The legacy of Barbados Attorney General & Chief Justice SIR David Simmons

Former Prime Minister David Thompson said it was unethical for Attorney General SIR David Simmons to have accepted the position of Chief Justice from then PM Owen Arthur. BFP agreed with Prime Minister Thompson then, and now.

But forget about that.

Let’s just look at performance, at results. What did SIR David Simmons achieve?

Did SIR David bring justice to the people?

Let’s look at what our Justice System is after SIR David Simmons was in charge – first as Attorney General and then as Chief Justice – for… how many years? Almost two decades!

This is reality and the true legacy of Sir David Simmons.

Oh… don’t listen to us. Listen to those who work in and with the Barbados Justice System…

…as detailed in a current Nation News article: Fed up Bar.

Now look: you really should read the following article at The Nation AND PLEASE DO!!!!

But… we’re forced to print the entire article here because The Nation has often shown it will change history or delete an article under political pressure. So… give them courtesy of a visit to their website, ok? Once again, here’s the link to “Fed up Bar”

Thanks!

Fed-up Bar

A letter has been sent by the Barbados Bar Association to Acting Chief Justice Sherman Moore

BY BY TIM SLINGER | THU, NOVEMBER 11, 2010 – 12:15 AM

A DELINQUENT COURT SYSTEM. That’s how the Barbados Bar Association described the justice system in Barbados in a stinging letter sent to the Acting Chief Justice Sherman Moore earlier this week.

“As president of the Bar, it is my duty to inform you of the general feeling of the Bar, that the wheels of our judicial system are grinding to a halt,” president Leslie Haynes said.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the DAILY NATION, the Bar Association, which represents over 700 attorneys, particularly complained about the “dysfunction of the civil justice system of Barbados”, noting it offended the constitutional right of people’s access to justice and was now a matter of grave national importance.

“The average court experience is characterised by unexplained delays, inefficient scheduling, missing and or incomplete court files, lack of proper accommodation for attorneys and litigants and an inability to have matters heard.

“. . . If this dysfunction is not urgently addressed it will deteriorate into a complete breakdown of the civil justice system in Barbados,” the letter stated.

The Bar Association has also taken issue with not receiving a copy of the report on the assessment of the Barbados Judiciary Implementation of the Civil Procedure Rules and Project Proposal April 2010.

It also charged that it appeared there was no structure to the operation of the court and that the major players, particularly the Registration Department, did not understand the core concept of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR), noting it would eventually frustrate the judicial process.

Referring to the report, the Bar Association added: “It must be agreed that the proper implementation of the CPR requires the participation and cooperation of all concerned parties including the Bar and we are alarmed that the Barhasbeen and continues to be excluded from the process.

“This exclusion is highlighted by the fact that the Bar is yet to be officially notified that the assessment was being conducted and that a report containing recommendations was actually prepared.”

The letter added: “Our membership is growing increasingly frustrated and impatient with what appears to be a failure to address the issues which are obstructing the proper function of the judicial system and the public’s access to justice. In my opinion, it is imperative that the Bar be fully informed so as to avoid action based on inaccuracy.”

Efforts to contact Acting Chief Justice Moore and Registrar of the Supreme Court Marvo Clarke for comment yesterday were futile.

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9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Human Rights

9 responses to “The legacy of Barbados Attorney General & Chief Justice SIR David Simmons

  1. pot calling the kettle black

    “If this dysfunction is not urgently addressed it will deteriorate into a complete breakdown of the civil justice system in Barbados,”

    The members of the bar, particularly at the top, are not innocent in this dysfunction. Instead of sitting down and trying to settle matters under normal canons of ethics, they are all too frequently involved in issuing frivolous lawsuits and delaying for the weakest of reasons,

    Compounding this are the judges who not only permit this dysfunction but actively participate in it.

    The Rule of Law is subverted for tribal networks of friendship and mutual fees.

  2. Capt. Nobody

    Hellooo!! Wake Up!! The Court system on this island is very antiquate and pathetic, third world class.
    A deep reform is urgently needed to avoid the named “breakdown”.
    Is this government able to do that? I doubt.

  3. Pingback: Barbados Bar Association laments the state of the Barbados Justice system | tcilegalblog

  4. Chester

    Not surprised by the leak.

    The membership of the bar has felt that the top brass has been too silent for too long. The court was not prepared for the new rules and the move to the new court has produced alot of red tape and frustration. The old rules were working just fine.

    Perhaps if court started on time and went past 1 o’clock, alot more would get done. Makes no sense for attorneys to be present, litigants be present and have no one to adjudicate on the matter because the judge arrives after 10a.m when court should start at 9:30a.m.

    Imagine, you have to make an appointment to have documents filed for Estate matters, so two trips have to be made to get some surly registry workers take documents to put them on a file. It now takes three times as long to have an estate completed as documents are being sent back for frivolous reasons by the spelling and punctuation police.

    Title suits are no longer being taken because the Registry can’t figure out if they should be under the new rules or not and all foreclosure matters are on pause.

    It is so bad that they don’t know if documents are to be on short paper or long paper.

    It takes about three days to have a civil file pulled (if you are lucky) and you have to request it in a book, if the book can be found.

    Surprised the Registrar couldn’t be reached for comment? The bar isn’t, she doesn’t return their calls either and somehow you can never reach a person to talk to, just voicemail.

    There has been a problem for a long time. Ask anyone who has been to court in the past year.

    Man up Leslie, put the concerns of the bar forward without fear!

  5. WTF?

    There is no way Attorney General Simmons was ethical to become Chief Justice. Don’t tell me that wasn’t the plan when he resigned as AG.

    It was the plan by Owen Arthur and David Simmons to have the BLP control the courts. It was a good plan because it worked. It was a bad plan becaues it was corrupt as hell.

  6. eener

    I always believed that Simmons was rather useless. Our justice system is really poor [the new Halls of Jusice looks nice though].

    There is so much work to be done to fix procedures and work ethics. But Mr. Simmons has done nothing to advance our system just draw a really large salary.

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