Tue | Jul 17, 2018

Letter of the day: A proposal on old cases

Published:Thursday | March 24, 2016 | 12:00 AM


I would like to express my full support for the suggestion put forward by the justice minister, Delroy Chuck, that judges consider throwing out cases that have been before the courts for five years or more.

This idea, sadly, has not found favour with the former justice minister, Senator Mark Golding, who has argued that such a thing

cannot happen without the requisite legislation debated and passed in the House of Representatives.

Senator Golding needs to understand that problems such as these do not require more legislation - God knows we are not short on that!

I would like to propose that the minister, in consultation with stakeholders, consider adopting a method similar to that which exists at the Titles Office of Jamaica, whereby each new application in respect of first registration for title goes to a referee, who, in most if not all cases, happens to be a retired judge of the High Court.

The referee's job is to look into each application with a view to determining, based on documents submitted, whether the application gets pre-approval; and in cases where pre-approval is denied, a requisition is sent to the applicant's attorney seeking further or better particulars.

In keeping with the above, I recommend, therefore, the setting up of a review tribunal consisting of at least two or three retired High Court judges who would be tasked with the responsibility of looking at the cases that fall outside of the proposed five-year period and make the appropriate recommendation to the chief justice, who would then instruct and advise the sitting judge in these cases of the tribunal's recommendation.

Grossett Barrett