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Breaking with precedent, Barbados is expected to begin advertising for judges from the Caribbean and the rest of the Commonwealth in a matter of days.

The move, explained senior officials familiar with Government’s plans, is part of a national effort to speed up the course of justice with the creation of three new courts – two more to deal with criminal cases, and a dedicated commercial court which should begin hearing cases in a few months.

“For the first time since 1974, the authority to recommend the appointment of judges for the Supreme Court will pass from the Prime Minister and go to a Judicial Appointments Committee being headed by Sir David Simmons, a retired Chief Justice and a legal luminary across the Caribbean,” said an official who requested anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter.

“It is a six-member panel and it will include Sir Denis Byron, until recently President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ); Christopher Blackman, a Barbadian who is a retired jurist of Belize, The Bahamas and Barbados; Queen’s Counsel Barry Gale, who will represent the Barbados Bar Association, and current Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson.”