Tag Archives: Barbados Courts

Dear Barbados Chief Justice Sir David Simmons, this article is for you.

Why is it not appropriate for the Commissioner of Police of Anguilla on his retirement to be appointed Magistrate of Anguilla?

It is unfortunate that I have to ask this question.  The answer should be obvious to all.  The answer is that such an appointment will tend to undermine public confidence in the administration of justice, and to bring the judiciary into contempt.  Just in case there is one single person out there who does not  see the point immediately, let me try my best to explain why this is so.

First of all, every police case brought in the Magistrate’s Court is brought in the name of the Commissioner of Police.  The Magistrate’s Court deals with 95% of the criminal cases brought to court in any country.  The trial of crime in Anguilla is for all practical purposes synonymous with the Magistrate’s Court.  If I get a summons, it will be titled “Commissioner of Police versus Don Mitchell”.  Then, every single investigation of a crime is conducted under the direction of the Commissioner of Police.  He is the head of the police force.

In addition to the obvious conflicts of interest and questions of bias raised, there is the fundamental question of the separation of powers.  At least since the time of the Duc de Montesquieu, the principle of separation of powers has been an intrinsic foundation of the rule of law.  Ask any first year law student.

… article continues at Corruption-free Anguilla

David Simmons got he-self re-virginated to become Chief Justice Barbados

And there you have it, Chief Justice SIR David Simmons,

Ask any first year law student why it was unethical for you as the former Attorney General and Acting Prime Minister of Barbados to accept an appointment as Chief Justice. It was a fundamental question of the separation of powers.

You knew that your appointment to Chief Justice undermined public confidence in the administration of justice, and brought the judiciary into contempt, but you wanted the honour and the job so bad that you took it. And Owen Arthur wanted influence over the courts of Barbados so bad that he appointed an old friend (one of the three mice) as Chief Justice.

Ask any first year law student, SIR.

Further Reading

Let’s Hope Our Next Barbados Chief Justice Isn’t A Political Hack Like SIR David Simmons

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Time To Obtain Justice In Barbados Courts: 17 Years… or Never

barbados-snail-court-justice

Caribbean Court of Justice Hammers Barbados Courts Again

Looking for justice in Barbados? Don’t hold your breath. Barbados courts can move swiftly if the ruling party needs a judgment or some stamp of approval on the expropriation of land, but if it is not in the interest of certain elites, court cases can drag on for decades.

The courts in Barbados have always been a highly politicized but this reality moved to new heights during the BLP government when then-Prime Minister Owen Arthur appointed his long time political colleague and Attorney General as the Chief Justice of Barbados. The move effectively consolidated the power of the government and the courts under the control of Barbados political elites – and the image of both the courts and the Office of the Chief Justice have never recovered.

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

Certainly when David Anthony Cathcart Simmons agreed to accept the position from his old friend Owen Arthur, the act brought the administration of justice in Barbados into disrepute. It is the very presence of a career politician, former Attorney General and former Acting Prime Minister as Chief Justice that warns ordinary people that they haven’t a hope of seeing justice in Barbados. (See David Simmons’ bio here. Very impressive career politician!)

But what is the image of our Justice System and our country compared to raw power and personal ambition? No matter, in Barbados the courts, the judges, the prosecutors and the government are all the same. One might even be able to throw the news media into the mix too.

And don’t forget, folks… Chief Justice Sir David Simmons also publicly stated that he wants to see all Barbados police and military personnel united into one agency under government control!

“It must be admitted that Chief Justice Sir David Simmons knows a thing or two about consolidation of power.”

We at Barbados Free Press continue to hammer the issue of the politicization of our courts because it is foundational to rights and freedoms for all in our country. When citizens or foreigners become involved in disputes with the elites or the government, they simply cannot rely upon Barbados courts to deliver independent, impartial and fair justice. In Barbados, the courts are often used as a blunt weapon to deny justice to victims. Oh, everything is done according to procedure: day by day, month by month, year by year and decade by decade until the weak die or give up.

And if the courts give a decision that the government of the day doesn’t like? The foreign investor is just as likely to see the army sent in with guns to overrule the court’s decision. They don’t usually print the story of Barbados Sea Island Cotton and Nitin Amersey in the local news!

That is the reality of our Barbados courts and it has been recognized again and again but nothing changes.

Here is the latest story. Just today’s story — but citizens and foreign investors alike should be aware that if they have a dispute with one of the Barbados elites or the government, this is what they are in for…

CCJ criticises island’s judiciary

by WADE GIBBONS

BARBADOS’ JUDICIARY has once again come in for sharp criticism from the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) over its tardiness.

The admonishment came during the recent judgement in an appeal brought by former chief electrical engineer Winton Campbell against the Office of The Attorney General. The CCJ’s final ruling marked almost 17 years that Campbell’s case had been making the rounds in the judicial system.

Following an enquiry into the Electrical Inspection Department, a report to Government in 1989 proposed a reorganisation and transferral of some of its functions to the Ministry of Transport and Works.

continue reading this Nation article CCJ Criticises Island’s Judiciary

Further Reading

BFP – Oct 3, 2008: Would Bussa Have Accompanied Barbados Chief Justice and Prime Minister To Chinese Embassy Celebration?

BFP – July 25, 2008: Pastor Jippy Doyle – Barbados Child Sex Trial Finally Starts After 7 Years – Police Witness Died Weeks Ago!

BFP – July 16, 2008: How One Of The Richest Women In Barbados Was Robbed Of Everything By Scheming Lawyers, Politicians and Government Insiders

BFP – July 12, 2008: Rule Of Law Dead In Barbados: Government Allows Certain Companies To Ignore Laws

BFP – July 2, 2008: Child Rape Haven Barbados – 12-Year-Old Girl Raped Ten Years Ago, No Trial For Ten Years – Defense Lawyers Succeed In Subverting Courts

BFP – April 14, 2008: Chaotic & Corrupt Land Titles System Makes For Risky Real Estate Transactions In Barbados

BFP – Feb 28, 2008: Nation News Prints Damning Condemnation Of Barbados Justice System

BFP – Feb 3, 2008: Nitin Amersey – Sea Cotton Story: When The Barbados Government Sent In The Military To Overrule The Barbados Courts!

Keltruth Blog: Police, Army and Chief Justice in Barbados

Keltruth Blog: Barbados Government’s Treatment of Those who Dare to Complain

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Corruption, Cotton, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate

Barbados Court Attempts To Have Closed Bail Hearings For Arrested Journalists

Barbados Media Fraternity Show Solidarity At Court

Barbados Media Fraternity Show Solidarity With Arrested Journalists

Power Of Numbers Prevails As Barbados Court Opens To The Public

On Monday, a Barbados judge changed an earlier decision to have a closed bail hearing for the two freelance journalists arrested last Saturday when they tried to take photographs of a police officer charged with dealing in cocaine. (See Nation stories: Journalists Show Support & Media Close Ranks)

Despite the fact that only “some” family and media colleagues were allowed into the court, this was a stunning victory by the dozens of local news media people who showed up to support freelancers Cherie Pitt and Jimmy Gittens. It just shows what can happen when a few determined people challenge the system and say “This is wrong.”

Barbados Courts Often Operate In Secret, Closed Hearings

It may surprise our foreign readership to learn that here on Barbados, people are often brought before the closed courts where what happens is kept from the public. Judges on this island will order their court closed on the flimsiest of excuses so charges can be processed, dropped or negotiated to resolutions that would disturb the citizens if they only knew.

Transcripts of proceddings are seldom available even to lawyers – let alone to the media or public. Many “hearings” happen in the judges’ chambers where deals are sometimes made to “quietly let things fade away.”

The Barbados news media has often been part of such coverups and it is not uncommon for stories to just drop off the news media radar at the same time that deals are done in closed courts. Nothing is ever said again and the media remains quiet.

But the news media were not willing to let that happen on Monday with two of their own being dragged before a “closed to the public” court. They pushed, used their numbers and their power and the judge soon decided that the “public interest” required an open process in an open court.

We Have Two Messages For Members of the “Professional” Barbados Media

1. Congratulations on pressuring the judge to have an open process in an open court.

2. Why hasn’t the media made an issue of closed court hearings before? Why only when two of your own are before the court? Has the “professional” Barbados journalism community now decided that this abuse by judges in closing public courts should be addressed in the public interest? Will we see such professional interest the next time a Barbados judge closes a courtroom to the media and the public?

Or, is it as we suspect – that the fight to have an open and transparent Barbados justice system is only a media cause when journalists are before the courts?

The “professional” Barbados media has much to atone for with the Bajan public.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, News Media

Witness Intimidation In Barbados: Was Mercedes Van At Home By Accident – Or For A Sinister Reason?

Similar Van Was At Witness Home

Similar Van Was At Witness Home (photo from Wikipedia - not the actual van)

For Barbados and for our children, this threatening of court witnesses must stop. This firing of court witnesses must stop. This harassment of court witnesses must stop.

If the police will not stop it, then we must turn to the court of world opinion. Barbados Free Press will do everything it can to ensure that each of our three million visitors a year learn how Bajan citizens and court witnesses are threatened, harassed and fired from their jobs by the powerful cartel that runs this island.

This must and will stop.

UPDATED: Grape Hall, Barbados – December 11, 2008 10:27pm Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Business & Banking, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, Government, Human Rights, Offshore Investments, Police, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption