CJ law debate on Friday
ANY QUALIFIED BARBADIAN who is willing to serve the country in a professional capacity should not be denied that opportunity because of antiquated laws, says Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite.
Brathwaite is expected to lead off debate on Friday as Government moves to amend the Supreme Court of Judicature Act.
The proposed changes to the legislation have come in for strong criticism from the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), with former Attorney General Dale Marshall charging that Government was only amending the legislation to allow for United States-based Barbadian jurist Marston Gibson to become the island’s next Chief Justice.
Under the current leglisation, Gibson would not be eligible for that post because he has not practised law in Barbados or in another part of the Commonwealth for a period, or periods amounting in aggregate to 15 years or more.
The new legislation however would allow for the candidate for the office to be practising in a Commonwealth or “common law” jurisdiction – that would include the United States.
Brathwaite told the Sunday Sun that the law was not being amended for any single individual; but rather for “a qualified Barbadian – whether he or she is a dentist, doctor or architect – who is willing to serve the country, and has all the right credentials [who] should not be denied the opportunity to do so because of antiquated laws”.
Gibson, a Rhodes Scholar, who currently sits on the bench in New York, has already indicated his interest in taking up the job that has remained vacant since the end of 2009 when Sir David Simmon’s term of office expired.