Marshall attacks Attorney General’s announcement of new judges

The promised appointment of new judges to ease the backlog in the court system is on course, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite assured today as he moved the second reading of the Criminal Record (Rehabilitation of Offenders) (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the House of Assembly.

“We have agreed informally that there is a requirement for us to have . . . three additional judges, two of whom should be placed in the criminal courts,” Brathwaite revealed, adding that the provisions for the new appointments were being placed in the Estimates.

The move was however treated with skepticism by the Opposition benches, with former Attorney General and Member of Parliament for St Joseph Dale Marshall contending that there was no lawful
authority to include such provisions in the Estimates.

“The foolishness in this Chamber is that . . . the AG wants us to believe his ministry put in the Estimates provision for three additional judges when he well knows Mr Speaker that the provisions in Sections 4 and 5 of the Supreme Court Judicature Act limits the number of Court of Appeal judges to five and the number of High Court judges to eight.

“We now have a full complement of high court judges; there is a single court of appeal judge to be appointed. I cannot see how a permanent secretary can agree to put in Estimates for judges that are not allowed for by the statute,” Marshall charged.

During his presentation Brathwaite had argued that the increase in the number of judges would work in tandem with the recent move to abolish preliminary inquiries in order to speed up the delivery of justice.

He also stressed the need for an increase in the number of attorneys practising criminal law, a call Marshall also criticized, saying that the criminal bar would only become more attractive when the criminal justice system allowed for swift trials.

Marshall took the Attorney General to task for his contribution on the bill, charging that he had only scratched the surfaced, while failing to address glaring issues.

“Let us ask the Attorney General about the payment of prison officers . . . let us ask the AG about the 10,000 traffic cases in District A alone, let us ask the AG about all of these things because the public of Barbados deserves much more,” the Opposition legislator said.

Marshall added that it was more important for Government to demonstrate it had a handle on the rising lawlessness, especially gun related crimes.

“We believe Mr Speaker that if this country does not tackle these issues of violence and crime on a . . . zero tolerance basis then the continued trickle down that we are seeing in our secondary schools and in our communities, especially among young people will persist. So it’s more than just the justice system that we have to contend with, and we regret to say that this administration has suffered a distinctly failing grade in all of these respects.”

The Attorney General however maintained that Government had adopted a holistic approach to tackling the backlog in the court system, although he was concerned about the number of prisoners on remand at Dodds.

“We are very concerned about the large number of individual charged with murder who are either on remand or have been released on bail. We are concerned about the large number of individuals who have gun related charges, and we are concerned about the large number of individuals who are charged with sexual offences,” Brathwaite insisted.

One Response to Marshall attacks Attorney General’s announcement of new judges

  1. Greengiant December 6, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Dale boy, you seeing from real far, you reading the swing bowling good. You better tell Wickham how the swing is, because he reading down the wrong line.

    Solutions Barbados have prepared their own pitch and are batting with bat and pad close together, the BLP swiping at every delivery, the D L P ain’t got the pads on yet and the others can’t decide which pitch to play on. Their concerns are that the pitch in Roebuck Street too damp and the bounce will be unpredictable, while the one in George street still under preparation, waiting on the head groundsman Bobby.

    Most of the players team UPP are familiar with the pitch at Roebuck street where they once practiced, but the pitch is under new management so they have to wait and see if the management will change as planned. For now they don’t know which team the will support, and which they will play against.

    Reply

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