“Barbados must be the only country where lawyers are on bail and practicing!”
by A Policy Holder
When our new Chief Justice was announced I was genuinely excited. I naively believed that we would see a speedier court system. We’d surely spent enough on a fine new Court Building, but in truth and in fact the new Chief Justice has achieved S*F*A*. There is good reason for this and it relates to the In Chamber hearings by appointment – appointments which are often callously disregarded by both Judges and lawyers.
As I understand it there is an alternate method known as JEMS – Judicial Enforcement Management System. It’s simplicity is just too much for our legal fraternity who are undisciplined and uncontrollable. JEMS would allow the CJ to randomly distribute cases/suits to sitting judges. Each Judge would be responsible for the resolution of the case from start to decision time. There would be no ducking, changes of judges mid-stream as the CJ would on a weekly or fortnightly basis meet with the Judges to see what progress is being made. This system is in place and working effectively in Trinidad (yes, Trinidad) but lawyers and judges here are anti-JEMS.
There is also the question of the legal fraternity policing themselves and the disbarring of dishonest lawyers. I understand that even if there is a Disciplinary Committee in the Barbados Bar Association, it does not sit. If it does it is a toothless committee. Barbados must be the only country where lawyers are on bail and practicing! What a disgraceful story about the American lady swindled out of $100,000.00 and the general view being “What can you expect? It’s Barbados.”
Having said all that, how in name of God can we expect to find a firm of lawyers who will take on dealing with the CLICO and BALICO matter where they have to sue the Directors of those companies, who may be family, or “connected”?