ID card ordeal
Letter to the Chief Minister:
Dear Mr Caruana
I have a number of complaints with regards to the issue of ID cards
and getting Education for my step-daughter here in Gibraltar.
My name is Carole Holder, I am a registered Gibraltarian, have been
living in Government accommodation since 1993. I have recently
re-married (Oct 31st 2006) and have been living with my husband
since April 2006. I was previously one of your activists when you
first came into power.
This July, my husband's daughter moved to Gibraltar to be with her
father primarily and to be with the extended family. I have 6
natural children all registered gibraltarians.
For the past year and a half I have been trying (painstakingly) to
get my husband an ID card. There in lies the problem. It seems that
nowadays, since I live in Government accommodation, my husbands name
needs to be on the housing rental form.
Unfortunately, my ex husband is still on my rent card. We had a
meeting with Geraldine Reading back in December 2004 where she says
that she would give my ex husband a tenancy (in name only) to pay
the rent that he had decided not to pay whilst we were married. This
year in January I wrote to the Housing Dept for the attention of
Geraldine to finally get things sorted. I received a letter of
acknowledgment and to date, am still waiting to have this sorted.
Now my step-daughter is here in Gibraltar. She is of school age and
we went down to the education dept on 23rd July to register her for
school. The person at the desk said that I should try and get in
contact with Dr Garcia who is headmaster of Westside school.
Dr Garcia rang me yesterday morning (13th August) and told me that
he has no problem with my step-daughter starting school and that to
go to the education dept and register her.
I went down this morning, to come across a load of red tape. It
seems that apart from having the birth certificate, they now require
an ID card.
The Immigration dept wants the following:
a) Custody papers
b) name on the housing list as registered as living with us
The Issue of the Custody papers are in the hands of my Lawyer, Anne
Balestrino of Phillips & Co. However, as you know Mr Caruana, the
courts are shut for the summer. Therefore the earliest that I could
possibly get into court would be September if the courts deemed this
Of course, then it would take several weeks for the papers to come
through. Then I would have to go to the Immigration Dept with the
papers and I have been informed that it could take up to 3 months
before the ID was granted.
My step-daughter is 15 years old. She needs her education. As it is
at the moment, she is having to drop down a year to start a 2 year
course all over again, she has agreed to this without any problem
because she wants her education.
From my point of view, why canít she start school and when I have
the necessary paperwork then I will gladly furnish the authorities
what they require. Surely this is a breach of her human rights to be
Please could you look into this problem immediately since I would
love to send her to school with my other two daughters who attend
Westside and I have already put though 3 daughters through Westside
and my only son will be attending Bayside in two years time.
I can be contacted at home on 42564, although I work part time on
Monday, Wednesday's and Fridays and my work number is: 77779. I can
also be contacted via mobile which I carry with me 24/7 on:
I was advised to contact yourself from the Citizen's Advice Bureau
and I have already taken this up with the Ombudsman, which
unfortunately, could take months and I have sent an email to the
Opposition. I deem this very urgent indeed since it is only two
weeks to go before they go back to school as my step-daughter needs
to pick her options and to start her 2 year course for her exams.
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
*We are not human beings going through a temporary spiritual
experience., we are spiritual beings going through a temporary human
Opening of Legal Year Ceremony
I respectfully suggest that Anthony J Lombard and Freddie Vasquez QC
should now seriously consider desisting altogether from their
political attempts to publicly sanitise the indefensible parts of
this Judicial Services Act and from unceremoniously blighting the
Honourable Mr Justice Schofield, Chief Justice, and his Office
When the Chief Minister announced the new date for the Opening of
the Legal Year of 24th September and stated the new Acting President
of the Courts was happy to conduct it, it is an incontrovertible
fact that he ran roughshod over the Actís new statutory duties, the
Supreme Court Registry, the Supreme Courtís diary and Chief
Justiceís court commitments in so doing. In fact, and worst still,
he almost ran roughshod over an important extradition appeal hearing
which had been set down for 24th and 25th September well over a
month ago in which the Attorney General was to be involved. His
decision interfered with the courtís business, othersí work
commitments and the constitutional rights of others before the law.
Yesterday morning the Attorney General was obliged to apply for an
adjournment on behalf of the Republic of France and whilst the Chief
Justice has accommodated the Attorneyís commitments to this newly
organised ceremony, the courtís business will go ahead earlier on
24th September in Court Room No. 2 as had been previously arranged
by consent of the parties notwithstanding the Chief Ministerís own
decision, which was yesterday, unsurprisingly, judiciously handled
by the Chief Justice in a manner that minimises the disruption for
all directly affected by it including my client.
(15 August 2007)
Now in my mid 50's and having driven motor bikes for most of my
adult life in a number of countries including london as a courier, I
take a certain amount of pride never having been involved in an
accident and my driving licence is clean.
Recently I was driving towards Estepona at 07.30 in the morning when
I was stopped by the Spanish traffic police. After examining my
documents which were all in good order they discovered one of the
two light bulbs in the headlamp was not lit. They noted my bike
carried a Gibraltar registration plate and proceeded to write out a
charge sheet on two counts, one for the dud bulb and the other for
not carrying a spare.
A total of 150 euros was the fine imposed, which included a 30%
discount for paying within a certain period of time.
At all times throughout the whole distressing experience I
maintained a polite and collaborative manner despite their
provocative attitude by smirking at my obvious discomfort and
exchanging glances of mutual satisfaction that they had successfully
Carrying out the law to the letter is their prerogative and duty,
but surely for such a minor infringement they could have ordered me
to report to the station within a given period of time to prove I
had replaced the broken bulb and I had obtained a spare.
The hurt was not just the fine but the obvious glee in their faces.
Harsh justice and a rotten start to the day.