A Chief Justice Sir Brian Moree noted for pomp, pageantry and technology but where is the mention of justice. BIS photo.
All during that last year, there was a state of public emergency declared by the Free National Movement administration. The emergency was declared on 17 March by the Governor General at the behest of the Prime Minister they said to protect us from the Covid 19 virus. There are now almost 9000 cases and almost 200 dead as a result of that virus. The state of emergency did nothing to prevent those infections nor stop the deaths.
The state of public emergency has crippled our economy. It has led to the biggest government borrowing spree, unchecked by legislation or parliamentary action. There is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Since the state of emergency, two Ministers of the government have had to resign for corrupt acts. One, the Minister of Finance, was unrelated to the Covid emergency but nevertheless it sticks out like a sore thumb that he is accused of bilking his private partner of 28 million dollars. The other was also the accusation of a corrupt act by the then Minister of Health that he gave favourable consideration to the entry of non-nationals into the country in exchange for testing equipment. It is, any way you look at it, a sordid picture.
But our point here is: who has paid the price of all of this? The price for this has been paid by ordinary poor people. The regulations were supposed to have been put in place to protect the ordinary man and woman, instead they have paid a bitter price. They have been the brunt of injustice.
The fines that have been levied by this administration for Covid regulations have been huge. Five hundred dollars, for example, for not having Government identification on you when you go outside. Two hundred and fifty dollars for not wearing a mask. The fines have fallen on the unemployed, the displaced, the homeless, the sick in mind.
The Progressive Liberal Party for all of last year spoke out about this but the cries and pleas were ignored by the Government, the public and most importantly in this instance the Courts.
So fast forward to this present moment. Sir Brian Moree, the technology savvy Chief Justice, was at his height in the midst of all the pomp and pageantry of the opening of the legal year on 13 January 2021. It was a long dull speech about the technology he is introducing to the courts. The Attorney General Carl Bethe spoke about how well he has done in passing laws to please the European Union. The President of the Bar Kahlil Parker spoke about the need for rules to appoint judges. None of them spoke about justice.
Justice is supposed to be the mission of the Courts. Sadly, with lots of justices on parade, there was no sign of justice at the ceremony opening the legal year.