Britain’s Solicitor General sees Parallel between Garrison Secondary pupils and Charles Dickens: NO WITNESS, NO JUSTICE

The law is an ass…” – Charles Dickens

Who can forget this iconic quote from Oliver Twist? Yet there was nothing asinine about how the United States Embassy and the British High Commission joined forces to emphasise the significance of Civic Duty with regards to testimony. This initiative was the brainchild of Dan Suter, a prosecutor from the UK on secondment to the Caribbean, who’s purpose is to assist in the streamlining and modernisation of judicial practises throughout the region – making the law less prone to comparisons with donkeys and their ilk, if you will.

The Solicitor General spent a day in Barbados where he joined US colleagues to launch a jointly funded Schools Engagement Project, based on a programme and film entitled “No Witness No Justice,” encouraging young people to stand up and be counted when it comes to appearing as witnesses in the criminal justice system.

One of the main speakers at the launch of a DVD series promoting civic duty at the Wildey courtyard of the Bridgetown USA Embassy included Edward Garnier, the Solicitor General of Great Britain, who addressed students and teachers from the Garrison Secondary who dramatised the portrayal of why it’s crucial to testify, members of both the United States Embassy & British High Commission and assorted members of Barbados’ legal fraternity.

This 2 DVD set is going to be shipped across the Caribbean via both the US Embassy for Barbados & the EC as well the Barbados branch of the UKHC in partnership with Barbados’ Nat’l Task Force on Crime Prevention

Mr Garnier observed the similarities of actors and lawyers, and saw much ability on the Garrison Secondary in depicting the scenario which filmed in the Supreme Court of Barbados. The Solicitor General while recognising the geographic challenges of the West Indies, nevertheless wishes that witnesses could feel safer under proper supervision of Police (Mr Garnier needs to learn of a time when a Trinidadian witness died because they insisted on leaving Police protection to attend a fete they thought they’d die if they did not gosee how wrong they were?)…

Closest to my Nikon Coolpix L20 is President of the Bar Association (also a strong member of the Dramatic community here) Andrew Pilgrim and many other attendees

The British legal official made a favourable comparison between Dan Suter’s dramatic commentary and how it was presented by the teens with the social commentary of England’s legal system as it was by Charles Dickens.

Matthew Farley, as principal of the Garrison Secondary transformed the school’s reputation as it was in the early 2000’s into an institute more in line with Lodge, Combermere or Harrison College. Therefore he too, in his own way, is familiar with implementing and maintaining discipline, which is a cousin to Law…

John Walcott has been known to imitate Principal Farley’s speech patterns, but my memories of this educator go back further – I recall when he was on Star Radio/B’dos Rediffusion with “Educator’s Forum”

Mr Farley praised the manufacture of the DVD as a culmination of efforts which combined law, youth and education in ways completely outside of their normal confines yet mixed in a superb way that while Bajan in origin is both Global & Caribbean.

This goal is admirable, since this visual aid is to be considered as curricula for schools across the region, instilling leadership, a healthy appreciation of the law and why speaking out, once truthful, is not a crime.

As legal experts go, Mr Garnier has chosen to operate on the side of Law where Humanity needs to cooperate with regimen and common sense, he seems rather refreshing compared to previous generations…

Mr Farley’s concern is, especially in a peer environment, when a body comes forward to explain their view of events there is a pre-conception among both adults and children that those who speak out are ‘snitches.’ In fact, these witnesses are ensuring justice follows its natural path.

Mr Suter, while not directly contributing to the presentation, does in fact, make a regular effort to see that Law is made less asinine and soon on Bajan Reporter we’ll examine a conference which carried through despite many challenges and Suter’s comments were crucial, not only for the seminar, but for the region to pay heed to if it is to continue being a bastion of Hospitality.

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