Fired Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Dr DeLisle Worrell’s legal challenge against Government’s right to dismiss him was doomed from the start, attorney-at-law Andrew Pilgrim, QC, has said.
However, the senior attorney is not ruling out a different outcome from what was achieved through the local courts, if the case goes before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
Pilgrim told Barbados TODAY on Friday that the Governor’s attempt to remain in his position was akin to trying to force an employer to keep an employee, which he said was always going to be an uphill task.
“One of the fundamental things in an employment contract is that there must be trust and confidence between employer and employee. So that at the end of the day to force someone to employ a person, certainly in the long term, is always going to be a struggle,” he said.
The criminal attorney surmised that Worrell’s legal team headed by Gregory Nicholls was laying the groundwork for the best possible benefits package for their client, “but also to argue that there would be some public interest in having the contract continued or dealt with in a slightly different way.
“In other words it is such an important job that it is not the type of thing you should hear on a Friday that you got to go by Monday,” Pilgrim explained.
The Court of Appeal ruled last month that High Court Judge Randall Worrell made the right decision on February 17 in setting aside an interim injunction, which stood in the way of the Governor’s dismissal.
Acting Chief Justice Sandra Mason and fellow justices Andrew Burgess and Kaye Goodridge released their written ruling last Friday, explaining the rationale for their decision.
Mason said her appeals panel saw “no legal or evidentiary” basis on which to interfere with Justice Worrell’s decision to discharge the interim injunction.
“It is self-evident that once [Justice] Worrell correctly decided . . . that damages would be an adequate remedy and that the minister would be in a financial position to pay, that was the end of the matter,” the acting Chief Justice said.
The former Governor’s lawyers have already indicated they intended to take the matter to the CCJ, a decision which should be of interest to the legal fraternity here, Pilgrim suggested.
He said since Barbados signed onto the regional court in 2005, there have been several landmark judgments, which went contrary to what legal minds here had anticipated.
The most famous of these was the Shanique Myrie case, which established precedence to guide the application of free movement within the Caribbean Community.
“Over the few years that we have been with the CCJ we have had some excellent judgments coming from them and maybe they can pinpoint some area of the law that a person like me, who is not an expert in this area of the law, may not be able to follow at this stage.
“There may be some level of illumination that the CCJ could shed on this case because at the moment there is a lack of clarity and confusion as to what really is being sought. So maybe the CCJ can pin it down for us and make it really clear,” he explained.