Inniss: Legal Services Council the way forward
Thu, 07/28/2016 - 12:00am
A more fair and balanced association that will look after the various issues that lawyers face as they go about their day-to-day practice needs to be established.
This is because the current system lends itself to certain matters creeping up, like stating who can practice the profession in this island, as well as concerns over the discipline of lawyers, said the Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss.
“There are two areas that I feel need to be addressed urgently in respect of the legal profession in Barbados. The Bar Association needs to be relegated to that of an Association of lawyers and not be retained as a body to determine who can practice law in Barbados, or matters pertaining to the discipline of lawyers here. It is my considered opinion that we need a less incestuous and more independent structure to address issues related to the profession.”
The Minister of Commerce stated that this is why he is calling for a new Legal Services Council that operates in a similar fashion to the Barbados Medical Council.
“I am therefore a strong advocate for the establishment in law of a new Legal Services Council similar in structure and form to that of the Medical Council. A council that comprises of members of the legal profession and individuals who are not attorneys. A council that is supported not just by statute but also by the resources of the state.”
This would lead to the further enhancement of this profession in this country, he said. “If we are truly to have a legal profession in Barbados as opposed to a collection of lawyers, then we as a society and you as lawyers must unshackle your minds and help create a system that not just sustains faith in your profession but also enhances your profession.”
Delivering remarks yesterday at the 15th Annual Caribbean Commercial Law Workshop at the Hilton Hotel, Inniss also made calls for continuing education and a specialist register for lawyers to be established.
“Related to this we must create a range of specialities within the profession that is based on training and experience. For example, what makes a lawyer here a commercial lawyer besides having others refer to you as such? What makes a lawyer a criminal lawyer besides regular appearances in the Court reports in the daily newspapers?
“I believe that with continuing education and a specialist register both your profession and our society will feel a greater sense of justice.”