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CJ job on lips again

Tim Slinger

CJ job on lips again

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THE BARBADOS BAR Association says Government’s delay in appointing a new Chief Justice is paralysing the judicial system.
President and attorney-at-law Andrew Pilgrim has called on the Freundel Stuart administration to immediately rectify the situation since it placed the administration of justice in jeopardy.
“You would have thought that after all the debate that surrounded whether or not the law should have been changed that there would be some need to move
quickly and repair the situation,” Pilgrim told the WEEKEND NATION yesterday.
The association president was referring to  March 18 amendment to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act which facilitated the appointment of United States-based Barbadian jurist Marston Gibson for the top judicial posting.
“You have a situation that the head of your judicial system (Acting Chief Justice Sherman Moore) is an actor and therefore is not in a position to plan going forward. How is he [Moore] going to improve systems?
“It has the current person who is acting in a position where they are not able to make good progress in the office. He [Moore] doesn’t know if he is going to be there tomorrow or not,” Pilgrim noted.
He said the current situation was grinding the justice system to a halt.
Pilgrim noted that following a meeting of the Bar Association’s executive council earlier this week, correspondence had been sent to the Prime Minisster’s office calling for urgent attention to the matter.
“Aren’t the people in Barbados entitled to know why if after changing the law to do this?,” he commented.
“It [amendment] is no longer an issue. You’ve changed the law to do it. What are we waiting for?”
Just three weeks ago, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) made a similar call for the post of CJ to be filled.
The proposed appointment of Gibson to be Barbados’ next Chief Justice has been at the centre of controversy ever since it was disclosed that late Prime Minister David Thompson had supported him for the top job a year ago.
Sources however have said that Gibson might have been overlooked for the job following his frequent public disclosures in the media over the past several weeks.
The post had become vacant since January 1, 2010, after former Chief Justice Sir David Simmons retired from the bench.