Ban reporting on cases before the courts – Inniss

If Minister of Commerce Donville Inniss had his way there would no publication of court reports in the media.

In his contribution to debate on the second reading of the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Inniss insisted that only the cases of offenders who have been found guilty should be published.

“What bothers me immensely is that every day you can look into the newspapers in this country or go on social media and see the photographs, names and addresses of individuals who have been charged before the court, splashed all over the public space, and you know what, when some of these individuals are found not guilty, the damage has already been done,” he complained, adding that many of the accused were made to suffer even after they were found not guilty.

“Everybody in the neighbourhood considered them a criminal. [They] have difficulty getting work, nobody wants to write a character reference for them because in the eyes of the public, they have already been found guilty, and that is why Madam Deputy Speaker, I keep stressing in this country that Barbados needs to get to the point where we restrict the publication of an individual’s details and photographs once they have been charged and only do such when and wherever they are found guilty.”

He stressed that while the practice could work in larger countries Barbados was too small and it was time for the country to take action on the matter.

19 Responses to Ban reporting on cases before the courts – Inniss

  1. Jeffrey Quimby
    Jeffrey Quimby December 5, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    We soon see inniss back happy to see when that lady take him to hell out

  2. John Everatt December 6, 2017 at 1:41 am

    Mr. Minister. You need to think about what you are saying here. It is easy enough now for documents to be lost or misplaced which allows guilty people to walk free. Think of what it would be like if the public were not aware of criminal charges laid. All is secret enough as it is in the judiciary. The public has a right to know what is going on with the court system.

  3. Frank Fowler
    Frank Fowler December 6, 2017 at 2:14 am

    This man is a complete incompetent idiot

  4. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba December 6, 2017 at 3:50 am


  5. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd December 6, 2017 at 4:33 am


  6. Lennox Hewitt
    Lennox Hewitt December 6, 2017 at 6:19 am

    I agree with 4 of u all

  7. Lennox Hewitt
    Lennox Hewitt December 6, 2017 at 6:21 am

    Innis well i glad u n got u way doe u way is the wrong way and there can tske u eith dem swimming 2

  8. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner December 6, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Why do I suspect he has a ulterior motive for his statement,public won’t know how long cases take or certain big shots won’t be exposed,Seriously smell a decomposing rat on this one not buying his concerns.

  9. hcalndre December 6, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Well! Well! This man should be banned from speaking as long as he can make these kind of statements. If he and some of his friends had it their way free speech and expression would be a thing of the pass, the media houses would be shut down and the reporters would be jailed. I always know this group has a lot to hide so they would do anything to muzzle the freedom of information. This is what you should expect from these black Massas, they are worst than the colonizers and slave masters.

  10. Solutions Barbados December 6, 2017 at 7:49 am

    It is amazing to see Donville Inniss, a sitting member of Parliament for the DLP, publicly endorse a Solutions Barbados policy that has been published on our website for nearly 3 years, as if it was his own idea.

    This appears to be taken from Solutions Barbados website at in our policy Solutions section, under section 3, titled Improving The Criminal Justice System.

    Paragraph 6 states: “To address the stigma attached to charged persons in a small country like Barbados, only the charges and court cases of those convicted will be published. Publishing any such details of innocent persons will attract defamation fines. Defamation will not attract a prison sentence, and the damages will be quantified based on loss of reputation and profit.”

    Wow Donville, it certainly does seem like you approve of Solutions Barbados Policies.

    • John Everatt December 6, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      This is the kind of reasoning that prohibits me from voting for Solutions Barbados.

    • hcalndre December 6, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      @Solutions Barbados; I never knew that you all wanted reporters ban from the courts, this is what it is and you are proud of it. You`re saying a court reporter has to sit in a court room until a verdict is reached before he/she can report on a case, say the case last 3 or 4 weeks, then its only if or when the person(s) are found guilty then the reporter can have a few lines printed. For that wise idea of Barbados Solutions not one of you should even save your deposit, this is who is asking bajans for their vote. You all could take that deposit money, buy some bread and feed the birds or the fish.

  11. Kathie Daniel December 6, 2017 at 7:53 am

    The way Bajans love to gossip, people will be talking about the accused anyway, and may get the facts wrong. (As gossip often does!) Perhaps a factual publication of the case would be a good thing.
    It would also be great if Bajans would be less judgemental overall.

    • hcalndre December 6, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      @Kathie Daniel; all over the world people will have their opinions, some will be for, some against and some could care less. Courts are free to the public, the judge will tell the jury not to discuss the case with no one, not even their spouses but in Barbados I don`t know if the public is free to go into the court and sit in on cases because Barbados is not so free as yet.

  12. David Gibbs
    David Gibbs December 6, 2017 at 9:26 am

    I can see it from both sides but we need to be clear. Is it being proposed that the case not be reported in the media at all prior to the verdict and/or sentencing, or is it being proposed that the accused name not be mentioned before the verdict and/or sentencing? Does this mean that the public would no longer be allowed in the courts to witness such cases.

    • hcalndre December 6, 2017 at 9:15 pm

      @David Gibbs; Say X is found dead in their home and some one is arrested for the murder a few days after and charge, no one will know who the accused is and if the accused beat the charges no one will know who was the accused person. Is Barbados turning foolish or gone mad. It should be mandatory that these politicians have their heads examine before they enter the political arena.

  13. Greengiant December 6, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Yes Solutions Barbados, the moment I saw this statement by the minister I saw the association.

    I agree with the support the minister has given this proposal from our party. We live in too small a society for this colonial practice to continue. They don’t want Nelson statue, we don’t want many other things associated with our colonial past, but it’s fine to publicly advertise an accused citizen who may very well be proven not guilty later.

    If it profits the media houses to benefit financially from carrying the story and photograph, then the said media should be made to compensate the accused when vindicated. I’m not saying don’t publish, but the judiciary ( responsible for the court and its precincts) along with the media houses involved should compensate the accused person.

    • hcalndre December 6, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      @Greengiant; I hope you know that because X is found not guilty that X did not commit the crime.

  14. Helicopter(8P) December 6, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Streight on point Honorable Minister!! Don you so right in 2017AD! Afficiousness ! Mallisousness! Speightfulness all of the above. All at the mill wall yard !


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