Brooklyn Judge wants to be a Barbados judge right now!

“They (Barbados Judges) live a pretty supreme life.”

A group of fifteen Barbadian students touring a Brooklyn, New York court to learn about the differences between the American and Bajan justice systems came away with a bit of culture shock.

You see, in the United States while there are daily failures to reach the lofty goals expressed in the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution – it is recognized in law and societal attitudes that every person, no matter high born or low born, has equal rights and status before the law. There are “ruling classes” in the USA, but to be judged by “a jury of one’s peers” is to be judged by other citizens no matter their income, class or education.

As we know, that’s not so in Barbados.

Former Chief Justice (and Acting PM) SIR David Simmons

In Barbados, to find oneself standing before a court is to be judged not by your peers, but to be judged by a select member of the pampered elites. In the case of the last Chief Justice, that also meant to be judged by a former Acting Prime Minister and political backroom plotter.

That’s hardly justice being seen to be done, especially if you were a DLP member!

Class consciousness and status is ingrained into our Bajan psyches from the day we’re born. That was true hundreds of years ago under the British Empire and it’s true now. We’ve retained all the colonial attitudes and trappings except instead of having race-based elitism, we substitute class-based elitism.

In the United States, Judges are seen to be trusted servants of the people, who are still required to obey the laws themselves. Yes, they have status, but everyone knows they still put on their pants one leg at a time.

Contrast the US attitudes with the pomp and primping in our Bajan courts – where justice for the ordinary person is secondary to the primary goal of intimidating the lower classes and keeping them in their places. Ten and fifteen year trials are nothing in Barbados because it’s all about the court system’s pleasure and convenience and nothing to do with the poor sod who’s waiting for justice.

How does the Brooklyn USA judge view the lot of Barbados judges? Her reaction says everything…

But is was (US Judge) Dowling who was the shocked one, when the students told her how the judges in Barbados are treated.

They are addressed as “Milord” and “Milady,” they don’t pay taxes, they have personal chauffeurs and body guards, get lifelong salaries for pensions, and are even allowed to bypass traffic jams. “I’m going to Barbados! … Today!,” Dowling joked.

“They live a pretty supreme life,” a student summarized.

… from the Brooklyn Eagle story: From Barbados to Brooklyn – The Caribbean’s Future Lawyers Visit America for a Dose of ‘Mom, God and Apple Pie’


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues

7 responses to “Brooklyn Judge wants to be a Barbados judge right now!

  1. Johnny Postle

    A very good piece BFP. I believe every right thinking person in Barbados is aware of this graved flexibility in the law to the protect the status quo by any means necessary. Since influences of one kind or another are used as protective tactics to ensure the integrity of the elitist does this not constitute a serious breach in the governing law if not least to say the committing of a crime? Yet it continues under a myriad of given reasons for not executing justice towards high flyers in this country. How therefore can something as ingrained in the psyche of most of the people in society, where the elitist are hardly reproved for their transgressions and where the belief and notion is held that the law exists only to correct and punish the ‘have nots’, can be corrected under its current prevalence. What instrument of change can uproot this thinking that would enable true justice to be carried out?

  2. The Top

    “What instrument of change can uproot this thinking that would enable true justice to be carried out?”

    A strong elected leadership of new blood from the top with well set out goals and promises on a timetable.

  3. Pieter Pieper

    Most members of parliament are lawyers…members of an elite group who,once elected,proceed to introduce,pass and ensure the implementation of laws which favour their profession.Judges,members of the profession,are therefore protected…the ‘ole boy/girl network’.Perhaps we should change the system by not electing lawyers because it is obvious they only pursue the interests of the members of their profession.

  4. Mobert

    From your article They are addressed as “Milord” and “Milady,”

    -Yes, based on English law, as is still done in the UK.

    ‘ they don’t pay taxes’
    – incorrect, they pay the very same taxes (more, as based on percent of taxes, as you and I. It is poor reporting that you regurgitate such nonsense, what idiot student reported this, shows the level of student being sent overseas on tour

    ‘ they have personal chauffeurs and body guards’

    Yes, they send people to prison, they are targets, what is the issue? Have you not read that criminals have guns too, like the current fellow doing the rounds on the South Coast, what are you..stupid?

    ‘get lifelong salaries for pensions’

    – every person who has worked twenty or thirty years and retires at 67 gets a pension, what is the issue, you dont like judges do you?

    ‘ and are even allowed to bypass traffic jams’

    – another nonsense and lie, this is only done for official occasions, again what moron told the US Judge this? THAT is the level of student we have?

    “I’m going to Barbados! … Today!,” Dowling joked.’

    – No she wont. Salary cut, no assistants on her case and an obsolete technology?

    ‘They live a pretty supreme life,” a student summarized.
    – anyone who has worked and achieved well, such as a company CEO ‘lives a pretty supreme life’ what ios the issue. The comment was made by a student…who is a STUDENT , you NOW have work to do and after twenty or thirty years, you too could ‘live a pretty supreme life’, unfortunately, if that is the level of the student’s ability and understanding, I very much that they will get very far..unless they go into politics.

    And as for you reporting this drivel, you should check your facts before writing nonsense.

    But then, anything to attack Barbados, no?

  5. Naughty Boy

    Mobert blames BFP for reporting what a US newspaper said that Barbados students said, but BFP’s focus for this story is on the cultural expectations of Bajans (and the students) and the reality that the Bajjan court system often takes 15 years to deliver “justice” whateverthehell that means after 15 years.

    We had a BLP politician as our top judge. What justice could his political opponents expect?

    Keep at it BFP. Don’t let the bastards rest!

  6. Chicago

    Why does it take 15 years to come to trial in Barbados?

  7. HMG

    I also read the full article in Barbados Today and was really embarrassed to find there could be a fourth year student of law anywhere in the western world who does not understand the institution of bail and that it was intended to ensure the appearance at court by the accused for trial while conforming to the more fundamental principle that a man is not to be denied his freedom save after due process of law. There has been a number of persons on MURDER charges IN BARBADOS who have been admitted to bail and if that young student still is not aware of that fact it means that she has not been doing herself justice in her pursuit of a legal education and the study of the law. And yes, she will also find that those persons walk out freely during breaks of the hearing. Students must not become overawed in situations such as these and be led to talk foolishness . Of course the learned trial judge is not herself blameless in this matter; she herself demonstrated a remarkable ignorance and naivety when called upon to comment on a justice system which is similar to the one in which she practices,