We Discover That Barbados Has No Rules Governing The Conduct Of Judges
About a year ago the Judicial Council of Barbados announced with much fanfare that it had approved and published a Guide To Judicial Conduct. With that little bit of publicity successfully taken care of – what do you think the Judicial Council did for their next step?
If you guessed “Make sure the public never gets their hands on a copy of the Guide To Judicial Conduct” – you win the prize!
What hogwash these optional (or maybe we should say ‘fictional’) rules of conduct for Judges have turned out to be, because as we discovered:
Barbados doesn’t have any rules governing the conduct of Judges. This “guide” has about as much weight in law as fish bait.
The Chief Justice and the other crones still make it up as they go along and this fictional “Guide To Judicial Conduct” was obviously nothing more than a publicity stunt.
Check It Out For Yourself
First step… try and get a copy of the “Guide”. Let’s try online… nope. Ya gotta be kiddin’ me!
Ok, now try and get your hands on a dead-tree version.
Go ahead… call the judges’ chambers, Bar Association – call the office of the Chief Justice. Call anyone you like.
We did and were told that the Guide To Judicial Conduct is (quote) “not available to the ordinary public”.
Shoulda known! This IS Barbados my friends and there are certain types of materials that the plantation masters just don’t allow the ordinary folks to have knowledge about.
The Only “Judicial Conduct” Reference Bajans Are Allowed Is One Newspaper Article
Everything that the citizens of Barbados are allowed to know about any guidelines or rules governing the conduct of their Judges is contained in one newspaper article published on July 9, 2006 in that government outlet The Nation News.
New Guide For Judges quotes Chief Justice Sir David Simmons stating that the guidelines are ethical, not legal rules, hence they are not absolute.
So there you have it, folks. Whatever these secret rules are – they are nothing in law.
Welcome to Barbados – where the elites in all sectors of our society ARE the law. The elites simply find it much more convenient to be able to make it up as they go along.
Best not to give the rabble any legally enforceable standards for conflicts of interest, integrity or transparency. Freedom of Information legislation? Ya gotta be kiddin’ me!
Wouldn’t want the “ordinary public” to get any uppity ideas about holding any elected or appointed public official accountable for anything.
Welcome to Zimbabwe West
New guide for judges
Published on: 7/9/06.
BY ANTOINETTE CONNELL
JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES have been given a list of written dos and don’ts that include staying clear of political parties and a caution about fraternal bodies.
Among other things, the judicial officers must avoid commenting on certain issues and must behave in such a manner that it does not affect people’s faith in the integrity of the judiciary.
In a first such move, a Guide To Judicial Conduct was approved and published by the Judicial Council of Barbados, giving an outline of what is proper behaviour.
Noted jurist, Sir Frederick Smith, a former Attorney-General and Justice of Appeal, said yesterday that the publishing of the manual was important.
“The behaviour of judges and magistrates is vital to maintaining law and order. It is important that from time to time the head of the judiciary lay down rules for judges and magistrates,” he said.
Under the heading “propriety”, it states that a judge should refrain from: membership of political parties, political fund-raising and functions, contributing to political parties and campaigns, and publicly taking part in controversial discussions that are partisan in character.
One guideline states:
“A judge must be sensitive to the fact that fraternal bodies are shrouded in mystery and clothed with a perception of secrecy and of providing unconditional assistance to members in times of need, trouble and distress.
“Persons who are not members of such bodies are likely to conclude that a litigant, belonging to the same fraternal body as a judge, may enjoy an unfair advantage.
“In such circumstances, it would be appropriate for a judge to disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which the impartiality of the judge might reasonably be questioned.”
Chief Justice Sir David Simmons, in the introduction, stressed that the guidelines were ethical, not legal rules, hence they were not absolute.
“They describe the high standards with which all judicial officers should be conversant and to which they should aspire,” he wrote.
The guidelines also warn against close personal association with individual lawyers that may give rise to suspicion; or judges presiding over matters where a relative is representing a litigant.
Judges are prohibited from disclosing confidential information acquired in cases of financial dealings. They and their families are not allowed to accept gifts or favours in relation to performing their duties.
However, judges have been given the all-clear to lecture, write, and teach. (from The Nation News link here)
UPDATED – Barbados Underground Talks About The Masonic Connections Of Some Judges
At least, that’s what we think BU is talking about…
“BU is also aware of another occasion where it was whispered that the now retired Judge Leroy Inniss, Alair Shepherd to name an example were “brothers” and therefore open the obvious issues of …well we will not go there yet.”
As always, there is lots worth reading at Barbados Underground