Governor Responds To Supreme Court Walkout

January 23, 2015

Rory Field[Updated] Following the walkout by lawyers at today’s [Jan 23] special sitting of the Supreme Court, Governor George Ferguson reiterated his support for Director of Public Prosecutions Rory Field.

The Governor announced earlier this month that Mr Field has been re-appointed as Director of Public Prosecutions [DPP], with the extension set to run until the end of 2016. Mr. Field — a non-Bermudian — has held the position for over seven years, having formally taken over the role in 2007.

Following his re-appointment, a Cabinet Office spokesperson said, “After expressing every intention to appoint a Bermudian DPP in 2007, 2010 and 2013, it is most unfortunate that the process adopted by Government House appears unable to make those intentions a reality

The Cabinet Office confirmed that the Premier had “strongly expressed” his concern to the Governor, and that he would once again raise the matter with the UK Minister responsible for the Overseas Territories.

Shadow Attorney-General Michael Scott also raised objections, saying:  “The reappointment of Rory Field is a slap in the face to not just the qualified, capable Bermudians who have been overlooked, but to everyone who believes that Bermudians should come first in jobs and opportunities in our own country.

Mr Scott added, “The PLP’s position is clear. There has been a lack of openness, accountability and transparency in this process and there must be justification by the Governor why qualified Bermudians are being denied the opportunity to fill this post.”

In response to today’s action at the Supreme Court, Governor George Ferguson said, “I firmly support the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Rory Field, as he begins two further years in the role. He and his able team in the Department have achieved and continue to achieve impressive results.

“As he set out at today’s special sitting of the Court, the Department’s record is excellent at home, respected internationally, and not least Bermudians throughout the Department have steadily achieved increasing seniority under his leadership. I wish him and his team well.”

Update: Photo of the lawyers outside Court today after the sitting concluded

QX4mrHy - Imgur

Update: Justin Williams, the President of the Bermuda Bar Association, said: “Whilst it has been suggested that it was a walkout, I am not sure if that is correct as one of the most ardent critics of Mr. Field, Michael Scott MP, stayed to hear the DPP give his speech on the developments in that department in 2014. Counsel who are not addressing the Court are free to leave the courtroom as and when they please.’’

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  1. Terry says:

    Well stated H.E.

    • Mac and cheese says:

      Not good enough to run the regiment.
      Not good enough to be Education Commissioner.
      Not good enough to be DPP.
      Not good enough to even be a Deputy Governor.
      This is sending the wrong message. T
      o put the icing on the cake the NEW Education Minister stated, near his exit from the Sports Ministry, that we were not good enough to go to the Olympics.
      The message is clear. People!

      • Truth hertz says:

        Min. Scott didn’t day that about our local athletes. You are a liar.

      • Who feels it knows it.... says:

        Question….is the Minister of Education qualified himself for the job?

      • Cleancut says:

        Not good enough to run the Regiment, ( Candidates not at Regiment standard )
        Not good enough to be Education Commissioner ( Not disciplined enough )
        Not good enough to be DPP ( Candidate lacking in vital areas )
        Not good enough to be Deputy Governor. ( Post is for a British Ambassador )

      • No where to go says:

        People news to stop. Clearly there is no list of employers lined up to hire Mr Field

        We should do the honourable thing and let him work out these 2 last years in peace so that he can save and get his affairs in order – all this negativity on blogs will make it harder for Mr Field to get another 9-5pm gig

        Please stop, this attack is non-bermudian and we need to be nicer if not to him at least for Americas Cup – particularly as any NEGATIVE news or comments will hurt the island and any potential visitors for AC2017

    • The Dark Knight Returns says:

      I am sorry I cannot support the Govenor on this issue and he should be held accountable. How on earth can a man be in a position for over 7 years and while doing so he’s supposed to be searching for a suitable Bermudian to take over. I smell a rat.

  2. sebring says:

    it would appear that that both sides have skeletons in the closet and maybe the bone dust once swept under the rug ! is no longer an option !and again to the shadow something !!!!! WE are not now or ever have been a country !!!!!!!!!!!!! we are British ??????

    • Jus Wonderin' says:

      queen aink done nothin for me…

      • sebring says:

        keep telling yourself that !!!!! I am sure many that voted to break away from the mother land regret it! other wise why would we have such a high number of people from once British lands living here!!!Jamaica and India come to mind!

        • Jus Wonderin' says:

          Better wages, quality of living…could go on and on. queen still aink done nothin for me…

          • Onion says:

            And the aqueduct!

          • sebring says:

            you answered yourself! without the crown not one of the privileged things you mentioned would be possible!!!! every single ex British Land mass has more natural resources and Trade options! with out it or the crown our currency is not worth the paper it is printed on!

  3. Terry says:

    A picture speaks a thousand words.

    Lawyers?

    No. Head/s of law firms.

    Rest of them must have been at the BIU meeting…….

    I need a wine…..

    • Impressive says:

      Since their are no “Heads of Law Firms” than I guess these “lawyers” don’t have any idea what they are protesting,, cheesh.. Yeah, go get your wine.. Your sarcasm with respect to the BIU is boring and just shows your subjective view on all political matters..

  4. Neutral says:

    United you stand, divided you fall. I
    Think Mr. Field should step down on his own accord and allow “The Bermudian” who we ALL know who is capable of doing the job step in.

    • Terry says:

      Sorta like Marc Been who is capable of running/ruining this country.

      I need some stuff in a needle…..

    • Alicia says:

      A good lawyer doesn’t necessarily make a good leader though to head a department. I’ve done charity work with this bermudian in the past and she was a terrible leader. Nice person, but not a good leader.

    • Sickofantz says:

      I doubt there are many countries in the world where the populace thinks that they are capable of choosing the person most suitable for this position.

      • Impressive says:

        populace?? Don’t you think the persons in the related profession have a good insight into the matter. maybe even a better insight than the Governer who hasnt been in the island that long?

  5. Bermudian. says:

    Mr Field, time to go fella.

  6. Marge says:

    We need to respect our governor….. he has info that we are not privy to.

  7. Truedat says:

    Where was Lizzz and Co when they should have walked out to support the gay vote they should all hang there heads in shame

  8. Alvin Williams says:

    A Boston style tea party; the one that led to the British being kicked out of North America and the creation of the United States of America-long over due for Bermuda.

    • Onion says:

      Indeed, when the British start taxing us without letting us have representation in Parliament then I will be right next to you.

      • Peter says:

        Dear Onion, are you not aware that Bermuda taxes people without representation in Parliament. You cannot have it both ways.

    • jt says:

      I seem to recall Alvin being peachy keen when the COH voting structure changed….nobtea party required there.
      Then again, I suppose his party would be high tea.

  9. George Alexander says:

    1st – How are we supposed to mature as a society if we can not make these decisions for ourselves (choosing an DPP) – whether it turns out to be a bad one or not!

    2nd – Part of Mr. Fields job was/is to train a Bermudian and in that task he has failed. Just because one is knowledgeable in a subject DOES NOT mean that you are qualified to TEACH or MENTOR. So maybe me need another DPP who has a better track record for developing people.

    3rd – If the reason for keeping Mr. Fields is because he is investigating political malfeasance – then maybe he should just concentrate on that and not be the DPP. Promote him to a ‘special investigator’ or something like that…..

    4th – Leadership is not a popularity contest – well it shouldn’t be – If the lawyer fraternity is backing the assistant DPP to become the DPP, then her ‘performance’ in ‘charity activities’ is no never-minds! IE.. Her court room acumen is all that matters!

  10. Just wondering says:

    to those 5 lawyers (and I think it was only 5), who decided to take away from the message that the judiciary and the bar were trying to impart, namely that the courts are hopefully moving in the right direction i say shame on you – if you want to protest something there is a time and place for everything – this was neither – you have more than enough venues to state your case without this type of infantile behaviour – go to the press and state your case rather than stamp out of a court hearing that you were invited to.

    • Dude says:

      the ‘walk out’ was a political statement. nothing to do with the workplace.

  11. George Alexander says:

    1st – How are we supposed to mature as a society if we can not make these decisions for ourselves (choosing an DPP) – whether it turns out to be a bad one or not!

    2nd – Part of Mr. Fields job was/is to train a Bermudian and in that task he has failed. Just because one is knowledgeable in a subject DOES NOT mean that you are qualified to TEACH or MENTOR. So maybe we need another DPP who has a better track record for developing people.

    3rd – If the reason for keeping Mr. Fields is because he is investigating political malfeasance – then maybe he should just concentrate on that and not be the DPP. Promote him to a ‘special investigator’ or something like that…..

    4th – Leadership is not a popularity contest – well it shouldn’t be – If the lawyer fraternity is backing the assistant DPP to become the DPP, then her ‘performance’ in ‘charity activities’ is of no never-minds! IE.. Her court room acumen is all that matters!

    • Creamy says:

      As you said, it’s not a popularity contest. It’s a serious decision, thankfully made by people who don’t think that longevity is a guarantee of competence.
      A small minority of lawyers made their immature protest today. Most lawyers stayed in their seats.

  12. John Young says:

    All you think about is Bermudians getting jobs, any job…lets think about qualifications. And being Bermudian does not simply make you qualified. I’m sick and tired of this perception that Bermudians should have jobs based on the fact that they are Bermudian. If you are not qualified you can’t have the job. Get over yourself! Now if there is a qualified Bermudian for this job, then you have an argument, but simply to tell me that a Bermudian should get the job based on his/her nationality is ridiculous. I am a Bermudian, and white…you think I should get a job just because? Don’t you think I should earn it! Stop this campaign of entitlement…

    • Portia says:

      Entitlement? Listen, if you are sick and tired of the perception that Bermudians should get the job simply because they ARE Bermudian – then you need to realize that this is pretty much how the rest of the world operates. In no other country in the world are citizens considered “entitled” for expecting their own nationality to get hired first. All developed countries have immigration rules that protect employment opportunities for their own.

      I experienced this first hand myself while living in Canada. I remember being offered jobs, which the Canadian Government would not allow me to take – even though I am legally married to a Canadian. I was still waiting for my spousal visa, a process that takes several months, so I was considered an “outsider”. I recall the last position I was offered, which was also refused, and I know the person who the organization was forced to hire instead – someone with less than half of my qualifications and work experience. But she was Canadian, so she got the job. (And if you want to work for the Canadian Government – they quite plainly state on all job adverts, that Canadian citizens are preferred.)

      And that is how it goes. The U.S. is the same way. If countries that are far larger than Bermuda, with more job opportunities, can protect employment to give their own first shot at jobs, I see nothing wrong with Bermuda doing the same. In fact, I think here it is even MORE important, simply because we will always have less jobs here than bigger countries do, so we need to more carefully manage our job market. A large amount of unemployed and disillusioned people on such a small rock is not good thing.

      P.S. There IS a qualified Bermudian for the DPP position – several in fact.

      • Creamy says:

        What you experienced in Canada is exactly what happens here.

    • Ian says:

      This voice of the condescending foreigner that actually thinks the average Bermudian is daft enough to demand opportunity on the basis of entitlement alone. I suspect that is your starting point for building a perspective on every Bermudian. Its people like you that are not welcomed in my country. And in the event you are one of those sell-out [certain segment] “Bermudians” or status-holders, the same applies.

      • C James says:

        Certain segment? Show us even more ignorance and explain please.

        In addition, if you think Status Bermudians don’t matter or count – you’re fooling yourself.

        Pure ignorance from Ian as usual.

        • Ian says:

          The fact you haven’t responded to Young John’s comments with any defense of this country’s people is the reason I don’t care what you think C James. I suspect your in one of the buckets I mentioned above. So, as expected, keep endorsing John’s “ignorance” with silence.

  13. Truth is killin' me... says:

    I detest ALL lawyers. They should be taking furlough days like the rest of us instead of being petulant and childish! Go give 10% of your wages to charity and do something good for a change instead of sitting there watching your bank accounts swell!! FAT OF THE LAND THEY ARE!!!

  14. Onion says:

    Did all the lawyers walk out or just a few?

    • Cardine Alice says:

      5

      • Cardine Alice says:

        The “criminal bar”. But is there any other type of lawyer?! (sorry, bad lawyer joke that only good lawyers can tell without it being in bad taste.)

    • Creamy says:

      A handful. Most did not walk out.

  15. chipp says:

    Must been a lot of horse manure droping

  16. Brotherhood says:

    now me, agreeing with a Governor…still call how it is

    bermda is messed upand gangs running with big money … murders, the rest
    Fields not frightened or bought off by ace boy lawyers’

    or a brief owing his his job local politocs with sticky fingers

    or waiting for big fee pay backs later
    anyway just becos your bermudian doesn’t mean you can do this job

    politics a mess with obscene carryons, let’s keep clean courts

    stand strong governor!

  17. Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

    Anyone know when the next protest about something that doesn’t involve money is going to be?

  18. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    I am a tad baffled here – the photo shows judges and lawyers, so did all assembled outside the House of Parliament partake in this demonstration, or just a few lawyers who walked out?

    Next, Premier Dunkley please do not waste funds from the public purse coming to London on this matter. Why? Because Prime Minister Cameron and the Conservative Government are entrenched in fighting the next general election (May 2015) and, IS sponsored terrorism, so that the latter does NOT get exported back to Britain. These are the matters on Cameron’s domestic and foreign agendas in terms of priority.

    Whereas this issue is important to those of the legal fraternity in Bermuda, it does not come up on the Conservative Government’s agenda as important and/or worthy of their immediate attention. So, the matter will go nowhere in Whitehall. Then after the dust of the British general election has settled, the minister in charge could review the matter.

    Next, I agree with Michael Scott’s opinion that transparency, openness and accountability should prevail here. How many Bermudians applied for this position when reappointing Mr Field? And George Alexander (on the blog)raises a good point, could Mr Field have been given a special prosecutor’s designation to continue ‘investigations’ whilst a new DPP was appointed?

    The stalemate appears to me, and I could be very wrong here, that the Governor lacks confidence in the ability to have frank, open and confidential discussions with the deputy DPP on highly sensitive matters, so her appointment to the directorship will remain untenable under his appointment as Governor. NB – Bermuda Sun newspaper covered this matter extensively.

    But even when Governor Fergusson has been appointed elsewhere, there is no guarantee that the next Governor will appoint her. For diplomatic training and continuity (UK) means that ‘contentious’ issues are reviewed very carefully and they very seldom, if ever, breach protocol. In other words, the win-win is most likely another Bermudian candidate for this position.

    And that matter should be resolved in Bermuda.

    London, England

  19. quietlyobserving says:

    After years of Civil Servants being promoted into the top positions within Government based on their passports (Bermudian), having the minimum paper qualifications, and well-connected friends and family (political influence), we have a poorly functioning, inefficient, top heavy, and expensive Civil Service. Isn’t it time to consider more than the applicant’s nationality and paper qualifications? Shouldn’t a person’s character, managerial ability, and suitability for the job be considered as well? If a candidate has an inappropriate attitude, lacks vision or managerial skills, shouldn’t that be reason enough for them to be declined the position?

    Yes, we want Bermudians to be employed in the best jobs for them. Surely it’s not in Bermuda’s best interest for Bermudians to be promoted beyond their level of competence.

  20. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    @quietobserving

    You argument hangs on the premise of subjective considerations not objective. Who judges the person’s character, managerial ability and suitability for the job?

    From your comments, is this article about unqualified and/or under qualified Bermudians applying for this position? Is a bloated civil service the problem here? And/or are all top level civil service jobs held by incompetent Bermudians?

    Unless those questions have a direct bearing on the article, then respectfully, your comments skews the debate and takes us into a phantom direction.

    I have gotten the impression that the qualifications, work ethics and managerial skills of the deputy are impeccable, BUT the delicate issue of diplomacy derailed her appointment.

    The very subtle nuances of diplomacy play a very vital role in being appointed to this position. The relationship between the Governor and the DPP must have unbroken trust, unbroken confidence and the ability to work seamlessly under the worst of social, political and economic circumstances.

    This position constitutionally comes under the Governor’s remit and at the earliest stages the Governor had unquestioning confidence in this appointee as transparency has shown.

    We cannot create a false scenario that a Bermudian lacked education, skills, experience and/or managerial ability, but conversely we cannot pretend that diplomacy at this level of management is not a vital craft of leadership which one must possess and master irrespective of race, ethnicity and/or gender.

    Then I may not see it from your vantage point.

    London, England

    • quietlyobserving says:

      My understanding of the situation is that the Bermudian who has not been given the DPP position lacks some very necessary skill (call it diplomacy, leadership quality or work ethics). My comment is very relevant: throughout Government today, a number of Bermudians who are unsuitable for the top positions have been promoted because they are Bermudians with the paper qualifications, but without the managerial skills to carry out the job requirements. Even when they perfom poorly, they are not moved or replaced; they are kept in that position. For the country to be run effectively and efficiently, the best people for the job should be appointed. At some point (why not now) a stop should be put on the promotion of Bermudians just because they are Bermudians with the paper qualifications if they lack the the required managerial skills or appropriate personality traits.

      • Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

        I note here in the UK that they moan about the lazy English, individuals who will rather live on the dole than do an honest day’s work.

        But more aptly, the paper qualified British bankers who gambled their banks into near collapse whereby the British Government had to bail the banks out of bankruptcy. The bankers have Cambridge, Oxford, London School of Economics (LSE) degrees, prized in any country, yet their incompetence caused western countries unprecedented losses and double digit unemployment. Should the UK bar English bankers from working in their own countries or should they be exported to Bermuda?

        These bankers were prized for their ivy league degrees, yet never sanctioned for their unprofessional, incompetent, reckless behaviour as they gambled away the funds of the British depositors.

        As rumours go, I would not place much credence in what you heard unless ‘my understanding’ came directly from an authoritative source, i.e. the Governor or the current DPP. Smear campaigns are as frequent in Bermuda as hurricanes and often destructively untrue.

        Finally, if Bermudian civil servants are on average poor performers who should be stopped from being promoted than the English bankers who caused world chaos should be barred from accepting foreign funds for investing in the UK.

        No country has a monopoly on competent employees or incompetent ones for that matter.

  21. London, Belize, Serbia, Bermuda...next? says:

    Ok so no qualified Bermudians, or no candidate is currently tenable. We accept that.

    In 2007 “The Panel” advertised internationally and there were 50 high quality short-listed candidates, of which Mr Field was one.

    In Belize, Mr Field complained of lack of staffing, in Bermuda as a matter of public record he complained of lack of staffing.

    Why in 2013, 2014 did the Public Services Commission refuse to search internationally for a replacement DPP since we could have had another set of high quality international candidates to pick from?

    Time to stop paying people large sums who are not capable to be re-hired as barristers back in London, isn’t Bermuda’s mantra that we hire the brightest and BEST international candidates for our Insurance, now Tourism product, why not the same with the DPP position?

    You all are missing the point, in 2013, 2014 process was ignored and we did NOT ADVERTISE internationally, or consider the INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS for a DPP.

    Surely there is a way under our Constitutional Order to challenge this additional 2 year extension, or even on Common Law grounds as an ultra-vires appointment.

  22. C James says:

    Did anyone check to see if an ambulance was going by when these lawyers ran outside?

    Simple explanation.

  23. UpsetwithVerdict says:

    Oh Yes Sir….how for have black people really come?….not far at all….always constantly reminded that the chains are still in place and you will be whipped when you need to be reminded.

  24. bluebird says:

    Jobs for Bermudians ?????
    We have according to the news 11,300 work permits.
    NOW WHERE ARE THE BERMUDIANS TO FILL THESE JOBS ?????
    Or are those whom are un-employed just moaning ???

  25. Forethebest says:

    HE is protecting the best interests of whom?

  26. Stop….befor embarassment….

  27. Legal Eagle says:

    Notably,’the Gov’ didn’t say Cindy is “unqualified”-but rather “untenable”! Big difference!! Until he explains why, this debate will never be resolved! Given the circumstances-Rory Field is obviously desperate to stay–only logical reason being he isn’t in demand anywere else! Wonder why?? Lol!!

  28. OBA VOTER - RED CARDS says:

    Red Cards please for the following:

    1) Craig Cannonier

    2) Rory Field

    3) Marc Bean

    4) Chris Furbert

    5) Mr BTA Hanbury

  29. FUNCTIONAL UNITY says:

    Leave my DPP Fields alone you lot, but please send him round court street to trim down that 1970s afro look he got going on bie