Marston Gibson, Chief Justice
In the interest of sharing all information received about any matters which BU has reported on, we have been advised and updated on the issue of the Parris v BLP and Nation and Barbados Advocate as follows:
Mr Hal Gollop QC filed an action for defamation against the Nation which pre-dates the Parris action. The law firm of Carrington and Sealy acts for the Nation and Mr Vernon Smith QC is acting for Mr Gollop.
The essence of the complaint is that on January 07, 2013, the Nation captured and published the photograph which is the subject of dispute. Reasonable conclusion, the Nation was the author and the holder of copyright of the photograph. The BLP subsequently used the photograph and caption in their campaign. Thus, Mr Gollop has also advanced a claim of conspiracy against the Nation and the BLP.
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!
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.
Sir Henry De B. Forde, K.A. Q.C. – Barbados’ best known counsel
In the last two instalments of Tales From The Courts, BU ventilated an aspect of land law that had the possible potential to cause problems for vendors and purchasers alike. This arose because of an Order given by Miss Kentish of the Barbados High Court. BU’s position evoked much argument from both sides of the issue.
Some well known counsel said that the Order was correct. Some, including it is reported, the a party to a sale and purchase and their counsel, held that the Order was a nullity and therefore refused to proceed with the purchase. It is not the intention of BU to go into the relative merits of this argument. We leave that to the lawyers to discuss among themselves.
What BU will do, however, is to fulfil its function, which is to serve the general Bajan public by pointing out the dilemma facing it. The fact that there are clearly two schools of legal thought within the legal fraternity on this issue of law, means that ultimately one is wrong and the other right. Therefore, it is clearly best for members of the general public, vendors and purchasers of land alike, to err on the side of caution. And it is clearly best for their counsel to be responsible enough to encourage them to do so.
Chief Justice Marston Gibson, heads the Judicial and Legal Services Commission
The following extracted from the Sunday Sun September 23, 2012:
“A High Court is being asked to block the appointment of a Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). In an unprecedented legal development, attorney at law Elwood Watts, who acted as Crown Counsel in the DPP’s office for the past six years, is seeking an injunction against the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, chaired by Chief Justice Marston Gibson and includes Appeal Court Justice Sandra Mason and High Court Justice Maureen Crane-Scott.
Attorney at law Alison Burke, who was recently admitted to the Bar, was to take up the permanent appointment as Crown Counsel effective September 1. But in his court filings challenging the decision of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission to ratify Burke’s appointment, Watts has complained that the position of Crown Counsel was never advertised as required by law. As a result, the former police sergeant who has been on secondment to the DPP’s office, said he never had a chance to secure the appointment.
Reports indicated that Burke, who was attached to the Ministry of Health as a staff nurse prior to her appointment, never had any experience in court proceedings. A date is to be set for hearing of the injunction.”
Posted in Barbados, Barbados Judiciary, Barbados Media, Barbados News, Barbados Press, Journalism, Justice, Law,Crime
Tagged Alison Burke, Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP, Elwood Watts, Marston Gibson
Submitted by William Skinner
Governor Delisle Worrell (l) CJ Marston Gibson (r)
Anybody remotely acquainted with Dr. Delisle Worrell, the distinguished governor of our central bank, would not be surprised that he is now being judged on such unimportant matters as to how he dresses and what he parades in during the Festival of Flesh that was once Crop Over.
First, let me state without apology, that both Dr. Worrell and our new Chief Justice Mr. Marston Gibson, represent a breath of fresh air blowing through the corridors of snobbery and intellectual arrogance, that passes as brilliance in our country. It is obvious, that neither of these two obviously brilliant minds have caught the eye of those intellectual frauds that masquerade about here as if this country is their exclusive academic playground. Lord Nelson will turn into Bussa ,and vice versa, before the likes of an Owen Arthur or his willing side kick, Clyde Mascoll succeeds in turning Dr .Worrell into” an economist of Lilliputian status”. Anybody, who has taken five minutes to research Dr. Worrell’s work, will know that neither of these two gentlemen is held in the esteem that comes close to the good Governor’s standing in intellectual circles. It simply does not merit any serious discussion.
We have long held Bishops, Chief Justices and Governors of the central bank in such high regard, that we sometimes forget that they are accountable to the people. And that in the case of Governors of Central Banks and Chief Justices, we are the ones who pay them, and pay them very well, taking into consideration our meagre resources. The same can be said of Commissioners of Police and other powerful professionals. By all means we must respect the office but don’t allow them to believe and act as if they should not or cannot be touched.
Madam Justice Sandra Mason appointed acting Governor General
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.
Madam Justice Pamela Beckles
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.
Marston Gibson, Chief Justice (l) Andrew Pilgrim, President of Barbados Bar Association
In an email to Andrew Pilgrim, president of the Barbados Bar Association, Chief Justice Marston Gibson has slammed the BBA, thereby raising many points that BU has been promoting about the Justice System.
The Chief’s email to Mr Pilgrim is posted to the members section of the BBA website and requires that it be accessed by passwords available to BBA members only. However, BU has been able to obtain a copy and states that it posts this as a matter of public interest!
This comes at a time when BU understands that the Registrar has been told that she may not sit as a judge to replace judges on leave (in this case, Madam Justice Kentish) and that her job is to stay in the Registry and sort out the mess. Instead, Madam Justice Kentish has been replaced during her six month leave by the Chief Magistrate.
Here is what the Chief has had to say to Mr Pilgrim and the BBA.
Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union
In 1998, a panel of Law Lords took the unprecedented decision to set aside a ruling of a differently constituted panel of judges of the House of Lords because of the appearance of bias, in an appeal brought by Senator Pinochet, former president of Chile.
The Government of Spain was seeking Pinochet’s extradition from the United Kingdom to face trial for acts that he was alleged to have committed when he was head of state of Chile. He pleaded that he had immunity from prosecution because of his status of head of state when the acts were alleged to have taken place, and that was upheld by the lower courts. To make a long story short, the lower courts’ decision was overturned paving the way for the continuation of extradition proceedings.
Subsequent to the first appeal it was discovered that the wife of one of the panel of Law Lords, Lord Hoffman, was employed by Amnesty International who sought and was granted permission to be an intervener in the Appeal. Lord Hoffman was not a member of Amnesty International, but he had raised funds to assist them to acquire a building.
Chief Justice Marston Gibson
In BU’s previous blog about Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) most if not all of the comments shared were favourable to its quick implementation. We cannot repeat enough times how lamentable it is that - to quote CJ Gibson – ‘our Courts are in crisis’ and ADR was not introduced under the former CJ as one tactic to assist with the efficient handling of the case backlog in our Courts. Nevertheless for his effort Sir David Simmons was rewarded the obligatory Knighthood.
Whilst the OECS Practice Directions exist for Barbados to follow – and it seems ‘strange’ that we should be following the OECS on this matter in much the same way that as a jurisdiction it has already achieved CAT 1 status contrasted with Barbados’ Cat II – there is merit to the CJ advocating for expanding ADR to include family law matters. Anyone who has observed how family matters are dealt with by the Barbados Courts is driven to be very sympathetic to the parties on both sides of the matter. Most oft than not the principals are from the lower rung of society with few options available to them except to wait on our Courts to give currency to the view that justice delayed is justice denied.
Posted in Barbados Judiciary, Barbados News, Caribbean News, Justice, Law,Crime
Tagged ADR, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Barbados Chief Justice, Chief Justice of Barbados, Marston Gibson, OECS, OECS Practice Directions
Marston Gibson, Chief Justice of Barbados
Barbados’ new Chief Justice, Marston Gibson, has admitted that the Barbados courts are in crisis. In a speech to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday, he stated, “I am very conscious of the fact that our courts are in crisis and I am conscious of the fact that we need to do something about it.” .
One of the courses the CJ intimated that he would follow is one long espoused by BU, that of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). BU is also happy to read of the hearty support which President of the BAR Andrew Pilgrim has given to his Lordship’s approach.
The CJ is looking at the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Practice Directions. BU assumes that the CJ refers to the Rules contained here.
If so, we are very hopeful but:
Chief Justice Marston Gibson
On this day, September 01, 2011, the day of your installation as Chief Justice, we congratulate you on your swearing in and we thank you sincerely for having accepted the appointment.
The timely administration and delivery of justice in Barbados has long been one of the primary concerns with the BU family. For too long, the Charter of Magna Carta (that celebrates its 800th Anniversary in 2015) has been flouted and ignored in Barbados. A Charter that clearly postulates that justice delayed is justice denied.
We have read your comments courtesy of the Fourth Estate and we ourselves have been linked to the New York Times blog in connection with your appointment. We are hopeful and optimistic that you are exactly the right man for the job of re-delivering Justice to Barbados.
However, my lord, we also realise that this is not a task in which you can succeed on your own. You will require the support and cooperation of the judiciary, the Bar, the Registry and the People. Last, but by no means least, Government will have to provide you with the tools to do the job, whether it be budget, the setting up of Royal Commissions to deal with unsatisfactory, incompetent or recalcitrant judges or, most importantly, having the courage and resolve to provide its backing (without political or personal bi-partisanship) to support your efforts. We urge everyone, especially Government (by both and whichever political parties) to give you full support.
Posted in Barbados, Barbados Judiciary, Barbados Lawyers, Barbados Media, Barbados News, Blogging, Caribbean News, Justice, Law,Crime, World News
Tagged Barbados Appoints Chief Justice, CJ, Marston Gibson
Newly Appointed Chief Justice Marston Gibson
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:
Posted in Barbados, Barbados Judiciary, Barbados News, Blogging, Caribbean News, David Thompson, Fruendel Stuart, Justice, Law,Crime, Mia Mottley
Tagged Barbados Chief Justice, CJ, Marston Gibson