The OECS Bar and the Dominica Bar Association condemn the recent attacks on Justice Glasgow
THE OECS Bar Association Inc (“the OECS Bar”) has joined with the Dominica Bar Association in strongly condemning the recent attacks on Justice Raulston Glasgow following his October 14, 2020 decision striking out certain election petitions which were filed in the Commonwealth of Dominica following the December 2019 Elections.
“We have seen social media postings, memes and heard in particular the recording of a statement which we understand was delivered by the Leader of the Opposition on Q95 Radio which openly assert that Justice Glasgow’s decision was somehow politically influenced.
“The OECS Bar Association is deeply troubled by these statements and particularly that of the Leader of the Opposition who on his own admission was yet to read the decision but nonetheless formed and expressed the reckless view that it ‘… is not the work of a judge in the meaning and purpose of our system of justice. Rather, it is the work of an axe grinding political activist under the influence, for whatever reason of forces opposed to truth, righteousness and justice in the democratic governance of Dominica. That is my opinion …’,” The release from the OECS Bar said personal attacks on judges by any elected official are “simply reprehensible”.
“Such comments challenge the reputation of the third, co-equal branch of Government and are clearly calculated to shake public faith in the same; are a grave threat to the independence of the Judiciary; and the personal safety of judicial officers. They are never acceptable and will not be condoned by the OECS Bar. All such statements must be deplored. The OECS Bar accordingly urges the Leader of the Opposition to withdraw the statement, cease and
desist his irresponsible and reprehensible comments concerning Justice Glasgow and indeed the Justice System, and calls upon all political leaders in the Commonwealth of Dominica and indeed the OECS, the people, the churches and the business community to vehemently denounce such attacks on the judiciary.
“The OECS Bar recognizes that members of the public have the right to comment on decisions. That is necessary in any healthy democracy. However, the criticisms should be informed by a knowledge of all the relevant facts. Members of the public should also be mindful that the appellate process affords redress to dissatisfied litigants. What is unacceptable is abuse and threats being issued against judges who are doing their duties by upholding our Constitutions and the Rule of Law,” said the release, dated October 19, 2020 and signed by Jean M Dyer, president of the OECS Bar.