Sir Henry defends Mia

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley is yet to publicly respond to recent suggestions that she is not properly certified to practise law in Barbados.

However, in a detailed public statement today, prominent attorney-at-law and Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) stalwart Sir Henry Forde, QC, spoke out in her defence, following comments made by Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and two other senior Cabinet ministers during the recent Budget debate.

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley

In his statement, Sir Henry admitted that Mottley did not attend any of the law schools in the Caribbean administered by the Council of Legal Education, prior to being admitted to the Bar of Barbados. However, he strongly argued that this fact did not preclude her from practising law in the region.

“Such attendance was NOT necessary at the time. It was NOT a pre-condition to the right to practise,” argued Sir Henry.

He pointed out that “Schedule 2 to the Legal Profession Act applies to her and permitted her to practise in Barbados without having to do any prescribed course of study at a law school in the region.

“It should also be noted that pursuant to the same rules of the Council of Legal Education, Miss Mottley has been admitted to practise in the jurisdictions of St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines,” he added.

henryforde  Sir Henry said he felt duty bound “to lay to rest any imputation that Miss Mottley is not properly admitted to  the Bar” since he was one of two persons who had recommended her for membership of the Honourable  Society of the Middle Temple and had subsequently introduced her to the Bar of Barbados – the other  being the Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow, the father of Barbados’ independence.

“The facts are that Miss Mottley was admitted at the age of 21 years old to the Utter Bar of England and  Wales on the 23rd July, 1987 and to the Utter Bar of Barbados in December 1987 and, thereafter, at the age of 36, to the Inner Bar of Barbados in February 2002,” said Sir Henry.

He therefore said it was “regrettable” that the imputation had been made that “the persons who were involved in ensuring that she was a fit and proper person, and appropriately qualified, to be admitted to the Utter Bar either failed in their duty or misled the Bar”.

Sir Henry made specific mention of the then Registrar of the Supreme Court Marie MacCormack, who would have been responsible for preparing the file and noting any irregularities for then Chief Justice Sir Denys Williams.

“It was the duty of the Chief Justice to ensure that the applicant meets the legal requirements for admission to the Bar,” said Sir Henry, adding that “if there was any doubt he would have referred the matter to then Attorney General and Leader of the Bar, Sir Maurice King, QC.”

sir Henry While noting that questions had also been raised during the recent Budget by Minister of the  Environment Dr Denis Lowe and Minister of Transport Michael Lashley, Sir Henry took particular  issue with the comments made by the Attorney General, who had promised to launch a probe into  Mottley’s legal certification.

 “The Honourable Attorney General is the Leader of the Bar of Barbados and is Parliament’s and  Government’s principal legal advisor. In addition, he is the guardian of the public interest and invariably moves the admission of young attorneys to practise in Barbados.

“It is therefore in the public interest that the outcome of this investigation is publicly revealed so that any slur cast against the late Chief JusticeSir Denys Williams, the former Attorney General Sir Maurice King, and the former Registrar, Madame Marie MacCormack, and of course Miss Mottley and myself, may be removed,” added Sir Henry.

20 Responses to Sir Henry defends Mia

  1. Tony Webster June 28, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    There be cur dogs loose; mischief mighty afoot; and scarce room for truth and honour. A decent and honourable man has now spoken, and we shall now see if any speck of self-respect reposes in hallowed chambers…or hollowed vassals. Sorry, vessels. Investigate all you will, Sir, but be reminded that a valid apology is best delivered swiftly, and fulsomely. A true Bajan and devout Christian would add…”with a good mind”.

    We see; we hear; yet do we struggle to comprehend the depths to which we have been elevated, by presumably true sons of the soil.

    To Sir Henry, whom I both admire and respect beyond measure, may I offer my appreciation and gratitude.

  2. Linda Cumberbatch
    Linda Cumberbatch June 28, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    MIA don’t mind DEM, DEM picking de wrong struggles.

  3. Patrick Blackman June 28, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Mia should defend herself, not use surrogates to do it for her.

  4. Panwallie June 28, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    What bothers me is the newest play toy (qualifications) from the House’s floor rather than dealing with the budget?
    We must still be lucky that the old play toy was not pulled out and pointed.
    Why, where how did this get into the debate?
    Is there not another avenue – the appropriate avenue to challenge this issue?
    Surely the challengers did not just now come upon this information, so why now?
    Was this a sideshow to detract attention?

  5. Charles Worrell June 28, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    It is indeed disturbing to reach this stage. For some time now, I have notice a trend where we in Barbados are showing a very nasty twist in our development. I speak regarding this issue of who is qualified and to what extent and craziness. WHERE did this awful part of us come from? WHERE and WHEN did we decide that this method of interaction was more effective than a serious examination of what is being said and an honest response thereto? In short, WHAT OR WHO gave us as bajans the green light to ‘look down’ on our brothers and sisters? Is this the reason MR. ERROL W. BARROW, now deceased, work so hard to have his people, our people educated?
    Nowhere in the discussion was it clear that challenging Dr. Lowe’s education was the reason for attacking his performance with his ministry. This then, should NOT have been dealt with by Ms. Mottley as she did. And she did not do it in jest but rather to insult. When the challenge was returned to Ms. Mottley, it was proper within the context of the brawl and she could have provided the answer that Sir Henry did. Ignorance does suffer fools.
    Sir Henry gave a very detailed response in which he alluded to the fact that Ms. Mottley DID NOT do the bar in the West Indies as others did. By the way, where was Elliot Mottley (her father) at this time?
    Sir Henry DID NOT indicate what factors precluded Ms. Mottley from doing said exams, whether it was INABILITY or PRIVILEGE.
    IF this came by virtue of whose she was, then we have an act of corruption or would this be nepotism?
    It is clear however, that there existed a rule that legitimates Ms. Mottley’s admission to the Bar and if this is confirmed by the Attorney General, then this should be said and allow the matter to rest.
    Ms. Mottley should know by now that you cant attack others (especially if your closet is filled with skeletons) and do not expect some thing in return.
    Indeed, we should all see this as a very insidious visitation and determined never to dip this low again. It is not what BARBADOS IS ABOUT.

  6. Doria Alleyne
    Doria Alleyne June 29, 2015 at 5:37 am

    Who needs a certified to know what’s RIGHTand what’s WRONG.Mr.Errol Barrow put her there and no one can move her from the BAR.So why are the DEMS so afraid of Ms.Mia Amor Mottley? It’s because she telling the Barbadian people the truth about what really going On.Thank U Sir Henry for defending Ms Mia Amor Mottley Jah blessing and Love too U .<3 <3

    • gee-gee June 29, 2015 at 9:58 am

      yes Doria, they’r very afraid, talk ya talk Ms.Mia, lots of skeletons.

  7. David June 29, 2015 at 6:58 am

    You all getting caught up in a battle of word between Lowe and Mia she say he is not a doctor,he say she is not qualify to practice law here , and you foolish people getting involved, sir Henry should find something better to do that get involved in foolishness, this is political

  8. zeus June 29, 2015 at 8:16 am

    This woman has been touted over the years to be oh so bright and so brilliant …future prime minister in waiting exhibits great leadership skills but yet whenever she has s battle on her hands certain persons run to her side offering assistance I would have thought it should have been the other say …she running to assist people….. and this article is the latest example ….she challenged Mr Lowe he defended himself I did not read one single article where someone came out and defended Lowe yet since the budget count how many scribbers has ran to the defence of the leader of the opposition ….true leaders fight their own battles …..even from the time she went to law school it like she was pampered until present time

  9. Mark Rudder
    Mark Rudder June 29, 2015 at 9:14 am

    You still bop wooing.

  10. Ralph Talma June 29, 2015 at 10:24 am

    1. @Charles Worrell. Be very careful, you have come extremely close to impugning the integrity of some very great people to whom Bajans` should be most grateful.
    2. Miss Mottley is fully qualified at the Bar, and I am delighted Sir Henry has come to her rescue. His words should put the lid on this preposterous debate. Continued good health Sir and God bless you.

  11. Sonia Romain
    Sonia Romain June 29, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Hardly we ever hear Sir Henry Forde speak but for him to come out and defend Miss Mia Amor Mottley QC honour was wonderful Sir. Henry you explain it very well to those persons who are in doubt and don’t understand. I admire Sir Henry for that.

  12. Sonia Romain
    Sonia Romain June 29, 2015 at 10:47 am

    But sadly there are persons who will still find a hint of fault.

  13. carson c cadogan June 29, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    “On my mind? A lot. I have a simple question. There was a ruling made in DECEMBER 1984 whereby students who graduated from UWI Cave Hill Campus (or anywhere else) with a Law Degree were required to spend 6 months at either the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad or the Law School in Jamaica before being Called to the Bar in Barbados. My son, the late David Thompson, graduated from UWI Law School in 1984 and was required to attend the Hugh Wooding Law School, which he did. Ms. Mia Mottley gained a Law Degree at the London School of Economics in 1986 (pay attention, please. 1986, 2 years AFTER the ruling). She was NOT required to attend either the Law School in Trinidad or Jamaica. My question is simply … WHY? I think a lot of people want to know.”

  14. carson c cadogan June 29, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Mia is a woman with a big man voice. She likes a lot of talking even when she has nothing to say, which is regular. Why did she have to get a Mouth piece to write a story in the Sunday Sun about her. Something smells to high heaven. I am not interested in any gobbledygook Forde wrote in the Sunday Sun, I want her to stand up in Parliament and show her Law Certificate as required by Law and make it a Document of the House just like the Hon. Dr. Lowe did in response to her challenge. I am not waiting on or interested in any AG investigation. EVERYTHING IS IN MIA’S LAP.

  15. carson c cadogan June 29, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    The Act which governs and sets out the rules for anyone who wants practice Law in Barbados is THE LEGAL PROFESSION ACT. I would advise you jokers to read it and stop guessing at what should be done to be a Lawyer in Barbados.

  16. villager. June 29, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Fact, the legal education certificate has not been produced, can SIR HENRY tell us all what were the reasons for this exemption? I want to know, and following the reasons for the exemption,why was it done,plain and simple,i am not convinced that every is above board here and what boggles me is the fact that she has not sought to defend this accusation herself given the fact that she is very aggressive in nature,something is wrong, wrong.

  17. villager. June 29, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    ….everything is above board here……correction.

  18. Donild Trimp September 12, 2017 at 9:48 am

    @ Jennifer –
    As much as I enjoy your revelatory approach to the subjects discussed on a daily basis, I have to disagree with you on this one.

    You are way too smart to justify this foolishness coming from the DLP.

    Schedule 2 to the Legal Profession Act applies to the good lady where this issue about the legal certificate is concerned.

    She was not required at the time to do any prescribed course of study at a law school in the region, hence there was no reason for a legal certificate. With the changing regulations, she was “grandfathered” in.

    The DLP is making asses of themselves with this nonsense.

    While at it, why not look at all the questionable “Masters” and “Doctoral Degrees” some of these pretenders are displaying on their walls !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have stated here before that the DLP will win the next election if they stick to the programs they are advocating but if they continue to pursue this idiotic nonsense of a legal certificate when they very well know it was not a requirement at the time, most right thinking Barbadians will see them as clutching at straws and give them the boot.

    Mr.PM, if you are seriously thinking about winning the upcoming elections, this non-issue by your wards won’t do it for you.

    Get real DLP.


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