Second criminal High Court opens in SVG
July 12, 2011
Second criminal High Court opens in SVG

The high volume of criminal cases currently being heard in this country’s High Court has prompted the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to call for the establishment of a second criminal High Court.{{more}}

This disclosure was made by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves at a press conference, last Thursday July 7, at the Cabinet Room.

The Prime Minister, speaking in his capacity as Minister of Legal Affairs, said that he responded to a letter from the DPP’s office requesting the second court, which will run parallel with the existing High Court, and will be convened in the area which currently houses parliament.

He said that the court officially began operations from July first this month, and that this new court would reduce the backlog of cases in the court.

“Under the constitution of this country, a person is entitled to a trial in this country within a reasonable time…. So when I received the communication I naturally responded promptly…. I spoke to the Chief Justice about starting another court, I asked the Attorney General to find out whether the office of the DPP have enough prosecutors to man two courts simultaneously. She said ‘Yes’.”

The Prime Minister further disclosed that the court will be chaired by Judge Madam Justice Suzie d’Auvergne of St. Lucia, and that the court will run until the courts take recess, which is scheduled for July 23.

According to Gonsalves, the convening of the new High Court has caused the sitting of Parliament, which was scheduled to take place on July 21, to be postponed to the second week in August.

He noted that the Vincentian public need not worry about the Parliamentary sitting being rescheduled.

“Whatever work we were to do in July we will make up, if we have to sit back to back days; we have done this before.(JJ)