David Simmons, SBG & VECO
Chapter III - The Third of Four Installments

Review Chapter I - Review Chapter II

Is David Simmons Unlawfully Occupying the Office of Chief Justice?

To fully respond to this question, we must first examine the Constitution of Barbados. I am not a lawyer, but I do have the ability to read and interpret our native language. First I must make the assumption that the Constitution of Barbados is a legally binding contract with the people of Barbados. Then I will present the arguments. Finally, it will be your turn, the general public, to render an opinion.

Keltruth Corp.’s View of the Constitution
The Constitution of Barbados is a legal document designed to protect and serve the people of Barbados. For this protection to have teeth, such a document must be interpreted literally, and not figuratively. The quotes below are from the official Barbados Government Information Service web site.

The Case
I posit three arguments.

  • Argument #1
    Quote from the Constitution:

    Appointment of Judges


    The Chief Justice shall be appointed by the Governor General, by instrument under the Public Seal, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister after consultation with the leader of the Opposition.

    Source: http://www.barbados.gov.bb/bdsconst_chpt7_pt1.htm

    I recall that it was reported that the CJ was appointed without consultation with the leader of the Opposition. I cannot verify this report, but if it is correct that is a breach of the Constitution. I would admit that, as written, the phrase “after consultation” would be difficult to enforce.

  • Argument #2
    Quote from the Constitution:

    The Judiciary
    This is a branch of government free from executive interference and comprises the Magistrate Courts, a High Court and a Court of Appeal.”

    Source: http://www.barbados.gov.bb/constadmin.htm

    The post of Chief Justice must not be political. In 2001 Simmons received two prestigious awards for “public service and politics“. Based on his multiple years as a legislator and his impressive tenure with the BLP, Keltruth Corp. views Simmons as a consummate lifelong politician.

  • Argument #3
    Quote from the Constitution:

    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: Provided that the Governor General, acting in the case of the Chief Justice on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or in the case of any other Judge in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, may permit a Judge who attains the age of sixty five years to continue in office until he has attained such later age, not exceeding sixty seven years, as may have been agreed between the Governor General and that Judge.

    Sources: http://www.barbados.gov.bb/bdsconst_chpt7_pt1.htm - http://www.barbados.gov.bb/chiefj.htm
    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.

Keltruth Corp. maintains that the Chief Justice, as the top representative of justice in Barbados, should immediately take the appropriate steps to ensure that all members of the Judiciary strictly adhere to the constitution.

Reliance on Documentation from Official Government Sources
Keltruth Corp. has relied on documentation provided by an official agency of the Government of Barbados. If this documentation is incorrect or incomplete, the Government should take immediate steps to update this information, and to publicly apologize for misleading the public. If the public does not have easy access to the Constitution of Barbados, then the public cannot ensure that it is being followed.

November 16, 2007 - Kathleen Davis writing for Keltruth Corp.

Update - we have just received word of a Caricom web site with a more recent version of the Barbados Constitution than that on the official Barbados Government Information Service web site. We have not yet verified the authenticity of this version, and whether it takes precedence over that of the official GOB source. It appears to be a photocopy, and has the notation that “Act 2003-10 has not been proclaimed”. http://www.caricomlaw.org/doc.php?id=656

P.S. For more information on Sir David, just Google “Chief Justice David Simmons” or click on this link: Results of Google Search

Next: Chapter IV - David Simmons, SBG & VECO - Conclusion
Coming soon: Bannister Causes Turney Fall