A contract to end backlog
By Leonard St Hill | Wed, August 29, 2012 - 12:01 AM()
The inordinate backlog of cases to be determined by the Supreme Court is avoidable both administratively and by enforcement of political will.
Administratively, provision should be made for the appointment of judges to hear cases in matters with which they have a proven record of practical experience to render reasonable judgment. The Supreme Court is not the appropriate place for learning on the job.
Legislatively, the provisions of Section 5 of the Administrative Appeal Tribunal Act 1981-18 should be applied to reappoint on contract service judges of the Supreme Court, who on attaining the statutory retirement age without evidence of senility or adverse record of competence, accept terms for periods of two years at a time for as long as necessary to clear the backlog of cases admitted by the Chief Justice.
This solution is equally applicable by the Public Services Commission to those Government departments of the civil establishment deserted by competent professional experience.
The principle is the same as that in which the life of an act of Parliament was extended from the original three years by annual amendment for a total of ten years before its eventual repeal.
A concurrent solution is the integration of the Caribbean Court of Justice in the Supreme Court in session in Barbados as a special court of first instance to which the overload of the High Court might be traversed.
It would be a condition for specific performance in extension of tenure as contract service that all cases referred to judges concerned should be determined within six months.
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