Nation News Prints Damning Condemnation Of Barbados Justice System

The editors at the country’s largest paper-circulation newspaper have published an article that totally rips the Barbados civil justice and court system to pieces.

The article Massive Payout is so simply devastating at showing the world how bad our justice system is that, for a moment, it almost made me think that there was hope for The Nation News.

Until I realized that the Nation News didn’t even know what the true headline should have been…

The editors think that the size of the award is the meat of the story. It is not. The real heart of the story is that our judicial system is so antiquated and ineffective that civil cases often take over a decade.

What did the Nation News say in the article that was so radical?

Answer… The paper merely printed the simple truth: that in the Barbados civil courts, an injured British tourist named Christine Steele-Sandiford had to wait for justice for eleven long years.

And eleven years is nothing… there are cases before the Barbados courts that are approaching two decades!

You want justice in the Barbados courts? Set aside at least ten years and pray really hard.

The Nation News: Massive Payout

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16 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

16 responses to “Nation News Prints Damning Condemnation Of Barbados Justice System

  1. Bimbro

    Wait, but NN only now discover dis?!!!!

  2. My mother had a broken ankle due to South Coast Sewerage Project in 1997, she sued the Crown and did not reach settlement until 2004

  3. Bajanboy

    I think the Crown was hoping that she would get frustrated and drop the suit.

    It is also ridiculous that criminal matters can take years to come to a verdict. After a few months, witnesses become unreliable.

    The entire legal systems needs to be thrown out and something better put in its place.

  4. bussa

    Dealing with the solicitor general office is a nightmare they are like a law unto them own selves. They work from their homes have you ever heard of a government servant working from home. I have seen circumstances where they take over two years to respond to letters, and it seems like the attorney general whoever he or she is has no control over this department. It is really sad our judicial system functions this way.

  5. no name

    Bajanboy said “After a few months, witnesses become unreliable.”

    Not only that, but after many years people die! Eleven years is ridiculous. Suppose the lady was aged, would she ever have seen a settlement?

  6. Bimbro

    Hundreds of thousands of Bim taxpayers’ dollars, down the drain, which could be being spent on hospitlas or shools etc!! And what became of the worker(s) who left the manhole uncovered!!!! Have they received any punishment or has it been overlooked for them to do it, again!!!!

    What about the Bajan biker who fell head over his handlebars the other day because some idiot replace the manhole-grill in the wrong direction!! I suppose it’ll be another ten years before he receives any compensation!!!!

    Wunna mek me laugh!!!! And u think I should be proud of being Barbadian!!!!

    You may be interested to know that in the UK, an official is usually, given about 5 days to reply to a letter, after which there’s a possiblity of fines being imposed!!!!

    You might consider such a system!!!! Pity the poor Barbadian, consumer/litigant!!!!

  7. Tony Hall

    Bajanboy,
    I agree that the judicial system in Barbados is slow. You said it should be discarded and something new brought in. I would wish to point out to you that the judicial systems in England, USA, Australia and other large countries with large resources are very slow too. Should their systems be thrown out too? Barbados therefore is not isolated. It is a reality of life that the “wheels of justice” turn slowly.

  8. Bimbro

    Tony Hall, ten years to selltle a compensation claim!! Are you for real?!!! What other aspects of Bajan society do you make excuses for?!!!!

    What really, amazes me, is that anybody would be proud to be Chief Justice of a system which is so clearly, flawed!!!! Presumably, the current incumbent is a new posting!! Please Sir, hurry and give us a judicial system of which we may be proud!! I don’t think we can be of the present one!!!!

    As for Thompy et al!! sharp suits but are they doing any work?!!!! We await to see the evidence!!!!

  9. Tony Hall –
    For you to grandly say “It is a reality of life that the ‘wheels of justice’ turn slowly” is virtually to say that nothing can be done about it.

    That’s the whole point. Something HAS to be done about this Old Boys’ (and Ladies’) Club of lawyers who permit each other postponements, continuances, etc. because of some footling excuse like a busy work schedule.

    “Justice delayed is justice denied”

    If judges and magistrates were told by the Chief Justice that such delays must cease and that fines will be imposed on ANY delays, you would see this smug fraternity get off their backsides and actually serve their clients promptly as they should.

    In my worthless opinion any lawyer who is not ready to produce his case when called on is in contempt of court, wasting the time of all the officials sitting there at taxpayers’ expense. He should be fined heavily the first time and jailed the second time. Then we would see action!

    Unless there is genuine commitment to end delays, nothing will be done. Genuine commitment in this respect can only come from a Chief Justice willing to make a break with the Dickensian past, robbing clients with their procrastination. We are not going to get that from our pompous stuffed shirt now presiding. Even the most resolute Attorney General will find him or herself frustrated to suicide by all the fiddling reasons why the present system must grind along unchanged.

    And while we are on the subject, What about the Kingsland Dispute soon to emerge from the Canadian Courts which had to be used because Justice was being Denied in Barbados?

  10. reality check

    The judicial system needs transparency and accountability. Build in strict time mandates and enforce them rigorously.

    This requires judges at the top who believe in strict accountability and who will demand it.

    This means that someone new and effective will need to be in place and many of the senior members of the Bar who have abused the system for years will need to be put out to pasture.

    Will this accountability be revealed in the first 100 days with all our government offices?

  11. bussa

    I know of a case where the crown took 15 years to ccept liability so the process has now begin

  12. Bimbro

    As BFP, suggested, would it be too, much to hope for some serious, investigative journalism from NN news, now that the other lot have gone and unlike we’ve had before????

    I’ve often wondered why Ms Gittens(?) actually, bought the paper? Did she have any non-commercial motives for doing so because, in my opinion, at least one of the motives for owning a paper shoud hopefully, be to try and make the country in which you operate a better one to live in, instead of just parrot-like, reporting what has happened!!!!

    Please help us to do that Ms Gittens, and the Advocate!!!!

  13. The priority of any newspaper is to keep its head above water financially.

    Sometimes, but not always, this can be done by adopting the role of Knight in Shining Armor, which generates positive readership and sales.

    When you have been scared of your own shadow for the last 13 years, it takes a while to come out into the daylight and speak out with frank and honest views. With BFP and the contributors to this blog maybe we can coax The Advocate and The Nation to speak with a clear voice on our national concerns.

  14. Bimbro

    deb, good luck with your ‘coaxing’ of them!! I’ve much less patience with these people than you. I’m not going to rant, for now!! Got to watch my pressure!! Lor!!!!

  15. Bimbro

    Put it this way, deb, a paper shoud have ‘more than one priority’, in my point of view!!!!

    Cheers for now!!!!

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