Shocking mathematics of the Barbados Court system: Thousands of cases will never reach conclusion

Chief Justice Marston Gibson: Court chaos threatens Barbados international business sector

Marston Gibson describes massive backlog, missing case files, deliberate delaying tactics by unscrupulous profiteering lawyers

Chief Justice Marston Gibson arrived last September with little more than a smile and a message that it was great to be back home in Barbados. He did a series of fairly benign press interviews where he offered few observations, lots of tributes to the justice system and an appreciation of our record as a stable democracy with a court system that could use a little work but was healthy enough to do the job.

We thought he was a light-weight – an old friend of David Thompson selected more for show than go. Someone who would back the establishment, toe the line and not make too much trouble for the DLP government that appointed him.

We might have to revise our assessment of the Chief Justice.

Chief Justice Gibson just delivered a verbal broadside and expose against the status quo of the Barbados justice system that reads like a Jan Hus sermon from the pulpit.

Whether or not the status quo will provide Gibson the same treatment it provided to Jan Hus remains to be seen.

Whether or not Chief Justice Marsten Gibson has the strength, integrity and courage to really change the system also remains to be seen.

What we do know is that Chief Justice Gibson blew away the pretenses of the previous Chief Justice, Sir David Simmons – whose failed and putrid legacy as Attorney General and Chief Justice is exposed more and more with each new revelation.

Just how bad is it?

It’s bad enough that Chief Justice Gibson believes that our status as an international business venue is imperiled. If the international business community believes that the Barbados courts cannot be relied upon to provide timely and reliable justice, the foreign dollars and offshore corporations will take their business elsewhere. Do the math: 3,000 backlogged cases plus the current caseload divided by number of judges, times the number of cases handled (not completed) per day (2.7) and you know we are in big trouble.

If the system took on no new cases, it would take 18 years at the present rate of case completion to clear the backlog… but there are 1500 – 2000 new cases per year!

Barbados’ judicial system is clogged with almost 3,000 unfinished cases. But not only is it slowing the wheels of justice, it could be costing Barbados millions of dollars in the international business sector as well.

Chief Justice Marston Gibson says he knows the way out, but that attorneys at law might resist, because it could cut into their profits. Gibson made these revelations, and also provided possible solutions Friday night, while delivering the eighth annual Fair Trading Commission Lecture at Accra Beach Hotel.

Gibson, who only took up the post of Chief Justice last September, ordered an audit of the judicial system upon entering office, and the results were startling. For 2012, 424 new actions had been brought before the courts, but there were still almost 2 000 active filings in the High Court to be heard, adding to a “few thousand more” that made up the current backlog either because of attorneys passing away or even being promoted to higher office.

… from the Nation News: CJ’s plan to ease backlog


(Chief Justice Gibson) continued in his comments, opining that it is “unbelievable, unacceptable and just not right”, for unnecessary adjournments citing the unavailability of a particular case file, as he stressed that in this technological age, that should never be the case.

“Every lawyer that comes into court has copies of the relevant documents…the recent applications are scanned into the system and I can pull it up on my computer. The idea that you can walk in and a file cannot be found resulting in the case not going on, cannot be in a computerised age. Once I am there, I am there to work. The show must go on.”

What can our Chief Justice really do?

This is the question: What can CJ Gibson do to impose his will and standards upon an out of control elite that he himself has declared are unscrupulous profiteers who delay justice to make more money?

Further Reading

We encourage our readers to visit the websites of the Nation and the Barbados Advocate newspapers to view the original articles – however we have to reprint the entire articles here because those two papers have a record for deleting articles and changing history to suit various government agendas.


‘Adjournment culture’ must end, says Chief Justice

CHIEF Justice of Barbados, Marston Gibson, is on a mission to speed up the current laborious nature of Barbados’ courts and is warning companies, lawyers and other individuals that he is not subscribing to any such delay tactics.

Noting various areas which he believes are ripe for change, he pointed to staggered court times to cut down on the wasting of people’s time; a complete shift from the master calendar system – which can see the passing of one case to several judges – to the more accountable individual assignment system, whereby judges are given the responsibility of seeing a case through to its conclusion; unnecessary adjournments and the extremely monumental task of overcoming the heavy backlog of cases by way of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Speaking candidly on the law courts’ environment during his time as a judge in New York and noting his penchant for doing his own typing and the expectation for all judges to conclude their cases in a timely fashion, he pleaded for all of the judges to adopt that kind of “ethos and mentality” and for all those involved in the courts to do away with the stifling “adjournment culture”.

For those persons who are feeling despondent about the lengthy dragging of their cases in the courts, the Chief Justice says he is “not discouraging, in the appropriate case, people writing letters to him” on their frustrations, and he will then convey the inquiry to the judge in question, in the hope of having a suitable date decided into that judge’s calendar.

He continued in his comments, opining that it is “unbelievable, unacceptable and just not right”, for unnecessary adjournments citing the unavailability of a particular case file, as he stressed that in this technological age, that should never be the case.

“Every lawyer that comes into court has copies of the relevant documents…the recent applications are scanned into the system and I can pull it up on my computer. The idea that you can walk in and a file cannot be found resulting in the case not going on, cannot be in a computerised age. Once I am there, I am there to work. The show must go on.”

He also expressed serious concern with too many cases being scheduled for the same time. He maintained that a staggered system is best in cutting down on the waiting times of all parties, giving the example of four or five cases scheduled for 9 a.m. and then a similar number at 10 a.m. and so on.

Regarding the possibility of a thriving ADR or mediation process to settle any matters – in which he says Barbados is lagging significantly behind Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and the Eastern Caribbean – Gibson said that the ADR Committee he helped to set up in November last year that is chaired by Justice of Appeal Sandra Mason, already has already a draft practice direction. Plans for sensitising the practice to Barbadians will begin from May.

Barbados Advocate: Enough!


Filed under Barbados

34 responses to “Shocking mathematics of the Barbados Court system: Thousands of cases will never reach conclusion

  1. robert ross

    ON ADR

    How odd then for UWI to bring from the UK someone to teach ADR in their Faculty of Law who had never actually taught it before when there were experts in the field HERE and who were dropped to make way for him.

    Has the CJ responded to the Pilgrim document?


    Barbados Free Press got JOKES.,, You all need to look in to the deeds of the plantations of Barbados. Fraud, Some cases in court dealing with land and those who want to claim and act like they dont know who the owner is,, Its DAM sure not C.O Williams nor Sir Richard L .Cheltenham Ph.D< QC and all that long talk lies. The case will show no side in the courts own nothing , Both side fighting over what they know dont belong to each other. Taxes not been paid for Mr Ford at land tax cover up , Mark Cummings at Town and Country Planning doing his own thing and in BED with the Fraud dept Known as the UDC. Next you have head of Inland Rev. taxes doing her own thing along with BARBADOS WATER COMPANY HIDING FROM MEETING AND DOCUMENTS ,DONT FOR GET NHC, LOLOLOL NO ONE IS LOOKING IN TO NOTHING JUST TALKING. TALK WILL GET NO WHERE BUT TO SELL PAPERS.LOOK AT THE AG AND THE PM BOTH CROOKS,AND ALL OF THAT ADD UP TO CLICO. People lie , words lie , Numbers dont lie ,, do the real math ,, to know the Truth ,, Barbados and the High Court running on lies with 90% of the Ministers….Ask them for ROOT title of where ever they building and who they get the land from and for, Who was paid for the Land the govt claim to own ,,
    Barbados People need to do some thing about it ,,, or take it and SHUT UP. ROOT TITLE , Beatrice Henry to Violet Beckles to her Heirs,,, Barbados schools dont teach this , just about slaves loloolol
    Ask the Ministers Questions, as soon they move their lips 90% lies,,,

  3. Dear CJ

    What’s his address, maybe he can tell me why in a divorce matter with no assets but child maintenance I have to SUE my ex-husband in the HIGH COURT to get him to pay the maintenance that he promised the judge he would pay. I’ll write him a letter, no problem.

  4. Plus ca change plus c’est la meme chose ! Things will never change as long as any and everyone with a desire to steal “legitimately”, can go up to Cave Hill,get a bogus law degree, get admitted to an over-crowded bar,join a brotherhood/sisterhood of thieves and proceed to “practice law”.Let’s face it, it is well nigh impossible to find an honest lawyer in Barbados.

  5. 464-5644/B3-5c

    Oh there are still a few honest ones around, but they are white and high-priced, but then you get what you pay for…rather than ripped-off.

  6. 464-5644/B3-5c

    Does Plantation Deeds READ what he writes?
    Does it make sense to him?
    -perhaps to him ONLY?


    Shocking mathematics of the BARBADOS COURT SYSTEM//and you all will never get your money back from the lawyer that took the case, First the lawyer need to tell you if you have a case , They will say you do even if you dont , to get the FUN-DS , that was not FUN for you to get in the first place.. The High court even have land problems,,, Ask where and who they got the land from ? How much they paid for it.Where is the deed for that land and how much was paid , ??? Ask CJ Simmons and the lawyer he made the deal with Sir Richard L .Cheltenham Ph.D,, a good crook, the court it self cant even stand up right.. PLEASE,,,


    Yes , i do , if you do not understand ,read slower, Heads of departments were all put in place to help with the fraud. Nothing will work in court , For when you do the background work , you will see the math nor the words add up.
    Most of you think, what is said is good and clean ,from those you vote for., 90 percent of Ministers on Both side are CROOKS,
    Sir Richard L . Cheltenham Ph .D< QC first crook 2nd with Him CO Williams, NEXT Ex, CJ Simmons, and work your way down.

    Do the search on the deeds, titles , and see there is a brake from the deeds. ..laws and rules being made up by the crooks in office to hide the truth ,, Madoff , 6 5 billion =150 years jail ,Standford 7 billion=? , COW and Sir Richard L .Cheltenham Ph.D< QC Priceless

    NAME the WHITE lawyers they be happy for the work and get the black bitches out of work

  9. 464-5644/B3-5c

    It is not in my place to name the few honest white lawyers on the island.
    If you are unfortunate not to move in those circles, so be it.

    I wish you Good Day, Sir.

  10. robert ross

    The concept of an “honest’ lawyer in Barbados is, for some, a contradiction in terms and, indeed, there is a dark side anyway to all of us. But I’m sure BFP would want me to say for all sorts of reasons that the reality is that there are many, well, more-or-less honest lawyers here – and that skin colour is not inevitably a determinant. Of course you can have a ‘more’ honest lawyer who is incompetent – and a less honest one who is sharp, street-wise and result-efficient. In such a small, incestuous place it is difficult to be sure about anyone. A lawyer who practises on the Criminal side is likely to be ‘honest’ to his client. A newly qualified lawyer is likely to be honest anyway – and there are some very dedicated ones in the recent batch. If you only ‘get what you pay for’ then there are some very expensive black lawyers as well as some rather shifty ones with titles. Then there are the ‘neither fish nor fowl’ sort – and BFP will recommend a very good one, I’m sure. There are others, well I can think of one, who appears white but says he’s black – now there’s a conundrum in the ‘honesty’ business. ‘Honesty’ is not incompatible with laziness either; nor arrogance. But as I said at the beginning of this rather tortured reflection – you really can’t judge a book by its cover – and it’s rather impertinent to suggest otherwise.

  11. robert ross

    Dear BFP…for God’s sake what is wrong with the word ‘incestuous’?

  12. robert ross

    Dear BFP…I have just taken the time and trouble to post a blog. I have used a cerain word which your system – and not for the first time – has filtered. By all means take it out if you wish. In context there is nothing wrong with it. But do something. There are few enough bloggers as it is.

  13. robert ross


  14. BFP

    Hi Robert

    It was the built in filter at WordPress and we approve comments just as soon as we can.


  15. robert ross

    george…thankyou….you can remove my last two blogs if you wish…thanks for writing though….I am writing ‘incestuous’ so u dont publish this in case you can’t remove the two blogs.


    I heard about 1937 first hand and it will come again ,,
    Barbados built to high to fast on fraud,
    then you can run to your white crook lawyers,
    All lawyers together , every man for self


    Chief Justice, Sir David Simmons, was also Attorney General. true, That was when we knew of him to be and have proof he was and still a crook , The EX EX will soon see all his dirty nasty work in the open,As i was told David said , We need a CJ for the People not for the lawyers , This same CJ brother Keith Simmons was a good blocker for the crook lawyers that came before him , Ralph Thorn married to a judge and he gets QC while sitting before the Bar?

  18. robert ross

    @ Plantation Deeds,

    I am beginning to understand I think. It’s the role of Jester – exposing us to ourselves Thankyou for persisting.

  19. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Good so now he has discovered what we all know to be standard practice and the norm in Barbados what the heck is he going to do now? Nothing but a proper investigation to discover the perpretrators, most if not all of whom we know to be LIKELY suspects, should be undertaken by a reputable overseas base detective police force. The old boys circle is messy and has been messy for years but they know they are well protected under the current secrecy act that says: PROTECT THE ELITIST AT ALL COST BUT THE THROW THE HAMMER AND SICKLE AT ALL OTHERS.

    THIS SHITE MUST COME TO AN END!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


    Sunshine Sunny Shine/ Robert Ross , something was done . PM David was told . Fraud Squad showed up Oct 9-2009 when David DIED all stopped Oct 23-2010. No findings were told. All the AGs Know of this from the time of AG/CJ Simmoms to the new AG NOW behind the PM that was also AG under PM David who is Now the PM .today of Barbados ,
    Clico also , Head of this snake is Sir Richard L .Cheltenham Ph.D, he call in C O Williams as the front man, The face of wealth loloolool CROOKS.
    All other PM Knew from 1984 and let the lawyer/ Minister , made a plan to do as they doing now,,, DEEDs no Clear titles ,but they call them good deeds if they play in court for 20 years and pay taxes to land they know they , Say they dont the owners , ALL LAND HAVE owners , how we we know who own in 1630, 1730,1830 when we get to 1930 no records mmm , For from 1926 most were sold off and one Person Bought the land , know as running plantation land in Bulk ,,Beatrice Henry 1892- Dec 13 -1985. YOu want More Keep asking , I will type in Blocks to long to give all info here ,,,, YOU all are welcome


    The Office of the Auditor General of Barbados is an independent audit office serving Parliament and the people of Barbados. We conduct financial audits of the government’s financial statements (public accounts). In doing so, the Office assists Parliament in holding the government and its administrators accountable for the administration’s stewardship of public funds. The Office thus contributes to better-managed government programs and better accountability to Parliament and the public.

    In addition to financial audits the Auditor General may on his own initiative carry out special examinations into the financial management of Ministries, Departments, Statutory Authorities and government controlled entities. This includes the manner in which these entities use their resources in discharging their functions as regards the efficiency and effectiveness of the use of these resources.

    The Office has developed this site in order to provide easy access to our reports and a greater awareness of the role of the Barbados Audit Office.

    jokes, and more jokes

  22. robert ross

    @ Plantation Deeds



    Fun-ds to show the word Fun, and that it was not Fun to give the lawyer hard earn money( Funds), Play on words for i have to have jokes dealing with what I and other see. When you see what WE see and KNOW , 18 pages and 22 pages with names signed at Fraud Squad police Station now moved down town , All they need to do is Cuff or charged COW and Sir Richard L .Cheltenham Ph.D, ,,,,,Sir Richard L .Cheltenham Ph.D was to Assent the Plantation Deeds in the Violet Beckles of King Street in the City from Her Great Aunt Beatrice Henry, Sir Crook took the deeds and after 6 months said he cant find them , and went in to Business with C.O,W ,,,PM David Knew Beatrice and Violet , collecting rents for years taking the monies to Carl Fields to bank ,, Now no bank can find the funds and all others in banking and gov is rich,UDC came about 1995 , The UDC said they have a land bank with no deeds,, ,,, When copies of the missing deeds were shown to the UDC , Lawyer for the UDC Keith M , Ran ,like a horse, Wrote letter about deeds that never was ,, when the true deed was shown to all , He was Asked to show the one he made letter to ,, Never him nor the deed show up,,
    It Appear that land title books were re-written to leave out part of Deeds dealing with Plantations , like Sandy Lane , Six-Mens, Ventnor, Buttals, I have more information to show than any govt dept,
    How can that be MMMm ,, GOVT records not so public ,,,,Beartice Henry was wiped from BDS .

  25. robert ross

    Well I guess there’s no smoke without fire.


    smoke ans fire ,,,,The Plantation houses of Barbados was covered by CLICO? by who? burn to the ground and funds were paid out? Sam Lord, Hagget Hall Great house , Others put to burn but the fire went out? MOH push some down so other can self the land ,, By so call owners damage the buildings and then call MOH ,, Goodland Plantation house across from NHC.Was the fires a way to collect the money from CLICO? mmmmmm
    Let not for get the National Trust,, got some real crooks in there ,,,
    Who Started the Trust and to put non trust worthy People to guard the Nation Plantation Houses. Go to facebook and see Violet Beckels and her Aunt.


    464-5644/B3-5c Ask your lawyer friends , or let them read what i wrote,Remember what they tell you , Then look for your self to see if they are as honest as you think. What they hide from you will bite you in the end , I can bet its better than 90% i have a Plantation deed for where most of Barbados lives . Only 3 people had power to sell land after they were sold. Beatrice, Violet and Me.No Matter how big the pot of soup is , one fly in it and the entire pot is bad.When they get the books right Barbados will be a better Place to live even for you and yours, Barbados made up of about 350 Plantations, Beatrice bought 200 to 300 of the 350, H W Clarke survey most or all the land for more than 50 years of his life with the help of his Son who still lives in Rockley on Ventnor Plantation DEED 1926 about 500acres Root title from the Garrison to St Lawrence Gap ,,, Massive,,

  28. Just imagine starting a business in the year 2012,encountering a problem requiring litigation before the courts in Barbados and then having to wait until 2022 or 2032,perhaps 2042 or WORST yet,not getting justice from the courts in your lifetime.

    Given the above scenario,why would anyone ,especially a foreigner ,want to invest in an environment where the government,the judiciary and and many practising members of the bar don’t give a damn about rendering justice?

    It is obvious that the old dictum”justice delayed is justice denied” means nothing to the many members of the judiciary and practising lawyers.The fact that the Caribbean Court of Justice has found it necessary to comment upon the length of time it takes for cases to wind their way through Barbados is an embarrassment.Yet the problem persists with no end in sight.

    Let’s face it,most lawyers are interested primarily in “making money”(or more correctly put,exploiting their clients).For them “time is money” whether or not it produces positive results for their clients.Many judges whose salaries are a certainty,aid and abet lawyers (to whom many are “connected”in one way or other) in their immoral,unethical and nefarious activities.To them,”time means nothing”.Many members of parliament are lawyers first and politicians second so that they maintain close working relationships with their colleagues/members of the legal profession.To them it is necessary to be ever mindful of the time when they will no longer hold political office.They feel it necessary to “prepare for hard times”.

    One must question whether or not this chief justice has the ability,the fortitude or, simply put,the “balls”to correct a situation which has not only gone from bad to WORST but has become a CRISIS and an EMBARRASSMENT.

    His attempts while praiseworthy, appear to be doomed to failure in part because of the incestuous relationship between members of parliament, the judiciary and the bar association.There is the problem of the intransigence of the far too many unethical,unscrupulous and “powerful” lawyers (many of whom are members of parliament) and the unwillingness on the part of the bar association (essentially a union which seeks to protect the interests of its members) to be in the vanguard for change to bring HIGHER MORAL STANDARDS AND RESPECT TO THE PROFESSION.

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  30. Newbie

    They will sit up and take notice when they realise that the youth of today are getting less afraid of the law and beginning to show scant respect for authority. They will only have themselves to blame because they are teaching the youth how to play games with the judicial system. Lawyers get together and decide to make money out of the opposing clients with little regard for the outcome of the case or dispute.

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  32. 239

    Hadn’t for tourism and crime Barbados would be a third world country…ever notice lawyers are the largest network of professionals there…interessant! use your unnecessary big words to give back and help teach your youth as they are the generations that are ruining your country and all countries they migrate to. Most visitors to the country now don’t want to return. I inherited some land there and don’t even want it. The island has visibly changed…big egos, big homes and big money problems…please, use your money to invest in your own race, especially your children and not the latest knock-off brands; but yeah that’s just one of the qualities most blacks lack…helping each other and creating a good foundation for their kids to follow. Do you ever wonder why most of your kids are f&^%$*^$#@$%#%#^$& up and cant get jobs to form a good base? You the elitist with your big words and big money should be building up and giving back to your community…Your focus and priorities were never straight!!! Good Luck! To the few families that do, share and show your black pride

  33. Hi, the whole thing is going nicely here and ofcourse every one is sharing
    information, that’s actually good, keep up writing.

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