Barbados Bar Association backs the CCJ
The Barbados Bar Association has expressed confidence in theTrinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
Its support come in the wake of criticisms of the CCJ by Queen’s Counsel Vernon Smith and Minister of International Business Donville Inniss.
Smith, Hal Gollop and associate Steve Gollop – the attorneys who represented the land developer in a matter that went before the court – had been accused of neglect and abusing the judicial process by a panel of judges.
But, Smith said he was “very offended” by the judgment and described the criticism as “diatribe”.
For his part, Inniss had expressed his dissatisfaction with the absence of Barbadian judges on the regional court.
But, Bar President Tariq Khan said his organization “applauds and welcome the continued comments made by the CCJ in relation to the delays in the administration of Justice in Barbados.”
“We ignore these comments to our own peril. It is time we all reflect critically on the problems and make greater efforts to rectify the situation which admittedly continues to adversely affect our reputation abroad,” the umbrella body added.
The association also believes that despite the recent comments of Minister Inniss, “the selection of these judges should be based on competence and experience and certainly not on the basis of one’s nationality.”
“The judges’ role in applying the law to resolve disputes in our final appellate court, is one which must be done with the highest level of proficiency, aptitude and confidence. To impose a criteria based on nationality, as suggested by the Minister, is in the Bar’s opinion, misguided and would be a step in the wrong direction. It would perpetuate a xenophobic approach which has been far too prevalent in Barbados,” the statement from the Bar Association added.