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MPs debating Judicature Act

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

MPs debating Judicature Act

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Parliamentarians are tonight still debating the amendment to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act.
Some MPs have already made presentations, including Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, who led off the debate, MP for St Lucy, Denis Kellman, MP for St Joseph Dale Marshall, the Opposition spokesman on legal issues and Mia Mottley, MP for St Michael North East.
The proposed changes to the legislation have already come in for strong criticism from the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), with Marshall, a former Attorney General, 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.
Gibson, a Rhodes Scholar, 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.