Updated: November 25, 2018
In Dominica Lady Justice is no longer blind

Authoritarian Administrations around the globe employ time-proven illegalities to establish and maintain their tenuous grip on power. Their standard operating procedure (SOP) include controlling all means of mass communication, controlling the typically independent police service and  usurping the authority of judiciary.  Key examples of this behavior can be seen in Egypt where President Abdel Fattah el Sisi has manipulated the courts to destroy his political opponents, The Russian Federation where Vladimir Putin rules supreme and Turkey under Tayyip Erdogan. So, what is the relevance to Caribbean? Historically, the Caribbean has had its share of quasi-dictatorial regimes including those of Eric Gary in Grenada, Pappa and Baby Doc (Jean Claude Duvalier)  in Haiti and Forbes Burnham in Guyana.  Among Eastern Caribbean nations, the current Labor Administration in Dominica seems to be the only ones now trying to emulate these failed models of governance.

Firstly, let us take a look at the Police Services in Dominica. Recall that a key step on the road to dictatorship is to corrupt the Police Services.  Dominica Police service is now 'top heavy' with 'yes-men' like Daniel Carbon (Chief / Commissioner), Davidson Valerie (Deputy Chief) and Richmond Valentine (Superintendent) at the helm. Interestingly, the Police are always available to intimidate the public, harass and arrest opposition members but cannot seem to muster the manpower to protect the public against petty crimes, violent offenders and murders; there are too many unsolved cases on this small island.  The Labor party administration has developed the habit of installing sub-qualified person to fill key position in the Services through their interference with the work of the Police Services Board and the will of Parliament.  In so doing, these individuals feel beholden to the Administration. This is aptly demonstrated by the Police Chief  (Carbon) and Deputy Valerie who are always quick to issue venomous pronouncement against members of the Parliamentary Opposition and their supporters, but are 'awol' on Labor Party's misbehavior.  Because of this structural arrangement, the Police Services in Dominica risk rapidly deteriorating into Roosevelt Skerrit's and Dominica Labor Party's 'Mongoose Gang'. Like Gary's Mongoose Gang, Commissioner Carbon only seems to find his voice when the opposition is concerned. For all other issues of public import, which are Police responsibilities, he behaves like a mannequin.

The Court is becoming a source of anguish for concerned Dominicans. Like the Police Services, the Court has been ensnared in the Labor Administration cesspool. The Court is being increasingly employed as a tool, a weapon against the Parliamentary Opposition. The primary strategy is to install pliable magistrates who are beholden to the Administration rather than to interpreting and upholding the Law. For instance, the Chief Magistrate, Candia Carrette-George probably should not be holding that position of influence due to her close ties to the ruling administration. Yet, she continues to exert influence by being in a position to interpret the law. It is no wonder she remained tongue-tied when challenged to answer a simply question relating to who was  behind the scene manipulating court dates and court hearings. In particular, the date for the matter against Members of the Opposition was previously set for March 2019 and moved up to November 22, 2018. Even more concerning is the ongoing, somewhat archaic, practice of installing former police officers as magistrates when Dominica now have an abundance of qualified Attorneys with LEC certification who can fill the role of Magistrate. These agents of the Court are restricted and can only practice in Dominica; they feel beholden and, do not wish to bite the hands that feed them. The  situation with this select group of Magistrates is akin to one graduating from medical school then been allowed to practice general surgery without doing post-graduate training in Surgery. Would we want these surgeons messing with our body? However, these Magistrates are allowed to mess with people's life! How dangerous is that?

Finally, the Police and other agents of the court have been accused of being involved in the offence of witness tampering. The current case before the Court where members of the UWP are being charged with incitement and obstruction offers a prototypical example. Persons in the community, believed to be sympathetic to the UWP, have been  approached by police officers who also happen to be Labor Party Lackeys, to submit 'false statements' in support of the Prosecution's case against members of the UWP. This is a dangerous practice and a serious threat to stability in Dominica. Who will be next? Supporters of the Freedom Party? Leaders of the Public Service Union? Port Workers? Who knows? Junior members of the Police services should avoid being coerced by corrupted bosses whose work depend on Dominica Labor Party staying in power. Should the government change, in addition to their bosses, these junior officers may be seriously impacted. In the long run, continuity and succession in the Police Services derives from the rank-and-file, so these junior officers need to be mindful of this reality.  

In this moment, where do things stand with respect to the Courts, the Police and the current political climate?  Dominica is being destabilized by the very persons who took oaths to uphold its constitution and rule of law; the Prime Minister, Leaders in the Police Services, Magistrates and Attorneys who ought to know better.  The court and its agents are being corrupted by the governing Labor Administration with its toxic brand of politics. Indeed, the governing Labor Party Administration is hell bent on precipitating a crisis in Dominica to effect an excuse for destruction of all opposition. In the current Incitement case against the members of the opposition, their hit-man is a Senior Council from Trinidad and Tobago. An SC of Asian-Indian decent, with the historical baggage of racial intolerance and, racial animosity towards persons of African heritage. These scenarios have never ended well; Dominica may be no exception.  Skerrit and the Labor Party Hierarchy are making a mistake in believing that they have their  'Tienanmen Buddies' to assist them if things turn sour.  They need to wisen-up.  Like soft glue, the fabric of society is malleable but, at some point, achieves the limits of its tensile strength then 'caille poule kwase'.