Former Chief Justice hits the campaign trail for Barbados Labour Party

SIR David Simmons didn't have the courage to confront Thompson until the PM died.

Simmons vows to tell “shocking” details about dead Prime Minister’s refusal to extend his term as CJ

… with a contribution from BFP reader Passin thru

The election is fast approaching and like a frustrated old fox hound responding to the sounds of riders mounting up and younger dogs eagerly baying, former Chief Justice David Simmons is whimpering in his kennel that he can still do it. “Don’t leave me behind. I’m still relevant, still an asset. Look at what I can do!”

Marketing decision to build excitement with a teaser

Last Sunday Davie-boy Simmons gave an ‘exclusive’ interview to the Sun and teased that he would reveal “SHOCKING DETAILS of the Government’s refusal to extend his tenure as the island’s top judicial officer two years ago.”

Simmons will not provide those SHOCKING DETAILS now, mind you, but later. That’s a marketing decision using the standard ‘teaser’ format: give the viewers a taste to get them talking and have them return for the SHOCKING DETAILS.

Later when Simmons has built some excitement about the announcement so the BLP campaign can milk it as much as possible, he’ll give us the SHOCKING DETAILS.

Simmons didn’t go public when Prime Minister David Thompson was alive because Thompy would have kicked his butt all the way to Grape Hall.

Now that Thompson is dead though, SIR DAVEY has no problem taking on the Prime Minister who said that it was unethical for him to accept the office of Chief Justice.

Simmons’ interview politicized the historic sitting of the Caribbean Court of Justice

Sir Davie-boy always loved the political fistfights so he started one during his Nation News interview.

The supposed reason for his interview was the historic first sitting of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Barbados, but with the national election fast approaching, what better opportunity to direct some negative press against the DLP government!

Some Bee supporters will be happy to see the former Attorney General and Acting Prime Minister getting back into the political arena – but informed observers know the truth that Simmons never really left politics even while Chief Justice.

And that is why David Thompson fired him.

Further Reading

We encourage our readers to visit The Nation to read the following story, but we have to reprint the whole thing because the Bajan news media occasionally change history and re-write stories with zero notice…

Ex-CJ’s vow

BY TIM SLINGER | SUN, APRIL 15, 2012 – 12:09 AM

Former Chief Justice Sir David Simmons is promising to reveal “shocking” details of the Government’s refusal to extend his tenure as the island’s top judicial officer two years ago.

Sir David’s comment’s came during an exclusive SUNDAY SUN interview, in which he welcomed the historic sitting of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) here tomorrow and was full of praise for the Trinidadian-based regional court’s performance to date as Barbados’ final Court of Appeal.

In early 2010, late Prime Minister David Thompson, under criticism of the island’s legal fraternity for denying Sir David’s application for an extension as Chief Justice, argued the law entitled him to make such a determination.

Thompson said he had held discussions with the former Chief Justice before making his decision.

But Sir David, in his first public comment on the matter since his tenure ended officially on April 28, 2010, said yesterday he would soon tell all to the nation regarding the decision to turn down his request.



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

34 responses to “Former Chief Justice hits the campaign trail for Barbados Labour Party

  1. A policy holder

    I really don’t care who is the CJ providing we have one who is serious about the job and will take on the Colonial Life and British American mess now. We need considerably more action by the Court and the Judicial Manager and probably an “interested” legal luminary to join the JMent group to insure matters are dealt with in a timely fashion

  2. 189

    Former Chief Justice hits the campaign trail for Barbados Labour Party

    who cares dam crook , need to lock him up also;
    All this fraud on his watch

  3. Pingback: Former Chief Justice David Simmons hits the campaign trail for Barbados Labour Party | The tcipost

  4. robert ross

    It has become apparent that the former CJ is not planning any revelations before the election. The revelations will appear in his memoirs which he has not yet begun.

  5. robert ross

    My malware warning is coming up on this post too NOT elsewhere. BFP – where are you?

  6. still doesn't get it

    No matter what you think of Prime Minister Thompson for his role in Clico, David Simmons and some of the Barbadian legal fraternity still don’t get it!

    It WAS completely unethical for a politician to take a judicial position so soon after his position in government, not to mention, to Chief Justice of the Nation.


    Let him come , He have Questions to answer. As AG and CJ Simmons need better worry about himself and not one who is dead.
    The new CJ need to tell all of what he see of what Simmons did and did not do and what laws he wrote to cover his lawyers on his land fraud pay roll.
    We love to know where the deed is for the High Court and Let see if he will write an Affidavit to all questions asked.

  8. 205

    Frighten for Davey? David Thompson? That crook that tricked us? We need our money from Clico and David Thompson body should be moved forthwith to Dodds. I regret daily following him all over Barbados not know he was helping his friend steal our money from Clico. Was the law changed to put his friend as Chief Justice so that we would not have any charges against David and his friends that rob us of our investments at Clico? Move his grave

  9. robert ross

    As a matter of interest…IF he had waited a year, say, how exactly would that have changed anything?

  10. Mark Fenty

    In the United States of America, 99.99 % of the time the Attorney General is known to the president on a personal level. However, there is process he must go through in order to assume his office; he must be conferred by the Senate.

  11. BFP

    Hello Robert Ross,

    Cliverton here. Nothing on my end. It could be some advert inserted by WordPress. Is it still happening 24 hours later?

  12. Mark Fenty

    These are the “Checks”, and “Balances” the visionary framers of the constitution instituted in order to prevent corruption. Has this always work certainly not; remember though, we are dealing with finite man with all his imperfections.

  13. Mark Fenty

    The noted philosopher and political scientist Montesquieu has made it quite plain that there is no such thing as a genuine democracy. The Illustrious psychotherapist Dr. Carl Jung has said in no uncertain terms that, “When we understand the duality of man’s nature, his capacity for Good as well as Evil, then we can understand, and cope with the potential threat of those in power.”

  14. Mark Fenty

    Ethics is one thing, but is there anything in Barbados jurisprudence which prevents a politician from taking a judicial position in an untimely manner? Even though the rules professional of ethics goes hand in hand with one’s position, I think fundamentally, and in the final analysis the prescriptive law must prevail.

  15. BFP

    Hi Mark,

    When the Attorney General suddenly became the Chief Justice, now in charge of the very court system where cases were still pending against he and his government, it completely removed the separation of powers between branches of the government. It effectively put the BLP in charge of the courts. For all the time Simmons spent as Chief Justice, it was only a fraction of the time that he spent as a politician and political party insider before his first election to Parliament.

    His very appointment was a corrupt act. His acceptance of the the appointment was a selfish and corrupt decision that tainted the entire judicial system for all the time he served.

  16. Mark Fenty

    Hi BFP,

    I don’t quite follow your manner of reasoning, are you in essence saying that Chief Justice is somehow given special prerogative with respect to his office to influence the case that comes before him? Or, am I to assume that you are advancing the argument that the Chief Justice has the unilateral latitude to determine Barbados jurisprudence?

  17. BFP

    Hi Mark,

    The Chief Justice has incredible authority and the power to assign cases, slow trials, speed trials and do all manner of things in his Justice System. It is unacceptable in a free and democratic society that a man is Attorney General and Acting Prime Minister one day, and thus the subject of ongoing lawsuits against the government and responsible for responding to such lawsuits – and a short time later he is in charge of the institution that will decide the outcome of the lawsuits against him, his government and his old drinking buddies.

    If you can’t see a conflict of interest there, there isn’t much else I or anyone else can explain to you.


  18. Mark Fenty

    Hi BFP,
    You must forgive me for my barefaced ignorance, and lack of scope with respect to British Common Law. Feel free to correct me if there is a need; I’m always willing to learn something new.

  19. Mark Fenty

    I’m in complete agreement with what you’re saying, there is actually a conflict of interest there most definitely; however, you’re blaming the wrong source. Now, if the laws of Barbados allow this kind of behavior; then quite frankly, there is a need to implement sounder laws. I understand your argument regarding professional ethics, and things of that nature, but ethics is nothing more our moral decorum or, our conscious effort to distinction between what is right and wrong. One could make the argument that is it morally wrong for one’s father, to marriage his wife a week after his death or vice versa, but is it contrary to the prescriptive law, certainly not.

  20. Mark Fenty

    I’m in complete agreement with what you’re saying, there is actually a conflict of interest there most definitely; however, you’re blaming the wrong source. Now, if the laws of Barbados allow this kind of behavior; then quite frankly, there is a need to implement sounder laws. I understand your argument regarding professional ethics, and things of that nature, but ethics is nothing more the moral deportment or, our conscious effort to distinguish between what is right, and wrong. One could make the argument that is it morally wrong, for one’s father marriage his wife a week after his death, but is it contrary to the prescriptive law, certainly not. Decorum vice versa

  21. robert ross

    @ BFP

    Can you cite any case where DS’s judicial integrity was compromised by any decision he made in respect of any matter which might have passed his way while in government?

    And do you not agree that IF any case had come before him sitting alone or as the senior judge in the CA which raised any issue like that he would have to have recused himself? And was there any such case?

    What authority have you for saying that the justice system belongs to the Chief Justice?

    Is there any constitutional convention which prevents a man moving from government to the Bench? In the context of the ‘Westminster Model’ are there any precedents for such a move?

  22. butt kicker

    Thompy would have kicked his butt ?? Sorry Thompy isn’t around for us to kick his butt.. dont lionise the King, his reuptation is done and gone with Clico millions and no fancy tomb or stupid lapel pins will change that

  23. Anonymous

    Hi Mark, I am not on the editorial board of BFP nor do I pretend to be. However imagine a scenario where persons accused YOU or someone in YOUR family or a friend of YOURS of murder, rape and theft and you or they are on trial.

    Then by some miracle YOU are made the judge and decision maker in one of these cases. Wouldn’t that affect and impact on the decision and outcome? And even if it didn’t impact on the outcome, surely it would seem to be tainted!

    Remember, one of the founding maxims in law is that justice must not only be done, but also seen to be done!!!!

  24. robert ross

    Clearly Mark would have to recuse himself so the problem would not arise.

  25. JB

    All I can say is crass, crass, crass! This is behaviour not befitting the eminence of the man. He should leave this to brazen political brats!!

  26. BFP

    Hi Robbie,

    It is not about ‘proving’ that as CJ the man did wrongdoing. The public should not be put in a place of having to wonder. The position of Chief Justice is so powerful that the occupant can influence all manner of events and still remain in the background.

    But since you ask…

    Yes. There were several situations where Sir Davey was in obvious conflicts of interest in relation to cases going before his courts. One of his personal companies was involved in litigation before the Barbados courts. By his very position, Simmons chose the judge who sat on the case. With that kind of a start, can any citizen expect justice before the court? Do we really expect a judge to rule against his own boss?

    Another big deal is that upon being appointed as CJ, Simmons announced that he intended to continue the procedural reforms and building programmes he started as Attorney General. Nothing is a clearer indication of the blur between the branches of government and the fact that with David Simmons as Chief Justice: government was the court and the court was the government.

  27. robert ross

    @ BFP

    1. The case of conflct of interest – a private matter from what you say (I don’t know it but would be glad to hear more) which seemingly had nothing to do with any governmental interest (which is the substance of the argument). DS recused himself as you say. If the matter had concerned a relative he would have to have done the same thing. In that case he was in no different position from any other judge in like circustances.

    2. Continuing reforms – well why not? Supposing he had said ‘I was a reforming Att-Gen but now I’m CJ – that’s it. I’m gonna sit on my ass and do nothing’?

    Of course you’re right about public concern. The same concern was expressed when MG became an honorary Rotarian. But, and never mind the precedents and the absence of any compelling convention, at some point we have to grow up and put our prejudices, superstitions, aside……until there is real cause to worry – and if there is, well – to the block with him. But surely governments are right not to make decisions rooted in what is or is not going to worry the public IF the decision is the right one on the merits – which, in my view, it clearly was in the name of judicial quality. To pander to public concern is a recipe for doing nothing. It has been argued that there should have been a time lag between demitting office and the appointment. But we all know that that wouldn’t have dissipated the concern. Mind the story is that initially David Thompson had no objection but then, realising there was political capital to be made from it, he stirred the whole thing up for political ends.

    And yes, of course powerful figures may well have enormous influence. But then sometimes we over-rate it. For example, let’s say the issue is the appointment of new QC’s. The judges meet and decide – the judges mind. The CJ chairs the panel and his is one voice – albeit influential. Let’s say someone is turned down. The disappointed attorney blames the CJ. He says “But he knew me. He’s my friend’ – thereby expecting more than the CJ could possibly give when the panel is unanimously against him – and yet expecting the CJ to use his influence, corruptly in a way, in his favour. Let me give a personal example. I once sat on a public committee whose job it was to appoint a new boss person.. At the start of the selection process everyone including the Chairman was in favour of candidate ‘A’. In certain respects I was the junior on the Committee. I argued for candidate ‘B’. By the end of the meeting the Committee determined for ‘B’. Frankly I could hardly believe it. The Chairman was a powerful figure and the other Committee members were no fools – and yet, sensing the way the wind blew, the Chairman finally went for ‘B’ too. If he’d been a despot of course this wouldn’t have happened.. But my point is that a man of substance, of quality, listens and balances so that we should not assume that these processes are always corrupt. In this society, of course, that is almost always the presumption and especially so in the ways we divide politically….and, sure, in the light of some of our experiences. Yet there are honest men in public life and I believe DS is one of them and so we cannot allow our ‘feelings’ to override our judgement. At the end of the day, there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed as the Clico saga demonstrates.

  28. clanger

    There it is right there: as Attorney General Simmons launched a government initiative and as Chief Justice he continued that government initiative.

    That was the end of the independence of the CJ and the courts. I am amazed at Mr. Ross and others who don’t seem to get the very basic standards of conflict of interest, separation of powers and judicial independence. When Simmons carried on with a government initiative from his new position in the court it underlined his conflict of interest. What other things did he do that we haven’t been told about?

    Mr. Ross just doesn’t get it.

  29. Mark Fenty

    Please, forgive my common ignorance, because I lack the full scope with respect to the selection process for the post of Chief Justice in Barbados. Is he appointed by the Prime Minister, or is there some formal process regarding his selection by some committee?

  30. Mark Fenty

    Anonymous, the scenario that you have articulated makes good sense in some respects; however, as I have said earlier, I think the process it as to fault and not the Chief Justice. That is why I’ve ask the question earlier, who has the authority to appoint the Chief justice; if the Prime Minister has the authority to appoint the Chief Justice then political process is at fault, and certainly not the Chief Justice? You know the old adage, give a man a yard, and he’ll take a mile.

  31. Mark Fenty

    Anonymous, lets be realistic here, conflict of interest or not, If the Prime Minister has unilateral autonomy to appoint a chief justice who supports his agenda, you think he isn’t goes to. In the United States of America, the president nominates judges to the Supreme Court who support his agenda, whether it is conservative or liberal.

  32. Evans

    Sir David should snap his snout and hide. he was one of the worst ch ever in Barbados .Pm Thompson did the right thing and kick his butt to the curb.if you follow the actions of the new cj you would see how sir Davey never did anything to fix the system but spur on the broken system and let his chart to milk the system love the new CJ

  33. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Where is comment. Seems you have sensored it

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