From the Courts
February 9, 2007
Frederick: Court is overwhelmed with the number of matters arising

Veteran Defense Attorney Bayliss Frederick is of the considered opinion that the reason for the pile up of cases in the Criminal Assizes is deep rooted.

Speaking at the opening of the Criminal Assizes on Tuesday where a total of 62 matters are laid down for hearing, Frederick made it known to the court that there are too many matters to be tried in one specified period of time. “How are we going to function in this state of uncertainty when attorneys do not know when their cases are going to be called,” Frederick said.{{more}}

Presiding Judge, Justice Gertel Thom swiftly assured Frederick that the court would be working diligently every day to make sure matters are dealt with on time. She added that it would only happen in this way if there will be full cooperation between the defence and prosecution.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT just moments after court concluded Frederick said that the court could no longer be guided by the system because the court is overwhelmed with the number of matters arising at the court.

“This is a reflection on the state of the community, we need to take a deep look at the cultural patterns in St Vincent and the Grenadines.” Frederick said that it goes deeper than trying to make immediate solutions for the problem but instead going back to the source to eradicate the problem.

He added that many cases that were down for hearing may not see sunlight because of the long line of matters. Frederick said that it looked as if the matters would run up until August and it is a grave injustice to persons who are innocent of crimes to languish in prison for so long.