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Freeport lawyers lose Magistrate jobs to political cronies

Two Freeport lawyers applied for the vacant magistrates positions that were recently advertised but weren’t even called for interviews.

The jobs ended up going to politically connected lawyers, including the daughter of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bowe-Darville.

Ian-Marie Darville-Miller and three other lawyers will be sworn in as magistrates on Monday.

Erica Kemp and Olivia Blatch, two respected lawyers on Grand Bahama, had hoped to at least be considered for the prestigious position but weren’t even extended the courtesy of interviews to determine if they were a suitable fit for the bench.

The Bahamas Bar Association continues to call for an open process in the selection of judges.

“The independence of the judiciary cannot be secured solely by security of tenure and protection of remuneration, but is equally to be ensured, and preserved, by transparency and fairness in the appointment process,” the association said in a statement last year.

“We are all entitled to fully understand the process by which one secures appointment to the judiciary and it is incumbent upon the government to demonstrate, and the bar and bench to insist, that this process is open, fair, transparent and meritocratic. Failure to ensure such a process leaves the entire justice system vulnerable.”

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