Mon | Oct 23, 2017

Creeping trespass on justice

Published:Friday | July 28, 2017 | 12:12 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Is there a creeping strategy crawling its way to the ultimate goal of abolishing trial by jury?

The latest proposal being floated is that Government intends to amend the Gun Court Act to allow for all non-capital murder cases involving the use of the gun to be tried by judge alone. So the licensed firearm holder, or the policeman, charged with murder, involving the gun, is to be deprived of a jury trial?

I do not agree with that proposal, which is born of expedience rather than principle.

We have already done enough to erode trial by jury, by reducing the number of jurors required for certain trials. Time enough to stop!

Of equal concern is the plea from Senator Mark Golding, one of the few politicians I am prepared to credit with above-average intelligence, that the lawyers should cease their challenge to aspects of the Proceeds of Crime Act and regulations. I hope the lawyers ignore the plea. Lawyers, to my mind, have an overriding duty and obligation to challenge all laws reasonably believed to be unconstitutional or otherwise unlawful.

PATRICK D. BAILEY

Attorney-at-Law