Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Chief Justice highlights urgent need for more court rooms

Published:Thursday | January 12, 2017 | 9:25 AM
The Mandeville courthouse.

The Chief Justice Zaila McCalla says there is now an urgent need for more court rooms and human resources to address the significant increase in criminal cases committed to the Circuit Courts for the Hilary Term.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn this week raised concern about what she called the tsunami of cases as a result of the Committal Proceedings Act which fast-tracks the pace at which criminal cases move from the Parish Courts to the Circuit Courts.

Justice McCalla says she has issued instructions for the Parish Courts to ensure that there is a timely dispatch of documents to the DPP's office and the Circuit Courts so that cases can be cleared quickly.

Figures from the DPP's office show that 620 cases are down for trial during the court's Hilary term, an 18 per cent increase over last year.

A breakdown of the 620 cases down for trial during the Hilary term shows that 298 are for murder while 105 are for sexual offences.

Llewelyn said her office and other stakeholders in the judicial process will now have to assume superhuman status to deal with the backlog of cases.