February 28, 2009

Inordinate Delay of Civil Appeal in Barbados

'Step on it' Published on: 2/28/09.
Source: Nation Newspaper, Barbados

THE ISLAND'S COURT OF APPEAL has come in for a tongue-lashing from the region's highest court.

It has to do with the length of time the local appellate court took to deliver one of its judgements.
Recently, the five judges of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) heard the civil appeal of Yolande Reid and Jerome Reid.

In their decision, the five judges spoke about the five years it took for the Court of Appeal to give its ruling.

Justice of Appeal Adrian Saunders, who delivered the judgement, said the CCJ's President Michael de la Bastide had previously spoken about the issue and had expressed the court's strong disapproval of judicial delays.

"The effectiveness of a judiciary is seriously compromised if it fails to monitor itself in respect of the time taken to deliver judgements and to arrest promptly any tendency to lapse in this aspect of its performance," said Justice Saunders.

"This is the second time we have had occasion to call attention to inordinate delays in the delivery of judgements in Barbados. We trust that effective remedial action, if not already taken, will now be taken to ensure that judgements are delivered within a reasonable time as required by the Constitution of Barbados," the appellate judge said.

The court went on to say it felt that no judgement should be outstanding for longer than six months.

"And unless a case is one of unusual difficulty or complexity, judgement should normally be delivered within three months at most," Justice of Appeal Saunders said.

Justice of Appeal Saunders sat with President of the Court de la Bastide and the Justices of Appeal Desirée Bernard, Jacob Wit and David Hayton.

No comments: