“New judges in focus”

supremecourt

As a public service, we bring you the following profiles released by Government on those recommended for appointment to the Court of Appeal and High Court of Barbados.

Their names were released at the weekend.

COURT OF APPEAL

• JUSTICE RAJENDRA NARINE

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Justice Narine, 65, was born in Trinidad on April 3, 1954. He is a graduate of the University of the West Indies (B.A; LL.B) and obtained the Legal Education Certificate (LEC) of the Council of Legal Education in 1984, after which he entered into private practice in his native country.

On April 1, 1997 he was appointed a puisne judge of the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago, and just over 12 years later, on September 16, 2009 promoted to the Court of Appeal of Trinidad and Tobago. He retired on April 2, 2019, on the eve of his 65th birthday, the age of mandatory retirement in that jurisdiction.

Justice Narine’s service on the courts of Trinidad and Tobago was both in the area of criminal law as well as civil law and procedure. All of his referees attest to his competence, integrity, independence and impartiality. That independence was apparent in that in one of the very last judgments delivered on the day of his retirement, he gave a dissenting judgment, in a matter relating to contempt of court (see Sturge v. Director of Public Prosecutions and The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, Cr. App. No P 047 of 2017). Two of his appellate judgments, one civil, the other criminal, were upheld by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 2017 and 2018.

The decisions are Motor One Insurance Co. Ltd v. Maharaj et al v. Motor One Insurance [2018] UKPC 8; and Hernandez v. The State, upheld in Pitman v. The State, Hernandez v. The State [2017] UKPC 6.

• JUSTICE FRANCIS HERBERT VINCENT BELLE

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Justice Belle, 63, was born in Barbados on December 3, 1955. He is a graduate of the University of the West Indies (B.A; LL.B) and obtained the Legal Education Certificate (LEC) of the Council of Legal Education in 1986. In 2002, he received a Master of Science degree in conflict analysis and resolution from Nova South Eastern University. Additionally, he has had training with the ILO Labour Centre in Turin, Italy and the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute in Halifax, Canada.

Following his admission to the Barbados Bar in 1986, Justice Belle was in private practice until he took an appointment as Senior Crown Counsel in the British Virgin Islands in 1993, serving until 1997.

From September 1997 until November 1998 he was Director of Public

Prosecutions in St Kitts. Thereafter, he went back into private practice until his appointment as a High Court judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court on January 1, 2004 where he has continued to serve until the present. On occasion, he has acted as a Justice of the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. In 2013, he was invited to be an acting judge of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, sitting in its Criminal Division, an appointment he would relinquish if appointed as a Justice of Appeal of Barbados.

Earlier this year, Justice Belle was appointed to serve a seven-year term as a judge of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal. This appointment will require the judge to serve for one month twice yearly, in New York in two three month rotations. Outside the requirement to be in New York, hw will be required to be accessible, virtually, to resolve such issues as may be referred by the president of the Tribunal.

The nature of the work of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and the several territories in which he has served, has required Justice Belle to deal with all aspects of law: criminal, civil, Constitutional, public and administrative law.

Over the years, a number of his High Court decisions have been reviewed by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. In a recent civil matter, Cenac and others v. Schafer [2016] UKPC 25 there was a minor modification to the judge’s order, but otherwise, the appeal was dismissed. Justice Belle’s summation in the criminal appeal of  Duporte v. The Queen [2015] UKPC18, was commented on at paragraph 50, in these terms: “The reality is that the judge reviewed all the oral evidence very fully. Overall, the summing-up was sufficient for its purpose.”

• JEFFERSON O’BRIEN CUMBERBATCH

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Cumberbatch, 61, was born in Barbados on September 5, 1957. He is a graduate of the University of the West Indies (LLB) and obtained the Legal Education

Certificate of the Council of Legal Education in 1980. On graduation, he joined the Faculty of Law of the University of the West Indies as a temporary lecturer in law and was in 1983 appointed a lecturer in law, a position he held until his promotion to senior lecturer in 1993, the position he has held until the present.

Concurrently with the post of senior lecturer, Cumberbatch has been Deputy Dean and Head, Teaching Department, Faculty of Law (1994-1996), Deputy Dean, Faculty of Law 1996-2005 and 2013 -2017. In November 2010, he acted as a Justice of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

Additionally, he has served on several regulatory bodies both in Barbados, and regionally. These include:

a) the Anti-Money Laundering Authority, 2000-2018, first as deputy chairman and from

2008 until 2018, as chairman;

b) The Consumer Claims Tribunal, 2003-2018, first as deputy chairman and from 2009

until 2018 as chairman;

c) The Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commissioner, 2009-2013, and

d) Chairman, Fair Trading Commission, July 2015 to June 2018.

Cumberbatch is renowned for his scholarship and his several publications, including those that appear weekly in the Sunday Advocate, speak both to a disciplined approach to meeting demanding deadlines as well as a mastery of legal issues and principles.

The Judicial Appointments Committee was of the view that his erudition as a teacher of law for close to 40 years would undoubtedly enhance the scholarship and deliberations of the Court of Appeal of Barbados.

 

HIGH COURT

• SHONA ODILE GRIFFITH

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A Guyanese national who was born on January 11, 1973, she has been serving as a judge of the Supreme Court of Belize since March 2014 following service in the legal and judicial services of Montserrat, Tortola and St Kitts-Nevis.

Griffith is the holder of a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B.) (Hons.) of the University of the West Indies (1994); a Master of Laws degree with Merit (LL.M.) of the University of London (2010), and a Legal Education Certificate (LEC) from the Hugh Wooding Law School (1996).

Prior to the award of the LEC, she did in-service training in Barbados in the Chambers of Cicely Chase QC and the late Sir Douglas Lynch QC (1996/1997).

Griffith is a Fellow of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute. She is currently chairperson of the Judicial Education Committee in the Supreme Court of Belize as well as a member of other sub-committees of that court.

She has indicated to the Judicial Appointments Committee that she will not be available to take up an appointment in the High Court of Barbados until mid-January 2020.

•  CECIL NATHANIEL McCARTHY QC.

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The Barbadian was born on September 17, 1956. He holds the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) (Hons.) of the University of the West Indies (1981) and is a graduate of the Hugh Wooding Law School where he was awarded the Legal Education Certificate in 1983.

Since 1984, McCarthy has practised law at the private Bar in Barbados, been a part-time law lecturer at the University of the West Indies and a tutor at the Barbados Community College.

For many years he wrote a highly acclaimed and widely-read weekly column on legal matters for the NATION newspaper (Everyday Law). Since 2014 he has acted as a judge of the High Court on several occasions presiding mainly in civil and family matters.

• BARRY LEROY CARRINGTON

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Carrington, born May 1, 1958, is a graduate of the University of the West Indies where he was awarded the Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B) (Hons.) in 1991. He obtained the Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School in 1993.

Thereafter, the Barbadian obtained two Master of Laws degrees. The first was awarded by the University of the West Indies in 2014 as an LL.M. majoring in Legislative Drafting. His second post-graduate degree is an LL.M (with Distinction) in International Trade Law, awarded by the University of Essex.

Carrington served in the Royal Barbados Police Force for 12 years (1993-2005); the Solicitor-General’s Chambers (1996-2002); as Public Counsel (2002-2008), and since 2008 as Chief Legal Officer in the Ministry responsible for Energy. He acted as a judge of the High Court in 2018.

•  CICELY PATRICIA CHASE-HARDING QC

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Another Barbadian, she was born on February 17, 1959. She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, (LL.B.) (Hons.) (1981) and the holder of the Legal Education Certificate of the Hugh Wooding Law School (1983).

For 17 years (1983-2000), Chase-Harding practised law at the private Bar as a member of Epworth Chambers founded by the late Sir Jack Dear QC. She then established her own chambers (Seneca Chambers) in 2001 from which she has had a wide and varied practice at the private Bar.

During her professional career, she served as chairperson of the Benefits Appeal Tribunal of the National Insurance Scheme (1994-2005); member of the Land Tax Relief Tribunal (2004-2006) and chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Association (2008-2011).

Chase-Harding served as an acting judge of the High Court in 2018.

• CHRISTOPHER FITZGERALD BIRCH

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Currently Chief Magistrate of Barbados, he also holds the rank of Major in the Barbados Defence Force.

Born on January 31, 1967, in England to Barbadian parents, Birch is a graduate of the University of the West Indies (LL.B.) (Hons.) (1989) and graduate of the Hugh Wooding Law School where he was awarded the Legal Education Certificate in 1991.

He had four years’ experience at the private Bar (1991-1995) but, since 1996, has been serving in the judicial and legal service of Barbados. He has been Deputy Registrar, Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property (2000-2005) and a Magistrate (2006-present).

He formulated and executed a pilot project based on the case of R v Goodyear (2005) where he has used maximum sentence indications (MSI) in his court with such great success that it is being used in courts throughout the criminal justice system.

TEMPORARY JUDGES

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Attorney General Dale Marshall also announced that renowned Barbadian jurist and Bermuda’s puisne judge Carlisle Greaves, who served in that Supreme Court for more than 20 years, and Barbadian Magistrate Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell, would be appointed temporarily to the High Court.