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Mar 15, 2013

Sedi Elrington says the Bar Association is horrible

A proposal to change the Legal Profession Act is being hotly debated among legal minds.  That issue blew up earlier this week and today the Attorney General Wilfred Elrington indicated that he will be moving very soon to push through the amendment which will remove compulsory membership in the Bar Association. The move came to light through a letter from Solicitor General Cheryl Krusen to Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin and while there has been no official position from the Bar, there has been criticism to the move which seems arbitrary and, in the words of attorney Dickie Bradley, the timing is suspicious. Elrington says that it’s absolute nonsense, since he started pushing for that amendment five years ago when he first became Attorney-General. And today he made no apology, and in fact roundly criticized the Bar Association in no uncertain terms.


Wilfred Elrington, Attorney-General

Wilfred Elrington

“That was something which I initiated from the time I was first made attorney general five years ago and I raised the idea. And I think it was my colleague, B.Q. Pitts, who when he was Attorney General who saw it to fruition in terms of the actual production of the bill. And now I am going to be having the chance of introducing it to parliament. But it is nothing that just came up. So that the suggestion that it is something that just came up and that that there was some ulterior motive and that we want to get after the P.U.P.s in the Bar Association…there is no truth or substance to that. It is something that that was there all the while. I don’t think the Bar Association will break up because majority of the attorneys are in fact, the majority of attorneys now to my mind belong to the People’s United Party so those people I don’t see will want to leave the Bar; they are content with it. The people who may not subscribe to it are people who, for one reason or the other, are not content with it. I have not been happy with it for years, but not because I perceive the membership to be members of the People’s United Party; that was not my rationale for not wanting to be associated with it. I did not find that the attorneys were sufficiently independent in their thinking and that they were sufficiently solicitous about the welfare of the members of the society. They were not very willing to contribute to the legal aid; they were not prepared to do pro-bono work.”


Jules Vasquez, Channel 7

“Mister Godfrey Smith wrote today a handful of high school scholarships could have been awarded each year to deserving marginalized youth; reform should have been initiated but the Bar didn’t do that. This is what Godfrey Smith wrote.”


Wilfred Elrington

“No, the Bar has been horrible and I have been a member. But you suggest it to them and nothing happens. So it is not true to suggest that there is any pernicious design against them. Really and truly that’s not true at all.”


Today former Attorney-General and prodigious writer Godfrey Smith weighed in on the issue with his very outspoken blog Flashpoint. He says that while there is some truth to the AG’s criticism of the Bar Association, it is far from the whole truth. He points to a more personal reason for the proposed amendment, referring to, “the Attorney-General’s long standing feeling that the Bar has not accorded him the recognition and respect enjoyed by the elite of the club. His elevation to senior counsel was opposed by senior members of the bar…when he last offered himself for president at one of these meetings, he was outgunned by Derek Courtenay.” Smith says a lot more, but closes by stating that, “Mr. Elrington might think he is teaching the Bar a lesson and getting even with it for past slights. In the end, this move will have no impact in terms of improving the justice sector. An Attorney General less blinded by resentment should have been able to, with the authority of his office behind him, inspire the profession and the wider society with a vision for wide-reaching reform.”

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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3 Responses for “Sedi Elrington says the Bar Association is horrible”

  1. Gone fishing says:

    GOB will run this as good as they run the ministry of natural resources and ministry of lands.

    Just like those free land grants moved the election, these new licenses for the new lawyers will be thoroughly checked out by the hezbollah passport team. It will profitable for the country and useful for another. Those who have had legal dealings with GOB will be eligible, unless not enough financial ability is demonstrated, fresh gang members out of prison are welcome. People like Mello could be encouraged to get their law license, keep the money out of the hands of pup.

    DON’T forget, b-a-r is how you spell pup.

    BTW, what’s up with picture? The eyes, did ch5 photoshop this? Is he drooling?
    Looks like he is on bath salts. Creepy.

  2. Eye in the Sky says:

    Someone buy this man a mirror and bic shavers.

    Please. he looks like a lunatic.

  3. Rod says:

    This udp pm and gov are now engaging in communistic tat tics, which are very disturbing now the country is being run like an African nation exactly like Kenya for that matter. You Spanish and all other races better wake up and smell the roses or you will end up as slaves to the black masters.

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