Yesterday we brought you the reactions of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca to the judgments handed down on April 16 and 19 by Justice Oswell Legall. The Prime Minister took strong exception to the conclusions reached by the judge and declared the judgments “egregiously wrong,” “aberrant” among other phrases. Today, senior attorney Dickie Bradley told PLUS News that while the P.M. stayed away from outright contempt of court, his behavior is not proper with a pending case and could send the wrong message.
Dickie Bradley – Senior Attorney:
The criticism of a Judge or a Judgement, if it is responsible and if it is not a scurrilous attack on the character of the Judge, is not going to be seen as anything bordering on contempt, and clearly the Prime Minister went nowhere close to that. There’s famous case that says that Justice is not a cloistered virtue, that in fact Judges like other senior officials in the Government or a country are subject to the concerns and the criticisms of reasonable people in the society. So there was no scurrilous attack. There was no attempt to drag the reputation of the Judge into the drain, but there was an attack nevertheless, and that is improper coming from the Leader of the country in order to show dissatisfaction with a judgement.
Justice Legall has not sought an extension on his contract, ending his tenure with the court as of June. Both cases have been appealed.