Fri | Aug 17, 2018

Rethink regime of court fines

Published:Saturday | September 24, 2016 | 12:00 AM


In Daniel Thwaites' column 'Driving Miss Dudus' (Sunday Gleaner, September 18, 2016), he commented on the lack of correlation between a sentence and the associated fine. He noted that with the continuing devaluation of our dollar, once-meaningful fines have become meaningless.

For national pride, we might not want to link it to the US dollar or maybe any other currency. My suggestion is to implement a fine table.

Our laws would be linked to a table that classifies the range of the fine that can be imposed. Biennially, the Bar Association would review the table and recommend changes to the minister of justice to be reassessed by that department and laid before Parliament for approval. That way, the fines would be more in line with reality.

Initially, the current fines would be placed in a table and the current laws associated with the table's value. Over time, say, a 10-year period, each statute is reviewed and linked to the relevant level in the table. This could result in the related level moving up or down. In time, the fines would become not only relevant, but would go back to being a deterrent.