This post refers to pages 68 - 132. (Sir David is no longer a defendant in this suit.)
Summary - Clash of Truths
Chief Justice Sir David Simmons has stated (a) that there is only one Constitution of Barbados and (b) that no Constitution states that he is too old to be the Chief Justice.
Keltruth Corp. has quoted a page on the official Government website barbados.gov.bb that says the retirement age for judges is 65, with a possible extension of two years. Keltruth Corp. has also quoted another copy of the Constitution from a Caricom site that says the retirement age for the Chief Justice is 70. Keltruth Corp. holds that the Caricom site is not official like the local Government site.
The opinion of this blog is that the barbados.gov.bb website is saying that David Simmons is too old to be a judge.
The Barbados Government’s online copy of the Constitution is unchanged from November 16th, 2007. Sir David Simmons and the Government of Barbados have had over a year to correct it. Sir David advised that if anyone wanted a copy of the Constitution they should buy one from the Government bookstore. Why have they not done so?
Official Sources Unchanged
First let me establish the credibility of my source. The website barbados.gov.bb is designated as an official Government site by the .gov suffix. On this site there is a section dealing with the Constitution of Barbados. I quoted this source in my November 16th, 2007 post subtitled: “Is David Simmons Unlawfully Occupying the Office of Chief Justice?” Click on the image below to go to the actual Government page.
This is a verbatim quote stating Keltruth Corp’s previous conclusions after examining the above evidence:
The Barbados Government Information Service web site states that Simmons’ date of birth is April 28, 1940. Keltruth Corp. cannot attest to the reliability of the Barbados Government Information Service or indeed any official Barbadian Government agency. However, based on the best information that Keltruth Corp. has at its disposal, Simmons reached his mandatory retirement age on his sixty-seventh birthday, April 28, 2007.
Is the Chief Justice a judge? You bet. He is the chief judge. He is categorized as a judge by being listed in section 81.1 above.
The Chief Justice Responds
“A” refers to David Simmons, and “Q” to Bill McKenzie, lawyer for Nelson.
Keltruth Corp. did not say the retirement age was 70, it merely quoted official Government sources:
“Subject to the following provisions of this section, a person holding the office of a Judge shall vacate office when he attains the age of sixty five years:”
68 is greater than 65. 68 is even greater than 67, the mandatory age above.
Caricom Source - CJ Retirement Age Is 70
Here is a copy of the Constitution from Caricom Law site. This has been updated, as it was previously a cock-eyed copy saying that it had not been proclaimed. Can this be viewed as an official source? I think not.
CJ Sir Denys Williams
I have just found the birth date of Sir David’s predecessor.
According to this source, Sir Denys Williams retired just before reaching the age of 72:
“Williams, Sir Denys (Ambrose) (b. Oct. 12, 1929), acting governor-general of Barbados (1995-96); knighted 1987. He was chief justice from 1987 to 2001.”
I imagine that the Governor General, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, must have given him an extra two years.
If the GOB is Publishing Incorrect Information, Why is Nothing Being Done About It?
Chief Justice Simmons has referred to the Keltruth Corp. article. It there was an error on the official barbados.gov.bb site, it would have been very easy for him to pick up a phone and call the appropriate department to correct it. Why was this error not corrected? Why is the Constitution on the Caricom Law site different? Which source do we trust? Are there some amendments to the Constitution that the Government does not want its citizens to see?