President of the Bahamas Bar Association admits that the legal profession in the Bahamas has suffered irreparable harm and disrepute.
Many people see the Bahamas Bar Association as nothing but an unruly organisation. Its membership have an international reputation for incompetence.
Speaking out against the Bar Assocation is the Bahamas can get you “blacklisted”, ostracised and even killed.
Yesterday, the president of the Bar Associaton, Ruth Bowe-Darville admitted stronger provisions and sanctions are needed to police its members.
“The Bar tries to police its members, however the Legal Profession Act needs further amendment as does it regulations,” she said.
Conceding that the group needs “stronger provisions and sanctions,” Ms BVowe-Darville attempted to pretend that the problems in the legal profession were limited to a few bad apples.
“We have a very large legal community, yet the profession suffers irreparable damage and disrepute from the wrong doings of a few,” Bowe-Darville told the audience that had assembled for a ceremony marking the opening of the legal profession.
The Bar Association ranks have swelled, with over 400 lawyers called to the Bar in the past ten years. 53 were called last year alone. There are nearly 1,000 attorneys practicing in the Bahamas at this time, making for one of the highest lawyers per capita of any country.
A vast number of Bahamian attorneys are incompetent. Many are in bed with drug dealers and derive their entire income from “dirty money”.
Despite hundreds of complaints regarding lawyers in the Bahamas, only one or two attorneys have ever been sanctioned. Most complaints do not even get filed because people knows that filing a complaint with the Bar Association goes nowhere.
What is need is non-lawyer oversight. Lawyers say that an oversight committee needs to be comprised of lawyers because “normal” people do not “understand” the complexities of the law. However, it does not take any legal knowledge to know that a lawyer who; steals money from clients, makes a living off drug money, bribes witnesses to not show up or does not even show up for court, needs to be sanctioned.