Time To Obtain Justice In Barbados Courts: 17 Years… or Never

barbados-snail-court-justice

Caribbean Court of Justice Hammers Barbados Courts Again

Looking for justice in Barbados? Don’t hold your breath. Barbados courts can move swiftly if the ruling party needs a judgment or some stamp of approval on the expropriation of land, but if it is not in the interest of certain elites, court cases can drag on for decades.

The courts in Barbados have always been a highly politicized but this reality moved to new heights during the BLP government when then-Prime Minister Owen Arthur appointed his long time political colleague and Attorney General as the Chief Justice of Barbados. The move effectively consolidated the power of the government and the courts under the control of Barbados political elites – and the image of both the courts and the Office of the Chief Justice have never recovered.

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

Certainly when David Anthony Cathcart Simmons agreed to accept the position from his old friend Owen Arthur, the act brought the administration of justice in Barbados into disrepute. It is the very presence of a career politician, former Attorney General and former Acting Prime Minister as Chief Justice that warns ordinary people that they haven’t a hope of seeing justice in Barbados. (See David Simmons’ bio here. Very impressive career politician!)

But what is the image of our Justice System and our country compared to raw power and personal ambition? No matter, in Barbados the courts, the judges, the prosecutors and the government are all the same. One might even be able to throw the news media into the mix too.

And don’t forget, folks… Chief Justice Sir David Simmons also publicly stated that he wants to see all Barbados police and military personnel united into one agency under government control!

“It must be admitted that Chief Justice Sir David Simmons knows a thing or two about consolidation of power.”

We at Barbados Free Press continue to hammer the issue of the politicization of our courts because it is foundational to rights and freedoms for all in our country. When citizens or foreigners become involved in disputes with the elites or the government, they simply cannot rely upon Barbados courts to deliver independent, impartial and fair justice. In Barbados, the courts are often used as a blunt weapon to deny justice to victims. Oh, everything is done according to procedure: day by day, month by month, year by year and decade by decade until the weak die or give up.

And if the courts give a decision that the government of the day doesn’t like? The foreign investor is just as likely to see the army sent in with guns to overrule the court’s decision. They don’t usually print the story of Barbados Sea Island Cotton and Nitin Amersey in the local news!

That is the reality of our Barbados courts and it has been recognized again and again but nothing changes.

Here is the latest story. Just today’s story — but citizens and foreign investors alike should be aware that if they have a dispute with one of the Barbados elites or the government, this is what they are in for…

CCJ criticises island’s judiciary

by WADE GIBBONS

BARBADOS’ JUDICIARY has once again come in for sharp criticism from the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) over its tardiness.

The admonishment came during the recent judgement in an appeal brought by former chief electrical engineer Winton Campbell against the Office of The Attorney General. The CCJ’s final ruling marked almost 17 years that Campbell’s case had been making the rounds in the judicial system.

Following an enquiry into the Electrical Inspection Department, a report to Government in 1989 proposed a reorganisation and transferral of some of its functions to the Ministry of Transport and Works.

continue reading this Nation article CCJ Criticises Island’s Judiciary

Further Reading

BFP – Oct 3, 2008: Would Bussa Have Accompanied Barbados Chief Justice and Prime Minister To Chinese Embassy Celebration?

BFP – July 25, 2008: Pastor Jippy Doyle – Barbados Child Sex Trial Finally Starts After 7 Years – Police Witness Died Weeks Ago!

BFP – July 16, 2008: How One Of The Richest Women In Barbados Was Robbed Of Everything By Scheming Lawyers, Politicians and Government Insiders

BFP – July 12, 2008: Rule Of Law Dead In Barbados: Government Allows Certain Companies To Ignore Laws

BFP – July 2, 2008: Child Rape Haven Barbados – 12-Year-Old Girl Raped Ten Years Ago, No Trial For Ten Years – Defense Lawyers Succeed In Subverting Courts

BFP – April 14, 2008: Chaotic & Corrupt Land Titles System Makes For Risky Real Estate Transactions In Barbados

BFP – Feb 28, 2008: Nation News Prints Damning Condemnation Of Barbados Justice System

BFP – Feb 3, 2008: Nitin Amersey – Sea Cotton Story: When The Barbados Government Sent In The Military To Overrule The Barbados Courts!

Keltruth Blog: Police, Army and Chief Justice in Barbados

Keltruth Blog: Barbados Government’s Treatment of Those who Dare to Complain

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19 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Corruption, Cotton, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate

19 responses to “Time To Obtain Justice In Barbados Courts: 17 Years… or Never

  1. RRRicky

    A frightening but true account when it is seen altogether in a chronological list.

    Good story BFP. Too bad for we but a good story anyways.

  2. West Side Davie

    I wish I knew the whole Sea Island Cotton story. Here is from a canadian newspaper.

    “Canadian businessman Nitin Amersey still remembers the day 300 Barbadian soldiers descended on his cotton business and walked away with his livelihood.It was a clear blue October morning in 1990 when soldiers from Barbados’ Defence Force marched into Mr. Amersey’s office and warehouse on the outskirts of Bridgetown, the nation’s capital. They moved quickly. Over 160 bales of cotton were loaded onto trucks, and half a dozen tractors, vans and jeeps were driven away. No explanations. No information about where more than $2-million of equipment was being taken.”

    I would love to know who ordered that in violation of the court order.

  3. Anonymous

    There is yet another plaintiff who has been waiting in vain for 20 years! Has he been “burnt” by the system?

    He claims that he was represented at the start of his suit by the same lawyer as Wynton Campbell. This same lawyer is now Chief Justice Sir David Simmons!

    Incredibly, Chief Justice Simmons read the judgement on his former client, Campbell!! A judgement which now seems to have been overturned by the CCJ!

    (Sir David Simmons is known in some circles as the “Architect of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)”.)

  4. cq8

    The other story about Bajan courts is how many cases are dropped when victims are paid off mostly in rape and assault cases. This allows people with money to buy their way out of trouble and ignores the wider societal implications of schooling the population that there are two court systems: one for those with money and one for we.

  5. Elombe2

    BFP, have you seen the judgement in the Canadian case where nearly every Bajan was sued? Any comment?

  6. Hants

    So a group of Canadian lawyers are going to collect fat cheques from a group of rich Bajans for a case that had a foregone conclusion.

    There will be a few new Power boats and Mercedes in the muskokas thanks to the generosity of bajans who sought justice in cottage country.

    If a laugh a pop.

    BFP it is time to write a book and make some money.

    Impressive title…. KINGSLAND. A tale of greed and corpulation in paradise……somebody getting scrued.

  7. reality check

    How about who was involved in sending the two Barbadian Police to Montreal to intimidate Amercy or who threatened his family in Barbados and to burn down his house.

  8. akabozik

    Kingsland-wat a mess!

    The very most scary thing about the dispute I read is that in all the years of courts and threats and allegations is that the central issues have never made it to trial not once. It has all been about jurisdiction and admitting evidence and avoiding trial. The big boys outmaneuvered the two old ladies at every turn.

  9. School of Hard Knox

    Hants, you remind me of a number of politicians in Barbados. Every morning before leaving for the office, they stick their wetted finger out the door and see which way the wind is blowing. You make a career of fence sitting until you can see which side is winning. I do not recall you taking a stance on the legitimacey of the Knoxs attempting to change the jurisdiction of their case to Canada. If costs are awarded to the Defendants, which in all probability they will be, the Canadian lawyers just may find themselves out of pocket.
    The premise behind the idea that the Knoxs legal counsel had, was a good one but they did not follow it through to a good legal end. In other words, properly establishing a linking company in Canada that would have given them proper jurisdiction.
    Unfortunately, the legal system, judges and most lawyers in Canada would never believe, let alone comprehend, how the “justice” system in Barbados is ruled by the few elite who only metes out “justice” to their own kind.

  10. Hants

    @ School of Hard Knox.

    …………………

  11. Pat

    School of Hard Knox:

    I worked in the Barbados Justice system and in the Canadian Justice system. Barbados’ system is good and not corrupt. I have problems with some of the Canadian judges. Imagine crediting a criminal double time for time spent in custody before sentencing. Just imagine someone got ten years for killing a dog, while another got two for killing a man. The list goes one and on.

    It appears that the Defendants’ lawyers will be asking for costs against Nelson and MacKenzie as Nelson is a shell company with no assets and no shareholders/directors. At least that is how it looks from the decision.

  12. Pat

    @akabozik

    Not so. The case was heard in Barbados, went to Appeal and even went to the privy council in Britain. This new case was to retry the old in another locale.

  13. neetone

    No Patrick, you are wrong.

    When this case has appeared before the courts it has always been about peripheral issues. Never has the central issue been tried.

    The old women were robbed pure and simple. Case in point: the two old sisters were never given the money that their uncle left them. The person in charge was Iain Deane and he never distributed the uncle’s estate as the will instructed him to. When it finally came before the court 20 years later, the court said “too late now”!!!!

    Too late?

    Too late said the BARBADOS court, so the old ladies never got their inheritance.

    17 years before the Barbados courts? That is nothing.

  14. Jason

    Neetone, I believe you. We never have source documents available in Barbados. We are never able to examine the evidence and facts ourselves to make up our own minds, so we have to choose who to beleive. I beleive you.

  15. Shame, Shame

    neetone, Please forgive Pat(ricia). She can not think independently of Iain Deane. No wonder Iain ran off to England. Much easier to be a girl in England and the double bonus is that you don’t have to face the shame of stealing from two of your elderly relatives.

  16. Jukecheckedeyskirt

    There are so many of these “lost in time” cases by the Big Bad Bully judicial system. It really makes you wonder what sense it makes to be a good law abiding citizen.

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  18. They lost no time in reducing Jippy Doyle’s sentence, eh?

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