A leader in Sierra Leone’s 18 month confrontation with the killer Ebola virus offers his thoughts on tackling the new contagion As the novel coronavirus (COVID –19) spreads, policymakers are facing the challenge of structuring effective responses to manage the risks to public health, critical services and the economy. It will get worse before it […]
A convicted murderer considered high risk and likely to reoffend breached his parole and was left unsupervised for months due to mismanagement at the Department of Court Services in 2012 and 2013.
Government is refusing to name the members of a new panel of litigation guardians meant to protect the rights of children in court proceedings.
Legal Affairs Minister Kathy Lynn Simmons announced the establishment of the panel on December 3 but has ignored repeated queries seeking to know how the panel was selected and who its members are.
Children’s advocates have welcomed the advent of litigation guardians – correcting a 20 year breach of the Children’s Act 1998 – but are also in the dark about who they are.
Litigation guardians are meant to be independent and represent only the interests of the child in certain proceedings such as court orders to send them to overseas institutions.
But it is impossible to determine their independence if the panel is kept secret.
“Our responsibility is to make sure any polices aimed at protecting and providing representation to our most vulnerable citizens – our children, are in accordance with the law. The litigation guardian is under a duty to represent the child and safeguard the child’s interests in certain proceedings.As the Minister responsible for child and family services, I am pleased to be the first Minister to establish a panel of persons to serve in this capacity. The Chief Justice has been advised accordingly and the Court can now effectively select a litigation guardian from the panel unless it is satisfied that it is not necessary to do so in order to safeguard the child’s interests. The panel is comprised currently of five persons who are qualified, certified and experienced social workers. The number of persons on the panel may increase in due course based on resource and service requirements.The Ministry will monitor and assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the present legislative scheme for the appointment of litigation guardians and counsel, whilst simultaneously advancing a fiscally sustainable and independent model in keeping with best practice in this area.”
Researcher Cordell Riley is to probe the performance of the Bermuda Tourism Authority at the next ThinkFest event on Thursday. In a talk entitled “Getting beyond the spin. Is tourism better under an Authority?” Mr Riley will present data and performance metrics on Bermuda’s tourism before and after the establishment of the BTA. Mr Riley’s […]
Bermuda Police stymied the work of a parliamentary committee looking into the events of December 2, 2016 in which protesters were pepper sprayed by its officers. According to the report of the committee tabled in parliament on Friday, the Bermuda Police Service was uncooperative and actively withheld information – with at least one senior officer […]
Government and the Information Commissioner are at odds over her refusal to provide a brief for the budget debate. At issue is the Commissioner’s insistence that to participate in the budget debate by providing a brief and being available for questions jeopardises the neutrality of her office. Gitanjali Guttierrez, Bermuda’s first and only Information Commissioner, has for…...
ThinkMedia invites Bermudian academics and independent thinkers of all disciplines to participate in ThinkFest 2019. The annual conference takes place for the second time in August and September. Designed to inform, provoke thought and showcase Bermuda’s academics and thought leaders, THINKFEST 2019 is an opportunity for presenters to: • Build on their speaking and professional […]
With a probe into the department of child and family services over, Government and children’s rights advocates are remaining silent and a number of questions remain unanswered. DCFS Director Alfred Maybury returned from a five month paid suspension last month with a declaration from the Ministry of Legal Affairs that he had committed no misconduct…...
Former premier Ewart Brown has categorically rejected insinuations that he pushed for the firing of Tawanna Wedderburn the former CEO of the Bermuda Health Council. A Royal Gazette story headlined “Wedderburn back story: Brown’s fee cuts anger” implied that Dr Brown’s well publicised discontent with the Health Council and the former One Bermuda Alliance administration, […]
A man referred to the Department of Child and Family Services – and fired – for allegedly abusing a child ended up working for the child protection agency months later where he was reported for similar behaviour.