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Courts see delays and adjournments as issues within justice system continue

Posted: Wednesday, November 29, 2023. 10:45 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Government was fired up on Monday over claims of “irresponsible reporting” concerning a slowdown of the judicial system due to absent Crown Counsel from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and elsewhere.

But it was a different story on Tuesday as our court reporter confirmed that there was a definite go-slow that affected judicial work in the High Court.

In at least one courtroom there was no Crown Counsel present in person or virtually, forcing adjournments to hearings for inferior court appeals and a case management conference on a murder charge. Other courts did proceed with matters including at least one trial.

The Government’s statement claimed that on Monday, Crown Counsel were in full complement and three officers were on vacation while a Magistrate was out sick. As to issues of security, salaries and concerns raised a few months ago which it was said would be addressed by the end of this month, it continued, “Furthermore, the government values and respects the legal and judicial officers in the service, as is the case with all public officers and teachers, and has been working tirelessly to address all concerns.”

But at least one Crown Counsel has produced to our court reporter his ‘doctor paper’ to confirm illness, while employees from Magistrate’s Courts in San Pedro, Punta Gorda, San Ignacio and Independence are all said to be in solidarity.


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