On August 14, 2010, BU broke the story that our late Prime Minister David Thompson, after consultation with the Attorney General, Freundel Stuart, the present Prime Minister, and with the then Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley Q.C., had made the decision to appoint internationally acclaimed Bajan jurist, Marston Gibson, as Barbados’ new Chief Justice.
In making this appointment from outside the inner ring, the word of the late Prime Minister to Bajans has been kept from beyond the grave. The reason for reaching outside the ring has been fully discussed in this forum. A ring infested by incestuous relationships shaped by lodge and other fraternity ties. The course of events that followed are well known.
Many believe His Lordship should have been allowed to assume the CJ position without the hassle he has had to endure. The Government, out of abundance of caution because it wanted to ensure that no nuisance legal challenges to the appointment could be made, amended the Supreme Court of Judicature Act to use the words “common law” instead of “Commonwealth”. Therefore any politically motivated time-wasting legal challenges to the appointment of an undoubted and eminently qualified son of our soil was effectively thwarted. A son of our soil who, as can be easily ascertained from the Internet, has never forgotten his roots and whose unrelenting promotion of Barbados is well documented.
Now, almost a year after it broke this story, BU is able to formally welcome Chief Justice Gibson back to the land where is navel string is buried to share with us his scholarship, energy and experience and to deliver back to Barbadians a justice system which has lost its way. Chief Justice Gibson inherits a comatose legal system that he must now raise from the dead. It is an gargantuan task, but one in which we are optimistic he will rise to the challenge.
To His Lordship the Chief Justice we say:
Dear Chief Justice,
Our most hearty and heartfelt welcome HOME!
You have a tremendous task before you and BU urge all Bajans to give you their unswerving support and a hearty welcome home. We realise the enormity of your task and we are encouraged by the number of senior counsel who have expressed their willingness to afford you their best efforts to accomplish this.
In this day and age of transparency through the social media, we offer, without really expecting you to do so, the forum to share your views with Bajans and residents of Barbados and Bajans around the World, as well as those who may have an interest in the justice system of Barbados.
We do not promise to always agree with you and you will see that our family have robust and outspoken opinions, but we have every confidence in your good-will, ability and determination.
Once again, welcome home, melud!
To the Prime Minister, our late Prime Minister Thompson, Miss Mia Mottley Q.C., and the Government of Barbados, we say well done! Pity it took a year, but better late than never.