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Evidence Act needs review – Mark Golding agrees with Champagnie

Published:Tuesday | July 26, 2016 | 7:33 PM
Golding says some of the existing rules were created at a time when technology was significantly different from what it is today, so adjustments should be made periodically.

Former justice minister Mark Golding says he agrees that a review of the Evidence Act is timely and should be pursued.

Golding was responding to attorney-at-law Peter Champagnie’s call for amendments to the law to make it easier for electronic evidence to be admitted in court.

Champagnie's call came amid public outrage over a video posted on social media showing a team of policemen restraining a woman along a road in Gordon Town, St Andrew on Saturday.

The police have appealed to the person or persons who recorded the incident to come forward indicating that the video cannot be used in a court case unless the owner of the recording gives a statement.

Champagnie said this highlights a shortcoming in the current legislation should be addressed.

Golding says some of the existing rules were created at a time when technology was significantly different from what it is today, so adjustments should be made periodically. 

Speaking with The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre this morning the former justice minister said whenever someone calls for a change in a law and there is a strong reason for doing so, it should be reviewed and a consensus arrived at.

 

Former Justice Minister, Mark Golding.

The issue of the use of video evidence in court came to the fore in 2013 when a policeman, who was shown on national television shooting a murder suspect in full view of a crowd in Buckfield, St Ann, three years earlier, was freed by the court.

The Director of Public Prosecutions had explained that one of the reasons the video was not admitted into evidence was that the prosecution was unable to locate the person who recorded it to verify that the images had not been altered.