The Supreme Court complex could be a virtual ghost town Wednesday as the Barbados Bar Association has joined the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) in advising its members not to enter the Whitepark Road building.
This came as civil attorneys spent a frustrating morning Tuesday trying to find where their matters were being heard, and as computer-aided transcription (CAT) reporters pulled their services from one of two criminal courts, forcing the adjournment of a number of sentencing matters.
The situation was so bad that Bar president Liesel Weekes said the association would be suggesting to the Attorney General, at a meeting on Friday, that the usual August court break be brought forward this year to minimise interruptions while the building was being cleaned.
The president was speaking in the wake of a special general meeting held by the Bar Tuesday afternoon at which a number of resolutions were taken.
As a result, it is advising its members to “no longer present themselves or in any form participate or attend chamber matters, trials or any other such activities at the Supreme Court Complex because of the risk of exposure to infection, underlying and unidentifiable illnesses, and any other risk to health associated with the ongoing environmental issues which have led to the cessation of activities by the Registry staff of the Supreme Court”.
Weekes further said the association was seeking to have a meeting with Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson and Registrar Barbara Cooke-Alleyne on Friday, when it would lay a number of proposals on the table.
Meanwhile, the hierarchy of the NUPW went into a morning meeting with the Chief Justice and Cooke-Alleyne after they both said last Friday that, contrary to earlier announcements, work would continue at the Supreme Court complex, but during shorter hours. (HLE)