‘Too much work’ for one judge
CASTRIES (CMC) – President of the St Lucia Bar Association (SLBA), Andie George, says the time has come to appoint a new criminal judge so as to create a more effective justice system on the island.
George said the current judge is under constant pressure, given the increasing number of matters brought before him.
“There is a single judge that has to deal with all bail applications, all preliminary applications, all sufficiency hearings and all trials, one judge cannot conceivably do all of that on his own,” George said, adding this is contributing to the constant backlog of cases here.
George explained that on any given day there are 50 cases down for sufficiency hearings, while there are applications being made by lawyers on a consistent basis. He said there is also bail to be considered in all indictable offences.
“It’s just too much work for one judge, so he really cannot cope. If there is another judge, then the work could be divided between them, allowing them to move faster. So I believe the appointment of another judge will make way for quicker hearing and resolution of matters,” the SLBA president said.
He said the authorities should also consider appointing a Master of the Court to hear criminal applications dealing specifically with bail and sufficiency hearings.
“If that happens, it will also help in unlocking the system,” he noted.