With foreign investments in Barbados disappearing at an alarming rate due to a justice system slow to dispense justice, BU – at the insistence of many – is commencing a series of revelations and name and shame blogs to shine a light on those in our Justice System who are responsible. Of course BU will apportion praise and approbation where it is appropriate.
THE CAIPO STORY: A well-known attorney recently filed a notice for the appointment of a director in a company in Barbados with the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Properties Office (CAIPO). It is required that the name and the PROFESSION of the director be listed on the form and this the attorney did. The profession of the director was listed as “Therapist”. The application was rejected by CAIPO, because, in their view, the profession of the director was not only illegal, but criminal. When this was protested that a Therapist was a legal and non-criminal profession, CAIPO, it turns out, had misinterpreted this and read it as The Rapist. Incredible but true! It is the current joke going the rounds of the legal profession. But how funny is it when the Bajan taxpayer is paying the salary of that employee (used advisedly) at CAIPO who actually could consider that an attorney would list such a profession as “The Rapist” on a public domain document. Appreciation to anyone who could provide us with the name of this person at CAIPO.
SOLICITOR GENERAL: Are Bajans aware that the office of the Solicitor General, replete with attorneys, has had to advertise externally to fill 12 senior positions? Why not promote attorneys from within the Solicitor General’s office, we may ask? Simple! Because NONE of the junior attorneys are sufficiently competent to fill these 12 senior positions. It appears the ones from within the Solicitor General’s office who have applied – and been turned down – have been there for YEARS perpetuating their incompetence – and no one has fired them! Instead, the Bajan taxpayer continues to pay them for jobs for doing, effectively, a lot of damage and, as a reward, when they face retirement age, will doubtless have the pleasure of paying their pensions.
ASSISTANT SOLICITOR GENERAL: She is a most unpleasant woman with no people skills nor any courtesy named Mrs Duncan. Mrs Duncan has experienced emotionally related medical problems that have seen her on medical leave – at a salary from the taxpayer of $120,000 per annum – for the last 18 months to 2 years. The Solicitor General’s office, in an effort to resolve the situation and improve the lack of efficiency (and lack of courtesy) of that office, has offered Mrs Duncan early retirement on full pension. Mrs Duncan had turned them down and has, she says, returned to work, except she is usually absent from work. And while at work, encourages a degree of inefficiency and discourtesy that has come to seriously embarrass the Solicitor General – which means it must indeed be dire. And all at the taxpayer’s expense and at the expense of the Solicitor General managing to achieve efficiency in his office on behalf of we who pay the bills for it.
REGISTRAR: Believe it, the Registrar has taken a tools down and obstruction policy to her work and that of the Registry. This arises from the fact that during the absence on leave of one of the judges, Chief Justice Gibson refused to make her a deputy judge and said that she would never be considered for the Bench, unless and until she could prove her competence by running the Registry properly. Instead of rising to the most proper challenge of the Chief Justice, the Registrar has instead decided to opt for obstruction, inefficiency and sulking in order to “teach the CJ a lesson”. BU say, fire her – forthwith. That is what would happen in any law firm and the Justice System is the biggest law firm of them all.
MADAM JUSTICE PAMELA BECKLES (ag): Instead of appointing the Registrar as a deputy judge, Chief Justice Gibson appointed the well qualified Magistrate Pamela Beckles, who has proved time and again her efficiency and grasp of law and timely delivery of justice. Needless to say, this appointment has ‘’stuck in the craw’’ of the Registrar. Because, forget the parlous state of the justice system and her own and the Registry’s rampant inefficiency, the Registrar thinks that the taxpayers must understand that she, as Registrar, has a divine right to impart her hopelessness to the judiciary. Meanwhile, we the taxpayers, who may differ in our views to those of the Registrar, need to congratulate the CJ on an excellent appointment to the Bench, even if only acting. We can suggest any one of a number of judges that the CJ may like to dismiss so that he can make this appointment permanent. The CJ need only ask and we will provide our list.
MEMBERS OF THE BAR: Members of the Bar are complaining bitterly and feeling a serious financial pinch, simply because they cannot get their cases heard and decided by the Courts and are unwilling to try to extract costs from their clients who themselves are experiencing dire financial situations, primarily as a result of protracted legal proceedings, caused by the fact that the Registry cannot find the files (it says) schedule the cases for hearing which have to be then adjourned and rescheduled (several times) because the Registry cannot find the files. So, most lawyers in law offices, upon which the families of secretarial and support staff rely for an income, are having to subsidise the well-being of their staff out of their own savings, due to the Registrar and the Registry.
SHANIQUE MYRIE: BU readers will remember that a few weeks ago the CCJ sat in Barbados to hear an application from the lawyers of Shanique Myrie that the CCJ hear her case against Barbados under the terms and conditions of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. This was a no brainer. Myrie’s right to have the CCJ hear her case cannot be questioned. It would have required a simple agreement from the Solicitor General’s office to such a procedure and then the Bajan taxpayer would not have had to pay out almost $500,000 to the counsel of Mr Myrie to bring them and their client from Jamaica to go through the CCJ hearing in Barbados where Barbados’ counsel, Mr Roger Forde QC, admitted to the CCJ Ms Myrie’s right for the substantive matter to be heard by the CCJ. So, the Solicitor General’s office expensed the Bajan taxpayers for almost $.5 million. Half a million dollars.
THE REGISTRAR: Well, finally the Registrar was sued. Proceedings were filed in February and the case came on for hearing in May. In such cases, proceedings have to be filed on the Attorney General as well, which was done. But guess what? The Attorney General’s office has never filed acknowledgement of service (even though, of course, the filing lawyer has receipt for the documents signed by the Attorney General’s office), has never filed a defense and, when the matter came on for hearing in May before Madam Justice Beckles, did not even enter an appearance. In any case, it is reported that Madam Justice Beckles is on the record as stating that the case against the Registrar was undeniable and unanswerable and a date has now been set for summary judgement. It is our understanding that costs against the Registrar are likely to be in the region of $12,000 and it is mooted that if these costs are not paid forthwith, counsel intends to have the Registrar’s car seized at once in satisfaction of the costs order against her. BU will track this case and bring its readers updates as and when these become available.
THE CHIEF JUSTICE: Fed-up with the obstruction and bloody-mindedness and lack of cooperation he has been receiving from a sulking Registrar and Registry and the Bench, in August the CJ has arranged for the CCJ office to descend on Barbados and instruct the Registry and Judiciary on their duties and obligations to the Justice System and we who pay their wages and pensions. This includes instruction on how to scan documents, deal with on-line filing and receive payment for this on-line filing. So, under that person who is now blissfully retired, at enormous expense, a state of the art courthouse was built with every cutting-edge computer facility, but no one was apparently trained on how to use this equipment. It is also understood that the CCJ is going to also teach everyone about the Civil Procedure Rules, which apparently few (if any) have taken the time to read.
THE REVENGE OF THE PM AND THE CJ: As we all know, Acting Governor General Belgrave is to be confirmed as Governor General of Barbados. Prior to his confirmation and swearing in, he must leave office for four days and an acting Governor General appointed to replace him for those four days. It is a signal honour for the person so appointed and a sign of high judicial and legislative favour. It is instructive that the person who has been appointed is the one judge who has always held herself to the highest standards and has supported, instead of obstructed, Chief Justice Gibson in the enormous task that he inherited. BU is delighted to announce and support the decision of the PM and CJ that Madam Justice Sandra Mason is to be appointed acting Governor General for the four days prior to the swearing in of Governor General Elect Belgrave. A worthy and well-deserved choice.
BU encourages the family and legal practitioners to e-mail in their “Tales From The Courts”. Please send them by private e-mail so that BU can perform due diligence to verify their authenticity. The terminal state of the Justice System and the obstruction that Chief Justice Gibson is being subjected to in its resurrection deserves extreme measures. BU stands willing to do what the traditional media has proved itself unequal to and report on exactly what nonsense is happening. BU obviously has its sources within the system who, in desperation, are finally willing to come clean in the PUBLIC INTEREST.
This was a crusade begun some years ago by BU and it is one we will not relinquish or reduce unless and until our Chief Justice is accorded all the assistance and cooperation he requires to bring Barbados back to judicial credibility for the sake of our foreign investments and the financial well-being of our country.