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Broken photocopiers slow Supreme Court business

Published:Tuesday | January 13, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

The three photocopying machines at the Supreme Court have been out of service since December last year, and this has been hampering the smooth running of the courts.

Transcripts of criminal cases for the Court of Appeal are being held up because they cannot be photocopied.

The court list for this week could not be printed as there was no functional machine. There are lots of other documents to be copied for court purposes but cannot be done because there is no machine to do so.

An employee said the Court Management Services, which is responsible for the administrative running of the court, is aware of the situation but no definite answer has been given as to when the machines will be fixed.

"All we can hear when reports are made is, 'No money, no money'," a court official said.

Another problem facing the court is the fact that the elevators have been out of service for several months.

"This is creating severe hardships for litigants who cannot afford to climb the stairs," a lawyer said.

The lawyer said last week relatives of an elderly man had to lift him up two flights of stairs to the courtroom.

"If they cannot fix all the elevators then at least try to fix one so that the court can be more accessible for handicapped litigants," the lawyer said.

On a daily basis, lawyers are seeing helping their physically challenged clients to get to the courtrooms upstairs.

"Let me rest for a few minutes because I am a heart patient," an elderly man said to his lawyer last week as he tried to climb the stairs to the third floor.

Equipment and heavy boxes also have to be lifted by the workers to the upstairs sections of the building because of the dysfunctional elevators. "This is quite a challenge," one worker said.

The ice-making machine is also out of service, and according to one employee, although the jurors are entitled to refreshment daily, there is no ice to serve them a cold drink.

Supreme Court employees are also complaining that no reclassification exercise has taken place in their departments and they are now contemplating what action to take.