Businesses want action on legal backlog
The business sector here said it was gravely concerned that recommendations to improve the judicial system had been “catching dust” a decade after they were presented to Government.
Former Chief Justice Sir David Simmons revealed yesterday that stakeholders had documented 106 recommendations about ten years ago for speeding up the judicial process and easing the troubling backlog of cases.
New Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) Charles Herbert told Barbados TODAY he was concerned that no one had given the proposals a second look.
“Our legal system is not operating [efficiently]. We have a report that has been around for years saying what we need to do . . . I gather it has buy-in from all relative parties and we are not doing anything. We need to focus on what is broken in Barbados, and this is broken,” Herbert said.
The BPSA head said an inefficient legal system had implications for doing business, insisting it was difficult enough getting things done here without adding unnecessary hurdles.
“It is difficult to do everything. It takes three days to get a liquor licence; it takes a month to get an amalgamation through Corporate Services; it goes on and on. Everything we do is difficult to do. That is the effect it will have on existing business. But the effect it has on new businesses is that new businesses don’t get formed, people don’t do business in Barbados because it is difficult, the cost of goods go up because it is difficult . . . it is a real spin off,” Herbert told Barbados TODAY, adding that lending institutions did not easily grant mortgages because it could take years for foreclosures to go through courts.
Herbert suggested that the lack of implementation of the recommendations was typical, stressing that similar reports would likely be found across the public sector.
“Let’s start a score card . . . this story can be repeated in almost every ministry where there are reports on what needs to be done to make things more efficient. We have wonderful reports all around that are just not being used and not being acted on, and for some reason, it is not a big ticket item to talk about because it is not $300 million and monies we don’t have to spend,” the BPSA leader stated.