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.
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
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 – Feb 28, 2008: Nation News Prints Damning Condemnation Of Barbados Justice System
Keltruth Blog: Police, Army and Chief Justice in Barbados