Special Features
March 2, 2007
ECSC to embark on integration project

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court will soon embark on a project to integrate the several national Magistracies into the administrative and judicial structures of the Supreme Court.

This announcement was made by the Acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Hon. Brian Alleyne, SC as he addressed a special sitting of the Court to mark its 40th anniversary on Tuesday.{{more}}

Speaking by webcast to the legal fraternity in all seven jurisdictions which the Court serves, Chief Justice Alleyne said that the average citizen in the OECS is impacted by the work of the Magistracy to a far greater extent than by the functioning of the ‘higher’ judiciary as over 90% of all legal disputes in the Court are handled at that level.

It was therefore the responsibility of the Court, he said, to deliver impartial justice in a timely fashion, if the public is to “continue to have confidence in the judicial process and not resort to some form of ‘self-help justice'”.

The Magistracy project therefore aims at achieving “more efficient and effective administration of justice and to attain a greater level of judicial independence and accountability in the Magistracies, both in perception and in reality.”

Chief Justice Alleyne also lauded the reform programme which began in the latter half of the 1990’s and has had a very positive impact in reducing the time elapsed from date of filing to disposition significantly.

The introduction of mediation into the system of civil litigation also came in for praise. The Dominican born jurist however lamented the fact that mediation was not being widely used as it has the potential of speeding up disposition, saving costs and yielding greater client satisfaction.

The Chief Justice expressed his overall satisfaction that throughout its history, the Court had exercised its jurisdiction “independently, fearlessly and with a high level of competence, notwithstanding the many obstacles in terms of resource limitations, including inadequate accommodation, library facilities and resources, trained personnel, geographic dispersion, and other factors.”