Al Barrack is wrong: Justice and the Law are not for everyone in Barbados

Al Barrack now knows the dangers of doing business in Barbados where the law and the courts are ignored by government.

Over three years ago businessman Al Barrack won at 34 million dollar judgement against the National Housing Corporation.

Of course he wasn’t paid, and the amount owed to him including interest is now over 62 million dollars.

Barrack is almost ruined. A friend loaned him life-savings money for the court action that Barrack won – but Barrack hasn’t been able to pay him back. The friend’s wife is long gone and Barrack is reduced to standing on the street in front of the new NHC that he built telling the newspapers that he’s going to make the NHC understand that “the law is for everybody.”

The NHC is ignoring Barrack. So is the government. The real message that the silence delivers is that the NHC and the government know they can still out-lawyer, out-spend and out-wait Al Barrack until he has a breakdown, heart attack, up and dies or does something foolish because any man would be half crazy by now.

Not that Al Barrack is half crazy. He’s not yet gone ’round the bend and the NHC and the government don’t understand that because they have been trying their best.

The case has been going on since 2002. He won in 2006, but it didn’t matter because both the NHC and the government have made it clear that it will be a cold day in hell before Barbados and the NHC obey the order of the court and pay what is owed to Al Barrack.

That is just how things are done ’bout hey by the elites who control the government and the courts. Separation of powers in Barbados? Rule of Law?

Ya mek sport, my son!

Al Barrack was unlucky enough to have to sue a Barbados government corporation, and it doesn’t matter that he won in the courts – because around here the courts and the law are only obeyed by the ruling class when it is convenient for them to do so.

When it is not convenient to obey the law (like when the courts say they owe a victim $64 million dollars)… well, then the NHC, the Barbados government and the ruling elites say “De courts can stick it where the sun doan shine.”

Good luck, Mr. Barrack. We hope we will be proven wrong and that the government and the NHC will cut you a cheque tomorrow.

But we’re not betting on it.

Further Reading (Nation News)



CONTRACTOR AL BARRACK has declared himself owner of the National Housing Corporation (NHC).

“I own the NHC,” he said angrily yesterday at a Press conference a stone’s throw away from the Government office complex in Warrens, St Michael, the source of a bitter dispute over payment.

Barrack, who won a $34.4 million plus interest judgement against the NHC in 2006, pledged to take over the NHC’s assets to recover the debt which has now accrued to $62 321 268.

“I am going to take their things. That building over there [pointing to the nearby Warrens office complex which sparked the dispute between him and the NHC], and everything NHC has.

“I intend to take every damn thing. I can take their lands, the buildings in Country Road [NHC headquarters], their vehicles, their furniture! I own the NHC right now! I am up to my throat with them. They must understand that the law is for everybody,” the contractor stressed.

The sum owed, the largest settlement in local history, was determined by the lone arbitrator in the matter, former Chief Justice Sir Denys Williams, who awarded Barrack at the time $34 409 518, plus interest, and a further eight per cent per annum interest added every month until the award is paid.

The case began in July 2002 and included about 140 sitting days over four years. About three months after the arbitration hearings were closed, he was awarded the sum in a written judgement.

He said, his family, those whom he had borrowed money from and those who had worked for him, had suffered tremendous hardship since the ordeal began a decade ago when he had to leave the unfinished Warrens office building project.

Giving an example, he said: “A friend of mine lent me $2 million at five per cent interest – his life savings. He is now at a point where his wife has left him because his wife was always against him lending me the money.

“I owe him . . . his life savings, just like they owe me my life savings and I am screaming at the top of my voice and no one wants to hear me; they are not interested to hear me.

“I called the Minister (of State in the Ministry) of Finance [Darcy Boyce] and he said he knew nothing about it and that he had to hear from the Prime Minister.

“What do they think it is? It’s not a murder case. . . . We all agreed to go to an arbitrator; he ruled, then they wanted to go to court and we did.

NHC proposal

“The trial judge [Justice Jacqueline Cornelius] ruled. Now we go to this again and the judge told them to pay me. Oh gosh man! What now? What more do they want now?” he lamented.

The head of Barrack Construction said though he did not have to, he reluctantly offered the NHC a proposal to either pay all his money in full or at least
60 per cent by December 15; another 20 per cent 90 days later and the last 20 per cent in the following 90 days.

Yesterday, two days had gone since the deadline and he said he had heard nothing.

Barrack said it was not a matter of if he would take action, but when: “I am waiting on my lawyers to say when.”

The veteran engineer who worked on the Central Bank building, Arawak Cement Plant, the sea and airports and other structures across the island, said he felt “bitter” over the manner he has been treated throughout the entire process.

Barrack told the media there would never have been overruns on the project if his advice had been heeded from the very beginning. He said engineers brought in to analyse it when the case was in arbitration, demonstrated this.

When contacted yesterday afternoon, NHC chairman Marilyn Rice-Bowen, who was out of the island, said she could offer no comment since she
did not know what had transpired at the Press conference.

Acting general manager Garvey Alleyne offered a “No comment”; while Minister of Housing Michael Lashley said he would return a call, but up to Press time
had not done so.


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

17 responses to “Al Barrack is wrong: Justice and the Law are not for everyone in Barbados

  1. Probably not Al Barrack


    You right to mek laughing sport of me !

    When my operatives start a series of attacks around here….I really hope everyone will be laughing still !

    Time long…so too is DYNAMITE cord….!

  2. Markus

    BFP: you are so correct. I am a Barbadian who moved to the US ~ 15 yrs ago and believe me I am sickened by the utter lack of rule of law in Barbados.
    Personal example: a family member of mine was injured in an auto accident and subsequently was subjected to a battery or invasive and non-invasive testing and ultimately suffered permanent neurological damage as a consequence of the accident. It is now some 10 years later and the “good-for-nothing”, son-of-a-bitch lawyer we hired has yet to secure settlement on pending damges initiated 10 years ago! All we get is the same bull-shit answer “…this person out of the island”…”let me call you back” etc. Well, we complained to the Bar Association and yes (as you’ve already probably guessed) to no avail. To add insult to injury, this asshole of a lawyer was elected to a very prominent position in the said Bar Association!

    The concenpt of “law” in Barbados is a joke! Political elites and wealthy individuals continue to manipulate the law to their benefit, and sadly, individuals like my family member and Mr. Barack have no recourse. I know this will sound distasteful, but perhaps the only thing left for us to do is to become Canadian and get robbed or seriously injured on some secluded beach in Barbados. Perhaps then we’ll have the “audience” to actually get justice!

  3. Probably not Al Barrack

    Hello Markus,

    I emphatise with you and the plight of your relative. Like you said at the end of your post we may have to give up our Rights as citizens of Barbados and become Canadians to be taken seriously in this land.

    But let them keep fooling the people….like we have learnt from the Americans…we in Barbados can learn from the IRAQIS.

    We can learn how to SCORCH the earth…in search of JUSTICE !

    I am waiting on THEM !! (No pun intended)

  4. reality check

    you are all wasting time and energy until you elect people who REALLY want to form another party based on what the Rule of Law stands for.

    It all starts with the individual and grass root movements from the bottom up.

    Get going!!!

  5. Johnny Postle

    Its a no win situation with the law in Barbados. Both parties are a pain in the ass and the easily bribe, easily influence judicial system is a mere mockery. When justice is only meted at the underpriviledge whilst the priviledge gets away with murder why would I want to trust any political system in Barbados. F…king politicians and corrupt lawyers wicked as sin. Hope all them rot in friggin hell for their evil.

  6. oh come on

    al barrack when u get your money beg for me income tax return too

  7. Bee Beeps de Road Runner

    Wait, Mr. Barrack don’t know people? Organise a strike of all the construction workers in the island.

    But then they gine just bring in more illegal Chinese so…



  9. marty shawcross

    Dear editor

    Rule of Law

    I pose this submission under the issue of Rule of Law.

    Nearly two weeks ago, a cyclist was reportedly knocked off his bike and killed by a hit and run motorist. It repoted in the media, then it all went cold.

    1. Is it true that the first destination the motorist headed for was to a mechanic who was a family friend to “fix my windscreen quickly, I ran into a cow.”
    2. Is it true that as the mechanic started work on the vehicle, he spotted blood on the screen and other areas of the car?
    3. Is it true that he put conscience and duty over deceit and friendship and rang the police, the reason the police was so easily able the apprehend the culprit?
    4. Is it true that the culprit is the wife of a police sargeant?
    5. Does that relationship has any bearing on the fact that no charges have yet been brought to bear?
    6 Is she currently under arrest?
    7. Is the case dead and buried?
    8. Why no further media reporting?

  10. Private Eye

    Just forget the Dynamite and scorch earth talk, We Bajans can change things if we try. The lawyers are just a bunch of frighten asses in suits, nothing a few dog-hunter lashes can’t cure.

  11. Andrew Kurtland

    The late Rt. Excellent Errol Walton Barrow advised Barbadians some time ago to keep out of the law courts.The courts in Barbados focus on law not justice.
    Many poor people cannot have justice due to the long delays in the hearing of their cases and the scandalous costs charged by attorneys-at-law. It makes no sense complaining to the Bar Association of Barbados since their is no transparentcy in the process as they are judge and jury. When will Government bring legislation to amend the legal profession act or establish an oversight committee?
    Their is now hope for all persons who are denied justice and those who are being screwed-up by their lawyers.
    JUSTICE NOW is here to advocate on your behalf. The inaugural meeting was held on December 10,2009 (International Human Rights Day) .The next meeting will be held in January 2010 .Keep informed for the date.

  12. izzmee

    Mr Barrack should not be in this position. Not because he has not been paid, but because he should never have won the contract in the first place. I have been reliably told that his company had never previously managed a contract as big as the one for the NHC building. He allegedly got the contract as a “favour to the SBM” and evidently did not perform satisfactorily. The then Government lost patience and terminated the contract but evidently failed to follow proper procedures so that the Court found in his favour. I am still at a loss to understand how that happened but that is the way law is dispensed in Bim.
    That is one story ….. some people have others ….

  13. Probably not Al Barack


    All I want for Christmas is my damn money.

    Michael Lashley needs to be put in a kennel.

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