Plan to reduce case backlog approved
The appointment of three new judges, the removal from the computer system of discontinued cases that still register as active and the abolishment of preliminary inquiries are three new measures to tackle the backlog of cases and to reduce the delay in rendering judicial decisions announced today by Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson.
In making the announcement at the start of the judicial year, Sir Marston revealed that a bill to abolish preliminary inquiries must first go before Parliament, but until then, all preliminary inquiries would be heard by one magistrate.
The Chief Justice added that the recommendations to appoint the three prospective judges were recently approved by Government and they would take up their positions as soon as the are appointed and undergo training.
Once they are appointed, one of the three will be taken off the roster each month so they can use the time to write decisions, the Chief Justice stated.
Six new judicial assistants are also to be appointed.
He also said that the magistrate who will hear the preliminary inquiries has already been identified.
Adding that the backlog of cases “is not the magistrates fault,” Sir Marston said they were “only human” and had a heavy workload even without hearing preliminary enquiries.
The head judge said more than 2 000 cases were still logged as active but had in fact been discontinued.
Going forward, such cases will be removed and training done so that data on cases remains current, he said