than a 9th standard or whatever they uses to call it.

    Now the whole thing being effed up because of selfishness and stupidity. There is nothing at the core wrong with de system.

    The bunch of low-minded idiots that inhabit its lower rungs are smart enough to progress in life’s criminal culture. So they effing smart enough to progress outside dat too. They being lazy and have no real guidance in dem at home life.

    We does coddle these idiots too much and bout here on this site we does give credence to too much asshoolery pretty talk.

    If the frigging parents are idiots who hardly know yeast infection from adding yeast to bake bread den how the eff we expect to get the damn children to go school so they could at least be smart for the in-between-period on de block while they looking for a job or being self-employed.

    Like

  53. Pieceuhderockyeahright June 13, 2016 at 1:31 PM #

    Alvin Cummins and Brathwaite.

    There is education and there is pertinent education

    Let me explain.

    40 years ago Being taught about a spark plug for a Mini Cooper GT and sandpaper the carbonized head is not adequate instruction for a Fuel Injection, computer operated engine.

    Frankly gents those were donkey cart days and we, while proud offspring of that period, need to recognise that we are stuck in Timetunnel proud to intone 2 times 2 are for but totally at a loss to (a) teach hexadecimal conversions AND, more pertinently (b) convey to the youth that we are instructing how that translates into techniques and systems for encryption.

    Literacy is not education and does not auto-migrate into the 21st century if it were so then the same laps and bounds that the US has made technologically speaking would abound through all the world.

    Wunna is proud of the fact that we knew up to our 16 times tables but I respectfully suggest that some of these dolts, teachers and students do not know their 6 times tables and have to use a calculator.

    We spent US $236M on Edutech and failed to diversify our Education.

    Name me one school which has one class that can develop a mobile application in Barbados.

    I am not limiting my statements to technology and its edification alone, we have been unable to connect most if not all of our educational disciplines to the value chain that fuels the economic backbone that the world operates.

    Look at our Tourism product for example, we are still running a “sand and people” marketing product that has not changed for 100 years. No ecotourism and a broken down facsimile that we masquerade under a UNESCO designation for a ramshackle city. No Healt, no eco, no sports, no cultural tourism we just stuck in time.

    You alvin are stuck in your books and refuse to join the 21st century which I can understand because that gives you a sort of immortality, that firm graspp on the past.

    But Brathwaite is a younger man, (I can deduce this by his juxtaposition of that specific word, next to the Name of My Lord, a thing which HE WILL NOT DO NEXT TO THE NAME OF ALLAH, at least he cannot do that and live).

    So what confuses me is that since he is of this generation how can he in all honesty speak about a government enforcing harsher rules as being the solution when what is being taught IS NOT PERTINENT to the times?

    It is much like me insisting that Latin be taught because i would wish to sensitize our population about the dative and ablative and the ensuing incorrectness of saying “contrary with”.

    He only has to look at the Minister of Education Ronald Jones and see the evidence in that man’s assassination of the English language and the “thrillren are is reading well”

    Let us pray for the Rapture gents with fervour for al else, particularly as such relates to our failing education system, is a waste of time.

    Like

  54. Well Well & Consequences June 13, 2016 at 2:04 PM #

    Piece…the education system has not been upgraded since the introduction in the 40s and 50s…so it will consistently keep spitting out Alvins and Braths….and ….and……, until there is positive change to keep up with changing time…..and define higher levels of intelligence

    Since Alvin’ss days of advanced education in the US…the changes are now so significant from the 60s, 70s and 80s….he would not recognize it or wish to become a part of tgat change…..read medical marijuana…..of course he will always prefer a Barbados stuck in the 50s while every country, including Canada….moves on.

    That socialization of stagnating Caribbean people infinitely didn’t help either.

    Like

  55. Brathwaite June 13, 2016 at 2:54 PM #

    Mr Piecemester, some time back I believe I ask you not to get tie up. I do not accept that the Bajan edu system is a decrepit structure. That just does not match our history. You got a bunch of keys up there but not de one that open de door dat I entered.

    You shooting when yah say that de system has not been supporting de development of coders and such tech pursuits. Who to blame for that if not de principals dem. Hold on.

    When you talk bout Latin tell me bro how many schools did offering de derivations of amare and studying Cicero and dem ablatives stuff? Not many. So why are the best schools not doing what they should be doing and going where no one has gone before – well in Bim anyhow.

    I said to you that de core structure is solid but its selfishness and stupidity. Dem educators then made modifications to suit a changing environment but de fact is that we now in de days of a fellow dey does call Moores Laws and dis en got not one coney to do wid Moore de Latin man.

    The stupidity and selfishness comes around to dat. Things multiplying real efffing fast and we educators fudging around. I is on de same page wid you on that.

    Our top schools should definitely be incubating young tech gurus but bro that can simply mean that they offer more applied science/electronics courses and tighten down on some of the base work that are helpful precursors to dat type of thing. Our perhaps it means an incubator like de old O’Level institute to harness we own silicon cave of young gurus.

    Yes bro stupidity and selfishness has caused previously far thinking principals from making practical movements even when the ministry playing de backside. Dat is my take on de system.

    So don’t get tie up to pontificate about old educ models being suited to modern ways ( and certainly don’t leh we talk bout that theifing Edutech thing, steuupse; where all that old technology today but in dust bunnies someplace) .

    Oh and don’t forget, getting idiot behaving children and their parents to clean up their act is as important today as it was yesterday and will be still important tomorrow. And proper structure and ability to move quickly will always be vital.

    As you does say bro. You feeling me.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. Colonel Buggy June 13, 2016 at 3:54 PM #

    Dear Mr Prime Minister, Mr Attorney-General and Mr Hot shot Chief Justice, two more young men were shot too bits yesterday ,in case no one mentioned it to you.
    How long before ,seemingly teflon coated prominent people in this society are placed at the business end of these ubique guns.

    Liked by 1 person

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