Barry Gale QC, President of the BA
BU has been able to access the audited financial report of the Bar Association (BA) relative to the Compensation Fund. BU notes that the fund holds in excess of $2 million. The authority for the Fund is to be found at Part VIII of the Legal Professions Act Cap. 370A of the Laws of Barbados.
Briefly, the Act states:
The Fund is the property of the BA and must be paid into a separate bank account to the credit of the BA to be known as “the Attorneys-at-law Compensation Fund”.
Every attorney-at-law is required, when a Practicing Certificate is issued to him, to pay to the Registrar his/her annual contribution to the Fund, without which no Practicing Certificate will be issued.
“50. (1) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Bar Association that any person has sustained loss in consequence of dishonesty on the part of an attorney-at-law or any clerk or servant of an attorney-at-law in connection with that attorney-at-law’s practice as an attorney-at-law or in connection with any trust of which that attorney-at-law is a trustee, then, subject to the provisions of this section, the Association may, if it thinks fit, make a grant to that person out of the Fund for the purpose of relieving or mitigating that loss.”
A few points to ponder from the reading of the posted financials.
Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite
The Attorney-General of Barbados is the primary legal advisor to the Government of Barbados – Wikipedia
Good luck to Barry Gale QC who defeated ‘pooch skinning’ Alair Shepherd for the position of President of the Barbados Bar Association (BA). Not sure if outgoing president Andrew Pilgrim was able to achieve anything of note except to attain the status of Queens Counsel which lawyers are willing to ‘die’ for it seems.
There was a time when individuals worked hard because there was a consciousness that it was the right thing to do. How ones legacy might be defined was an inevitable consequence. Truth be told in defence of today’s incumbents which see a level of mediocrity hitherto unknown, it may simply be a matter of (in)competence.
Former Attorney General David Simmons is highly regarded by the legal fraternity and the general public. BU however has always been halting in our praise for two reasons. When Simmons demitted the office of Chief Justice (under duress) the delivery of justice caused by the weight of a heavy case load and an inefficient Court Registry should have been the performance indicators which painted his legacy and NOT the quality of his decisions. It was insightful to read Barry Gale’s comments soon after assuming the office of President of the BA concerning the court system. In summary, a mess!
Former Court Registrar, Justice Maureen Crane-Scott
Former President of the BA, Senator Wilfred Abrahams
Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union
Former Chief Justice, Sir David Simmons
Update: The Nation newspaper has issued a public apology to Sir David Seale and Caswell Franklyn in today’s edition. It turns out that it was our own Caswell who penned the Guest Column and NOT Sir David
In a recent blog BU investigated the issue of attorneys who opt not to be members of the Barbados Bar Association (“BA”) on the basis that the Legal Profession Act contravenes the Constitution of Barbados and is, as a result, a nullity ab initio.
The almost unanimous opinions expressed by BU’s legal eagles was that the Legal Profession Act would be found in law to be a nullity ab initio.
BU has received a letter from attorney-at-law Wilfred A. Abrahams to the President of the Barbados Bar Association dated April 12, 2003 in which he gives notice that the attorneys of the chambers of which he is head, Aegis Chambers, intend to object to appearing in court with any attorney who has not submitted themselves to the Legal Profession Act and, inter alia, accusing these dissenting attorneys of committing an illegal act by practicing law – See Letter sent by Abrahams to the Bar – part 1 and Part 2
Posted in Barbados Judiciary, Barbados Lawyers, Barbados News, Blogging, Justice, Law,Crime
Tagged Barbados Bar Association, David Seale, David Simmons, Maureen Crane-Scott, Wilfred Abrahams
Alair Shepherd QC
One does not have to read Tales from the Courts to know that the judicature is in shambles. One did not have to listen to Attorneys-at-law Sean Lewis and Naomi Rochford on Getting Down to Brasstacks today to appreciate how dysfunctional our court system has become. For those left in doubt, a senior lawyer skinning his botsy at a judge last week sealed it.
The 64k question being asked by many since the incident which has gone viral is what would have provoked a senior lawyer who wears silk to behave in such an undignified manner. BU has tried to make sense of the information hitting our inbox and here is what happened between The Hon. Madam Justice Sonia Richards and Attorney-at-law Alair Shepherd QC.
The case in question involved the Commissioner of Police and several police officers, consequently many lawyers attended court that fateful morning. BU understands the case was scheduled to be heard by Madam Justice Margaret Reifer, who had recused herself, therefore the matter was rescheduled for Justice Sonia Richards for 9.30AM.
Related Link: QC Showed Judge His Silk
Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
Alair Shepherd QC
The behaviour of a Queens Counsel toward a female judge, in Barbados, is another manifestation of the disrespect being displayed toward our women. According to published reports, the Queens Counsel demonstrated his displeasure with the judge by lifting his robe, backing the judge bending over and inviting her to kiss a part of his anatomy.
This single act reveals that disrespect for our women is now rampant at all social and educational levels. We will remain in the forefront of calling for our women to be respected but there is a bigger picture emerging here. Our Caribbean societies have always elevated some professions beyond godlike status. The medical and legal professions have been the chief beneficiaries of such adulation.
While we have had the occasional professional problems with our doctors, we suggest that such incidents have been for from widespread. We can therefore, with some objectivity, concur that the medical professional has maintained high professional standards. However we are aware that some will suggest that unprofessional conduct within the medical professional is not usually made public.
Marston Gibson, Chief Justice (l) Andrew Pilgrim, President of Barbados Bar Association
BU has been provided with a copy of the letter dated April 4, 2013 by which the Chief Justice finally advised the new Queens Counsel that he had received the Letters Patent that the GG had executed and sent to the CJ some weeks previously, instructing that they be delivered. The GG had also officially informed the new Queens Counsel himself of their appointment, from which time they had the right to put the letters QC after their names. Do not expect Chief Justice Gibson to offer an explanation for the delay.
BU has also been provided with a legal opinion on the matter of mandatory membership of the Barbados Bar Association, on which it has been argued, in essence, that there is a requirement that attorneys who are certified to practice law in Barbados must also be members of the Barbados Bar Association. BU’s legal opinion states that, as such an Act breaches the Constitution, it is a nullity ab initio, as indeed is any law which breaches the Constitution. Otherwise, the Constitution, which requires a two third majority of the House to change it, would be held hostage to the much lower standard of a simple act of parliament, which requires merely a majority. This would compromise the rights of Bajans and infringe their liberties. Pursued, it could also potentially lead away from democracy to dictatorship.
Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union
Recently, I heard that the Bar association had published a list of attorneys-at-law who did not pay their dues to the association, as required by law. At first, I was a bit sceptical but all doubts have been removed when I saw a story in the Saturday Sun of April 6, 2013 to that effect.
Surprisingly, the list appeared in my Inbox: it contained the names of 75 lawyers. The whole affair piqued my interest, so I set about to find out the reason for the omission of so many lawyers. The reasons ranged from: conscientious objection, no longer practising, inadvertence to plain just being cheap. I have examined the case for the conscientious objectors, and quite frankly, I believe that by not paying their dues, they have shown utter disrespect for the law that they are sworn to uphold.
Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
The Honourable Mr. Justice Randall Worrell
We are in full support of High Court Judge Randall Worrell’s call to decriminalize marijuana for personal purposes. We are also in full support of his position that our court system is clogged up with old cases involving marijuana charges. We do not condone drug abuse in any form but we believe that if cigarettes can be legally sold, there should be sales of marijuana as well. At least we know that cigarettes destroy millions of lives annually and place tremendous pressure on health services.
We hope that a more progressive approach is used in assisting those afflicted with the addiction of marijuana. We strongly believe that prison should be used for the punishment and rehabilitation of hardened criminals and not those who for one reason or another find themselves addicts. We know that many kids today are addicted to their parents’ prescription drugs and there are those amongst us who are addicted to medication. Certainly a modern judicial system cannot continue to waste time, resources and prison space on what are unfortunate human maladies. Our kids today are under constant pressure and sometimes they fall victims to habits that cannot be cured by excessive floggings or imprisonment.
We are equally concerned about the use of alcohol by our very young citizens and find it very hypocritical, that we are content with turning a blind eye to the heavy intake of alcohol in our communities. Alcohol is also a drug and its addiction is widespread. We are also concerned about the role the heavy use of alcohol plays in instances of domestic abuse , the financial ruin of many families and non –productivity in the work place. If we intend to seriously tackle addiction, we must be prepared to do so at all level.
Chief Justice Marston Gibson
Whether we like it or not the constitution of Barbados recognizes the Queen of England as the head of state of Barbados. We practice the Westminster system of government and until we pluck the will from somewhere to believe in an indigenous way, Queen Elizabeth II through her agent the Governor General will continue to play that vital role as head of state.
One of the perks of the system which is eagerly looked forward to by members of the legal fraternity – for the status it confers – is to attain the designation of Queen’s Counsel (QC). BU understands the latest group of QCs who were informed four weeks ago have been delayed in their celebration because the list cannot be published until the Chief Justice (CJ) issues the warrants. According to our source, the list was sent to him (CJ) four weeks ago. It is customary for the warrants to be issued as soon as the GG has written the QCs. There is a little buzz in the fraternity caused by the delay which cannot be explained.
Out of curiosity, and for no other reason, BU would like to know why the CJ is sitting on the warrants? It cannot be that he is very busy because his last sighting on the cocktail circuit was carried in today’s press.
Sir Frederick Smith
BU has read with interest the editorial in the Sunday Sun of 10 March 2012 in which the writer launched an attack on Sir Frederick Smith QC for comments made about the Barbados judiciary. BU holds no brief for Sir Frederick but one is left to question the motive of the ‘editor’ of what is regarded as the most widely circulated newspaper in Barbados.
BU’s research confirms that in the mid-90s Sir Frederick delivered a speech to a legal body, an event attended by judges and members of the Bar from throughout the Caribbean. At that time, Sir Frederick stated, inter alia, “It appears to me that judges in Barbados think they have a constitutional right to be stupid.” Sir Frederick is consistent – unlike the “editor” of the Nation.
The tenor of the “editorial” suggests someone has an axe to grind. Could it be there is some fire rage being directed at Sir Frederick Smith because he was chosen to deliver the eulogy for retired judge, Lindsay Worrell, the father of Mr Justice Randall Worrell.
The editorial gets off to a pompous start:
Posted in Barbados, Barbados Judiciary, Barbados Lawyers, Barbados Media, Barbados News, Barbados Police Force, Barbados Press, Blogging, Justice, Law,Crime
Tagged Chief Justice of Barbados, CJ, Frederick Smith, Lindsay Worrell, Nation Newspaper
Sgt Vernon Waithe (1)
Sgt Vernon Waithe (2)
Sgt Vernon Waithe (3)
Sgt Vernon Waithe (4)
Sgt Vernon Waithe (5)
Sgt Vernon Waithe (6)
BU has received the following proceedings which should be of interest. The Complaint is part of a filed proceeding and in our view it falls into the public domain. However, BU will not comment on this matter, which has been adjourned until June 27, 2013 and is before Magistrate Deborah Holder.
2013 BLP Manifesto
The manifestos of the DLP and BLP have been released about ONE week before the E-Day of February 21, 2013. Generally people pay very little attention to manifestos in most countries. A manifesto may be described as a political tool to get political parties elected. Although we know they are usually littered with pie in the sky promises, BU had hoped this one time around, given the unprecedented challenges which confront service-oriented economies like Barbados, the electorate would have been wooed and teased by a vision articulated by both political parties (espoused in the manifestos). How do they plan to navigate the economic and social milestones currently strewn in our path? Why is it this one time our people could not have been convinced to turn-down the political rhetoric, and instead, engage in a level of collaboration hitherto never experienced in democratic Barbados? As a highly regarded small predominantly Black country here was an opportunity created by the prevailing economic challenge for us to lead; a role which is not unfamiliar in the post-Independence period.
Kudos to the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) for being ‘first’ out of the blocks with their Manifesto launch – a sarcastic comment you ask?. Although a trivial point, it has not escaped the notice of BU that apart from the first page which features an aggressive air-brushed image of Owen Arthur reflected on The Team for A Better Tomorrow, Mia Mottley’s photo appears in the most prominent position. To those with an ‘eye’ for these things it is called subliminal advertising and it is designed to draw the eye and create an impression in the minds of the electorate.
During the stewardship of the DLP government (2008-2013) a few issues have always occupied the attention of the BU family. Heading the list is GOVERNACE! On Thursday an increasingly cynical electorate will have to decide which party leads (by a nose) on the issue of Freedom of Information (FOI) and Integrity Legislation (IL) among others.
Related Link: Manifesto WATCH
Posted in Barbados, Barbados Economy, Barbados Elections, Barbados Government, Barbados Judiciary, Barbados Labour Party, Barbados Lawyers, Barbados News, Barbados Police Force, Blogging, Caribbean News, Democratic Labour Party, Fruendel Stuart, Governance, Justice, Law,Crime, Mia Mottley, Owen Arthur, Politics, Tourism
Tagged 2013 Barbados General Election, Manifesto
June Fowler, head of BIPA Photo credit: Caribbean360
BU is perplexed by the latest news in this mess, in which it is reported that the BIPA (Barbados Investors Policyholders Alliance) aka CLICO investors – represented by Mr Alair Shepherd QC – has refused to stay the action against the CLICO directors. It is noted that the FSC is represented in this matter by Mr Adrian King.
BU’s attention was initially grabbed (or as it transpires, misdirected and sidetracked) by the fact that Mr Shepherd and Mr King both practice out of Inn Chambers and BU asked for clarification that, although Mr Shepherd and Mr King both practice from the same chambers, they are NOT partners, but ARE, in fact, individual counsel who simply share facilities. As such, therefore, there is no impropriety, nor does BU even suggest such of the two counsel named.
That disclaimer and clarification having now been made, BU asks its family and legal eagles to weigh in as to whether BIPA has the standing to bring its action against the CLICO directors, or not. If not, as this whole CLICO mess is of massive importance to Bajans in general, on what basis BIPA has refused to stay its action? Is there any merit in pursing an action that will be stayed at the end of the day?
Posted in Barbados, Barbados News, Blogging, Barbados Judiciary, Caribbean News
Tagged CLICO, CL Financial, Financial Services Commission, Tales From The Courts, BIPA, Barbados Investors Policyholders Alliance, Civil Appeal No. 17 of 2001, Alair Shepherd, Adrian King