Barbados’ International Monetary Fund-supported programme will have implications for how the Community Legal Services Department functions going forward.
This was announced today by Attorney General, Dale Marshall, as he urged 48 new attorneys to offer some of their services free of cost annually to members of the public.
Speaking during the admission of the attorneys during a Special Sitting of the Court at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Mr. Marshall said that with the current IMF-supported programme, that agency was obligated to remain current with all of its new obligations in the issue of legal aid certificates.
“This means that the agency will no longer be able to issue certificates and hope to be able to pay at some time in the future,” he explained.
The Attorney General said he had informal discussions with the President of the Bar, Liesel Weekes, to canvass her members with the possibility of getting attorneys to give “even deeper” support for the ideal of providing legal services “pro bono public” by committing a number of hours free of cost annually.
“This, if agreed, will help in some way to filling the breach caused by the challenges to the Community Legal Services programme,” he stated.
However, the Attorney General said that despite the challenges there were great opportunities within the justice system.
He noted that they hoped to welcome specialists in the areas of maritime law, as the area was of increasing importance to Barbados and the region through the Blue Economy and matters related to climate change.