Fix dilapidated courthouses now, Sykes tells govt
Senior Gleaner Writer
Chief Justice Bryan Sykes today placed the Andrew Holness-led administration on notice that it must begin to set timelines for the replacement of dilapidated court buildings.
Sykes singled out the Traffic Court in St Andrew which he described as a "dump", and the Mandeville courthouse as two of the buildings that are in urgent need of repairs.
"No amount of fixing can go on there (Manchester court building) anymore. A new court is needed," he said.
Following the retirement of former Chief Justice Zaila McCalla in January, Sykes was sworn in to act as the nation's top judge in a move that triggered widespread public outcry.
Holness, in defending the interim appointment, said "actions that bring results will determine the assumption of the role of chief justice."
Speaking during his first ceremonial opening of the Circuit Court in downtown Kingston, Sykes announced a number of initiatives aimed at improving the efficiency of the courts and suggested that the government follow suit.
"They need to set timelines for that (Manchester courthouse) and other courts that are in need of repairs, in the same way we need to set timelines for improvements in the efficiency of the courts," Sykes said.
The Easter Term of the Home Circuit Court opened today with 958 cases listed for trial.
They include 387 for murder and 410 for sexual offences.