Categorized | National News

The QC Should Take A Lesson

By P.J. Malone

Why is it that certain individuals care about the ‘separation of powers’ all of a sudden? What happened to their outcry when Parliamentary Privilege was being challenged on questionable grounds and Members of Parliament beset upon by questionable rulings against their parliamentary privilege?

Wasn’t that the time to speak up for separation of powers? One would think so, especially given the dubious nature of the Save The Bays’ claims.

The appeal that has been filed by The Attorney General of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the Member of Parliament, Jerome Fitzgerald with respect to the ruling of Justice Indira Charles on the case brought by Save The Bays with respect to their emails, stated a number of challenges to the Justice’s positions: Key points in the appeal being,

  1. (i)“The Judge was wrong to hold that the First Appellant conducted a search of the Respondents’ property. He did not, and there was no evidence to support the Judge’s conclusion that he did.


  1. (iii) “The Judge was wrong to accept the premise, alleged by the Respondents, that the Court was dealing with ‘searching and taking copies of emails…etc.’ The evidence did not support this premise and the Judge was wrong to proceed on a premise that was unsupported (and false) and should have taken into account the evidence that no steps had been taken to restrict the dissemination of the material, to treat it as confidential, or to prohibit its onward communication.


  1. (iv) “The Judge proceeded on the basis that she was dealing with interference with the Respondents’ electronic documents. In so doing, with respect, she was wrong. There was no evidence that the First Appellant had searched or had anything whatsoever to do with the electronic versions of their documents, with their computers, email servers or otherwise.”

Valid points I would think.

What I don’t get is the position of the Queen’s Counsel quoted in A Tribune article. He or she suggests that the probe by the House of Assembly’s Committee on Parliamentary Privilege into the Supreme Court Justice’s ruling on parliamentary privilege is an “affront to the separation of powers”.So let me get this straight. It is only now an “affront to the separation of powers”? The unfounded challenge to Parliamentary Privilege on shaky grounds that the court attempted to make valid was not an “affront to the separation of powers”?

Sounds duplicitous to me.

Maybe that’s why the QC chose to speak anonymously to the reporter. Or could it be for this ridiculous statement he made:

“There’s a pending legal matter, so it would be ill-advised for the speaker to countenance that the privilege committee, which never meets historically, it’s the recycle bin of Parliament, to suddenly get life to deal with a matter directly connected with and directly touching on a pending legal matter. That is an affront to the separation of powers.”

It’s ludicrous on its face! “The privilege committee, which never meets historically” is a reason not to convene when it is needed?

“It’s the recycle bin of Parliament”? Really? What kind of QC would use such language to talk about our governing institution? That’s an “affront” to Bahamians!

What kind of QC? A QC with a horse in the race. (I guessed it was you who promotes Save The Bays.)

It’s probably why he wants to remain anonymous.

Here’s a position that seems more objective—and to make sense to us non-lawyers—revealed in The Tribune article’s quote of the Bahamas Bar Association President Elsworth Johnson:

“Far be it for me to involve myself in the internal working, that’s their job and I hold them in high esteem. I know at the end of the day Parliament will respect, and the courts will respect, that concept called the separation of powers and that they will ensure that the integrity of the three arms of government is upheld.”

Seems to me like the honourable QC should take a lesson from his President.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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