ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE Sherman Moore has chided Barbados Bar Association president Leslie Haynes for his recent criticisms of the judicial system.
In a letter to Haynes last Wednesday, the Acting Chief Justice said: “It was with great dismay and consternation that I received your letter dated November 8, 2010, and more so its tenor and content in light of our most cordial and productive meeting held in the conference room of the Supreme Court of Judicature on October 20, 1010, to address some of the teething problems resulting from the implementation of the CPR?[Civil Procedure Rules].”
The Acting Chief Justice’s comments came in light of a letter written to him by the Bar Association which described the justice system as having serious shortcomings and being ultimately a threat to the constitutional right of people’s access to justice.
But Moore noted that this was not the case and drew reference to the October 20 meeting which he said was attended by a wide cross section of the legal fraternity, including himself and another High Court judge, as well as senior representatives of both the Supreme Court’s Registration Department and the Bar Association.
“That meeting was the most recent in the series of regular meetings between Bench and Bar held to discuss matters of mutual interest and to find solutions to common problems,” he said.
The Acting Chief Justice also listed a number of agreements reached between the two bodies, but noted there were some which required legislative action and “other external imputs”.
“No one reading your letter would ever imagine (a) that you were at any time present at a meeting between Bench and Bar, let alone that you were present as the principal representaive of the Bar, or that (b) you ever report to your members the discussions had and decisions taken at those meetings,” Moore said in his correspondence.
The Acting Chief Justice said a proper functioning judicial system was the objective of the meetings between both bodies.
“It appears to me however that it might assist in achieving that objective if you would summon a meeting of your members and apprise them of the meetings of Bench and Bar over the years and the procedures discussed and implemented to enhance and improve the administration and delivery of justice.”
Moore also said that a request for a report of the Barbados Judiciary Implementation Of The Civil Procedures Rules And Project Proposal, April 2010, had to be approved by the Judicial Council and relevant Government bodies before dissemination to the public.
Attorneys of the 700-odd Bar Association membership were last Thursday criticised by Hyanes for leaking the letter addressed to the Acting Chief Justice to THE NATION.