Barbados Guide To Judicial Conduct “Not Available To Ordinary Public” – But It Doesn’t Matter, It Doesn’t Really Exist Anyway

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

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14 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

14 responses to “Barbados Guide To Judicial Conduct “Not Available To Ordinary Public” – But It Doesn’t Matter, It Doesn’t Really Exist Anyway

  1. Zulu

    Poppycock. That’s how I would describe the judicial guidelines. They are only ethecial and not legal? Why not legal? So what will happen if and when these rules are breached? Will any judge be removed from the bench? Will never happen. Not bout hay.
    The CJ knows that judges and lawyers are members of lodges so what is he trying to prove?
    It is common knowledge that when a member of the fraternity goes before certain magestrates and judges he is given special treatment. Priviledges are granted and the CJ knows this. Come on Sir David, you can do better than this. Make the rules legal. Give them teeth AND ensure compliance by CARRYING OUT THE LAW when the rules are breached. Nuff said.

  2. Zulu

    sorry. That should be…magIstrate and not magEstrate

  3. Justice

    BFP, this is really much ado about nothing. Of course judges are subject to the ordinary laws of the land, perhaps even more so than the ordinary citizen, so there is no need to make special rules for them. Bribery, corruption, undue influence, all apply to them, but also high moral behaviour and exemplary ethical conduct in public etc. The guide to judicial conduct is not and cannot be a legal document because there is no need for Parliament to add to the law in this regard. Indeed, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that among its injunctions is that judges should not be members of secret fraternities since this might tend to suggest bias in some cases.

    Why would a layman want a copy of the judicial guide to conduct? He cannot enforce it in any way and if one is troubled by the non- illegal behaviour of a judge, he has a right to complain to the head of the judiciary. If there is evidence of criminal conduct, then this should be reported to the authorities as well, but this has nothing to do with the guide. It’s almost like asking for a copy of May’s Parliamentary Practice to determine if certain speeches were parliamentary.

    All that having been said, however, I can see no reason why if ,for some reason or other, a citizen wants a copy, why it should not be made available to him.
    *****************
    Comment from BFP Robert
    Hi Justice

    Thanks for your take on it, although I strongly disagree with a few of your points.

    But let’s keep it simple. You are a Barbados lawyer. Will you kindly scan your copy of the guidelines and email them to Barbados Free Press? (PDF, JPG, TIFF – the format doesn’t matter.)

    Thanks,
    Robert

  4. BFP

    Comment from BFP Robert
    Hi Justice

    Thanks for your take on it, although I strongly disagree with a few of your points.

    But let’s keep it simple. You are a Barbados lawyer. Will you kindly scan your copy of the guidelines and email them to Barbados Free Press? (PDF, JPG, TIFF – the format doesn’t matter.)

    Thanks,
    Robert

  5. Rumplestilskin

    Oops, was that an error in naming a poster?

    Oops I say.

  6. Citizen First

    Re the naming of a poster – e.g. in responding to Justice, BFP Robert starts with “Hi Justice”..
    Does BFP know the real names of posters ?

    ********************

    A tired Robert responds for BFP…

    Sorry sorry sorry.

    We do NOT generally know the names of posters. We do however know the names of some of our friends and some posters who have told us their names.

    Tired. Up all night. Made a mistake and called somebody by a certain name. Guilty.

    Sorry friends,

    Robert

  7. Yardbroom

    Justice
    ” among its injunctions is that judges “should ” – my italics- not be members of secret fraternities”

    I am concerned because the words “must not” have not been used. There of course would be no need if Magistrates and Judges were obliged to declare membership of the said organizations.

  8. BFP

    A tired Robert responds for BFP…

    Sorry sorry sorry.

    We do NOT generally know the names of posters. We do however know the names of some of our friends and some posters who have told us their names.

    Tired. Up all night. Made a mistake and called somebody by a certain name. Guilty.

    Sorry friends,

    Robert

  9. BFP

    The truth is there are quite a few people who could turn us in if they wanted to.

    I hesitate to count for fear of frightening myself half to death. Frankly, we are all surprised that our anonymity lasted for the first six months let alone to now.

  10. Pingback: Chief Justice Stipulates A Code Of Conduct For Judges~Barbados Free Press Wants To Eyeball The Document « Barbados Underground

  11. Mafeeyah!

    “The truth is there are quite a few people who could turn us in if they wanted to.”

    And what charges might be brought against you, if/when turned in?

    Sedition ?
    Disturbing the propagandistic peace ?
    Treason ?
    Ruffling BLP feathers ?
    Exposing Mia’s sordid behaviour ?
    Upsetting VIP Kerin$ ?

  12. complete sham

    When you have an Attorney-General go to the highest legal position in the land within a short perod of time, we simply do do not have an independent judiciary.

    dressing up in starched legal finery and a wig and strutting around like a self-righteous self important peacock does not make it so

    Th BLP is finally beginning to reap what it has sewn.

  13. Straight talk

    Reading Mr Marshall’s acceptance of VECO’s claims of straight dealing, even though they have been successfully been prosecuted for corruption in Alaska many years before this latest instance, his naivety in putting his own integity on the line in defence of a known offender is astonishing.

    With this thinking , it may well be Mr Marshall who, in his learned opinion, prompted O$A to announce “politicians in Barbados are honest, therefore no integrity legislation is needed”, because they said so.

  14. Somebody help BArbados

    Judges have no checks and balances; doctors have no checks and balances; the lawyers do as they please…the government keeps sp many temporary workers to victimize people and there is no integrity standards for politicians…everybody in BArbados does as they like…i guess bajans will only take it till they can take it no more…