The Independence Of The Chief Justice Of Barbados

justice-simmons-puppet.jpg

Attorney General And Cabinet Minister, Then Chief Justice A Few Days Later

When the highest court in the land has to decide a case between the government and a citizen, will Chief Justice David Simmons be loyal to the law… or to his old friends in government? As a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice, will David Simmons favour an old political associate who is being sued by a citizen?

We shouldn’t even have to think about those questions, but we are forced to because our Chief Justice came directly to his position from the slime and mudslinging of politics where he was a powerful presence and a senior Cabinet Minister in the current Barbados government.

Because the government controlled all media at the time of his appointment, Bajans were denied a proper debate of the appropriateness of making the Attorney General into a supposedly “impartial” judge overnight.

We are going to engage in that debate now, folks – and Barbados Free Press will continue to hammer away at an issue that needs to see the light of day and be discussed in a public forum. David Simmons will be the lead story in our soon-to-be-published next print edition.

Even if the Attorney General had been appointed as an ordinary Judge, it would not have been appropriate. But we aren’t talking just any judge. David Simmons became the Chief Justice – the highest Judge in the land.

David Simmons should not have accepted the position of Chief Justice. His action in accepting was unethical and brought the office of the Chief Justice, the courts and the entire judicial system into disrepute.

IF David Simmons has any honour left, he should resign.

Further BFP Reading About Chief Justice Simmons…

Latest articles first…

Barbados Chief Justice Simmons Tries To Forget His Own Past As He Chides New Lawyers To Be Ethical

Source: Chief Justice Simmons Hiding Witness, Deliberately Obstructing Court Case!

New Blog Alleges: Barbados Director Of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock – Ordered Police Thuggery Over His Tenant’s Unpaid Rent – Night Raid, Woman Strip Searched Over Unpaid Rent!

Barbados Jail Builder VECO Added As Defendant In Lawsuit Against Prime Minister Arthur and Chief Justice Simmons

Barbados Chief Justice David Simmons Wanted To Be…

Waiting For Barbados Chief Justice Simmons

A Hope And A Prayer For Barbados Chief Justice David Simmons

Eight BFP Readers Send Open Letter To Barbados Chief Justice Simmons

Barbados Prison Builder VECO – Political Corruption Scandal Continues – FBI and Tax Police Raid US Senator’s Home

You Want Irony? A Country With No Environmental Protection Laws Sends The Chief Justice To Environmental Law Conference

Trinidad and Tobago Chief Justice Suspended – Sinister Politics Or Protecting Democracy? (And A Word About Barbados’ Chief Justice)

Lawsuit Update: Nelson Barbados Group Ltd Against Prime Minister Arthur, Chief Justice Simmons, David Shorey And Many Others

Barbados Free Press Receives Full Copy Of Lawsuit “Statement Of Claim” Against Prime Minister Arthur, Chief Justice Simmons and Others

International Lawsuit Against Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur And Others – Update

Barbados Lawsuit Names Prime Minister Owen Arthur, Chief Justice Simmons And Many Prominent Citizens And Businesses

Does Barbados Chief Justice Simmons Own Shares In The Country’s Largest Newspaper?

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

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23 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Cartoons, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

23 responses to “The Independence Of The Chief Justice Of Barbados

  1. Anonymous

    BFP you have really done it this time. Good luck if you get caught you going to need it! Worst part of what you write is that it make sense to ordinary peoples. I hope you don’t get yourself caught.

  2. akabozik

    The Chief Justice should resign.

  3. West Side Davie

    I agree. Simmons should never have taken the job. Bad business.

  4. West Side Davie

    Should have said “looks bad” not bad business.

  5. Wishing in Vain

    No one gets fired around here you got the message as yet?
    This has been a disgrace from the time it is was thought about, it should never have been allowed to happen, I put it to you that it could not happen in these times as the BFP and BU would hammer Owing and Simmons for even thinking about this course of action.

  6. Could somebody tell me which century we’re living in?

  7. This is just more signs of things to come, there are going to be a few more Jumans before these cretins get theirs. Watching this guy’s career would be almost commendable if it wasn’t for the amount of throats he had to cut to get there. Him and Owen are so intertwined I can’t tell where one ends and one begins.

  8. Anonymous

    Stupid idiots. The biggest online gathering of Bajan retards.

  9. banned

    took this up on no less than 5 occasions on radio over the past three years and was all but ignored by Tony Marshall, David Ellis and Dennis Johnson. To be honest I do not even know if my Soliloquies (that is what results when moderators ignore you) were even broad cast with their oversensitive self editing. The man should have never accepted the job. What an absolute disgrace. Been told by many lawyers that the PM had little faith in the existing members on the bench, even greater disgrace.

  10. Anonymous

    Banned

    Miss your contributions on the radio.

    Please let us hear your views more often or are you banned from calling certain moderators?

  11. banned

    Referred to as “editorial discretion”. a rose by any other name. Tired of those bores anyway.

  12. Anonymous

    Banned

    You know it is sad to see how those call- in programmes have been completely transformed from what it was originally conceived to be.

    More and more these days the call in programmes seem to be centered around the moderator and his/her views.

    Then you have the supremacy of the Producer who if HE doesnot like what you are saying,or HE feels it should not go out or air – then you are cut.

    Note the question of whether or not what was said was defamatory is not always the overriding factor for cutting a caller.

    So I ask what are those programmes set up to do?

    Inform the listeners,allow an outlet to lodge complaints,encourage debate on national issues?

    What is it?

    We seem to be lost in a quagmire of fear,mediocrity and most of all ensuring that King Arthur is not displeased.

    Don’t get your head tie – up – this ain’t about the people.

  13. banned

    Right on good man. At Starcom the contempt starts at the very top, the CEO, Vic the Vendor.

  14. Wishing in Vain

    One of my issues with Fernandes is that when David Ellis was involved in his battle with Noeless Lynch he seemed not very supportive of his partner in the business!!

  15. Straight talk

    WIV:

    Forget Fernandez, he’s a political whore.

    Get back on the Canada case thread, your credibility and vehement defence of DT demands a strong explanation of your hero’s actions.

  16. Straight talk

    WIV:

    Seems like you gone quiet for a while.

    Hope that this episode hasn’t taken the wind out of your billowing sails, but BFP, however bigoted they may be, could have a point.

    I don’t want to hear your usual, and justifiably partisan rant re: VECO, Hardwood, 3S Danos et al,
    I want you to focus your famous tirades to justify Thompy’s sharing of an attorney with your bete noir, O$A.

    Take it away and smash ’em Wishing in Vain.

  17. Wishing in Vain

    Straight talk I have no feelings on the matter as I really do not know anything about the case and what is happening with it (I am sure many others making contributions are just as uninformed as I am) but yet are willing to rant and rave, until I get more details and some insight I have no basis for an opinion.
    What I said and will continue to say it appears to be a silly case with every citizen named as part of the defendants to have attempted to swipe so broadly would suggest to me that they do not know where their real target area is located.

  18. Talking of the independence of the judiciary from the prime minister, it is interesting to read Reggie Dumas’ article of Oct 29 in The Express on the intentions of Manning to become executive president if/when he wins the forthcoming election.

    The fact that Trinidad’s revised constitution puts the judiciary and many other arms of government under the rule of the presidency should give serious concerns to the people of Barbados that the same thing could well happen here.

    See what Dumas has to say:

    “Earlier this month Kenneth Valley, rejected as the PNM candidate for his constituency, let fly at Patrick Manning. It wasn’t the first time that Valley had publicly vented his spleen on Manning, but this attack was far more trenchant and severe.

    “If you perceive action that is dictatorial,” charged Valley, “and if you think that someone is hoping to be Executive President, you have to ask if you want a constitutional dictator and you have to make that decision We need to guard against a special majority that will allow for the executive presidency through the back door…(Manning) has demonstrated that his actions are clearly not in the best interests of T&T.” Valley’s more recent remarks do not indicate any change of position. We know, of course, who would be delighted to obtain a special majority on November 5.

    For his part, Manning fervently denies being a dictator. “No Political Leader of the PNM can turn out to be a dictator,” he said in mid-October. “He cannot be, under the arrangement within the (party) ” A few days later he added: “The Political Leader does not have the final say (in the choice or otherwise of PNM hopefuls). It is the Central Executive (which makes) these decisions.” Valley’s retort was swift, short and dismissive: “Obfuscation.”

    As anyone who has read the PNM constitution knows, Valley was being polite. A PNM Political Leader has vast power (can you imagine Eric Williams wanting it any other way?), and it was Manning himself who recently said that the Leader’s recommendations are hardly ever (in his case, I suspect he meant “never”) turned down by the same Central Executive. But I shan’t accuse Mr Manning of, to use the Churchillian phrase, a terminological inexactitude. First, because I too am polite. Second, and contrary to what you may believe, because politicians never lie. No, really.They merely utter constantly convenient truths.

    However, I entirely agree with the contention that Manning, encouraged by Sir Ellis Clarke’s unhappy draft constitution, is showing every sign of wanting to extend the authoritarianism of PNM leadership to the country as a whole. In my September 2006 articles I pointed to the range of fundamental public institutions which Sir Ellis’s executive president would directly or indirectly control: the Judiciary, the Service Commissions, the Public Service Appeal Board, the Ombudsman, the DPP, the Salaries Review Commission, and so on. Let me now add the Elections and Boundaries Commission to the list.

    I’m still not sure about the Integrity Commission. Both the Clarke and June 2007 drafts simply speak about that Commission’s members being “appointed in such manner and holding office upon such tenure as may be prescribed.” But they do have to take their oaths of office “before the President or (someone) appointed by the President for the purpose.”

    Last week I gave examples of differences between the two drafts which showed that the 2007 document proposed strengthening one-person control of certain institutional aspects of the country. But those changes were not the only ones to disturb me gravely.

    One pertains to the Cabinet. In both drafts the Cabinet, contrary to what now exists at section 75(1) of our Constitution, is merely “to aid and advise the President in the general direction and control of the Government.” In other words, it will really be one person, the President, running the show. But where the Clarke draft limits the number of Cabinet members, the June 2007 draft gives the President a free hand to appoint as many as he/she “may consider appropriate.” Given Mr Manning’s notorious obsession with size (quality doesn’t appear to count for much), I fear the worst if he were to become the Executive President.

    A more profound worry has to do with the DPP. In the Clarke draft he is to discharge his functions “under the general superintendence of the Attorney General.” Especially seeing that the latter is to be appointed by the President, Sir Ellis’ proposal is frightening enough. But the June draft aggravates the situation: it circumscribes the DPP’s independence in criminal proceedings by specifically having him consult first with the AG. In several other matters, e.g., terrorism, it’s even worse: he can act only “with the prior approval of the AG” (my emphasis). You see where this is taking us? And how, may I ask, does one draw a distinction between “criminal proceedings”0 tout court and similar proceedings resulting from, say, terrorist activity?

    I haven’t said anything about the virtual absence of checks and balances on proposed presidential authority and action (both drafts grant the Executive President near-absolute immunities), or about the stretch of central government tentacles over local government, or about Tobago. But I shall.

    Ken Valley may not ever have spoken out if his candidacy had been successful. He will have to live with that shortfall in timing and timeliness. But in my opinion the principle he raised is absolutely correct: there is a constitutional dictatorship in the making. If we allow it to take form, we will all, PNMites included, live to regret our inaction.”

    Fellow Barbadians- Take heed before it is too late!

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