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Mar 13, 2013

Barrow supports AG’s proposed amendment to change legal profession act

Dean Barrow

Attorney-General Wilfred Elrington is taking on the Bar Association again, and this time he wants to push legislation which will remove compulsory membership of attorneys in that association. The move is seen in many circles as a way to formalize the deep divisions within the Bar and government’s way of resisting opposition through legislation. Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow jumped to the support of his Attorney-General, saying that it is perfectly in order and that he would support and join a new association formed if the Bar Association is broken up.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I think that is as it should be. We’ve seen that in so many other professional organizations, it has been held that constitutionally, there can be no exclusivity. I don’t see no problem with that at all. The Bar can continue. If some lawyers don’t want to belong to the Bar and start another society and start another society or Bar, I can’t see that there is a difficulty. I support that.”


Jules Vasquez, Channel 7

“Would you remain a member of the Bar?”


Dean Barrow

“It would depend. When I go back into practice, god willing, if there is a sensible move to start another association and that move would come with plans that might suggest that there could be measurable improvement over the performance at the Bar Association, I would look at it. I would keep an open mind.”


Jules Vasquez

“The Attorney General has alleged that in fact the Bar Association is like a club and is controlled by a few families. I believe those who have your family name are among that club seeing that the current president, Eamon Courtenay, was nominated by your brother. So I would assume that your family is a part of the club that controls it.”


Dean Barrow

“Well I believe what the Attorney General might also have wanted to say is that that club is dominated by persons of a certain political stripe—even though it is not entirely monolithic. But no that doesn’t matter. The fact is that as a correct legal principle, there should not be this kind of exclusivity and I leave it at that.”


The Bar Association meets on Monday, after which it will put forward a position on the move by the Attorney General to change the Legal Profession Act.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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5 Responses for “Barrow supports AG’s proposed amendment to change legal profession act”

  1. Storm says:

    In other countries lawyers have led the fight for freedom and good government, but here the most prominent lawyers seem to be driven exclusively by simple monetary greed, a very low calling.

    The Bar is potentially a moral voice of resistance to tyranny and corruption, but it really has not been used that way here in decades. But even at that, GOB seems to want to strike it down as a possible future check on unwise or even illegal policies. We need to keep an eye on the snakes.

  2. Rod says:

    Now judas speaks he has been absent from his job for half a year and still has his job no where else in the world this can be done and he is getting paid for nothing he should do the right thing and give his pay for this year to the poor people of this country since he hasn’t earned his pay.and this gov wants to disrupt this union so they can impose their wishes more corruption.

  3. King Dean says:


    This dah me King Dean. How dare dem pipple weh have wah legal education think them could oppose fi me 9th Constitutional Amendment, ah? Off with them heads!

    Dah me runs things ya, and I haffu destroy everyone who oppose me. Me dah King, noh dem.

  4. Nation of Izscam says:

    The DA wants a CA.
    The PM shall see him.

    Yes this is an urgent problem.
    For decades this law has been unconstitutional.
    We do not like the law.
    We, not the bar association should have this power.
    No, do not amend the law,
    Yes, change the constitution, again. with secret legal meaning to secure their power forever.

  5. DAVID says:

    will this set a precedent to dismantle teh doctors, nurse, engineers,architect association

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