Ancient laws to be reviewed
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite made the disclosure in a recent interview with Barbados TODAY.
The issue of antiquated laws was raised earlier this year by Registrar of the Supreme Court, Barbara Cooke-Alleyne, during a conference on Juvenile Justice.
She suggested at that time that reform of the Juvenile Justice System must include more severe sanctions against negligent parents. She referred to laws dating back to 1904 where a parent found guilty of harming, abusing, neglecting, abandoning or assaulting his or her child can be fined only $24 and $120 if the child dies as a result.
“Those laws need to go,” she said. “We need to repeal that and come again.”
Earlier this year in the magistrates’ courts, a 25-year-old mother was convicted, reprimanded and discharged when she appeared before Magistrate Douglas Frederick, after using obscene language to police officers at Bush Hill, St. Michael.
Nakita Thandica Karen Jones, of Oxley Street, St. Michael admitted to the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court that she used the words “This is my *****. I got a child home hungry and I got to get two ***** before I go home.”
That was as a result of police officers arresting her after seeing her along Bush Hill clad in only a short top, with her vagina and buttocks exposed. The policemen asked her to dress and move from the area.
When she went appeared in court, she was initially fined the $10 maximum penalty for using insulting language to a police. After she was unable to pay the fine, Magistrate Frederick convicted, reprimanded and discharged her.
Last month, another woman pleaded guilty before the courts to causing a disturbance on Roebuck Street.
In that case, Natasha Felicia Prentice, of Citrus Lane, Lower Burney, St. Michael was charged after causing a disturbance in the vicinity of Harford House, where the Juvenile and Coroners’ Courts are located.
After being spoken to by a constable about being boisterous, Prentice began cursing the officer in question and another whom she told to “Carr’ wunna ***** and don’t ****ing touch me.”
She too was fined the maximum $10 under the law by acting Magistrate Elwood Watts.
Brathwaite told Barbados TODAY: “We need to have – and we have pledged to have – a Law Reform Commission so we can have a continuous revision of our laws as opposed to having to wait until people realize by accident that they are outdated.”
“The drafting is being done so once that is in place, hopefully that law will be in place next year. Then it will be a question of the resources to put that Commission in place,” the Attorney-General explained.