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Lawyer Bert Samuels' 'right of appeal' comments dismissed by Justice Minister

Published:Tuesday | March 4, 2014 | 1:53 PM

Justice Minister, Mark Golding, is dismissing the assertion by defense lawyer Bert Samuels that enacting laws to give Government prosecutors a limited right of appeal should not be priority at this time.



Last week, the Government announced that the right of appeal would be based on circumstances in which the prosecution believes a sentence was manifestly inadequate, unduly lenient or where a lower court cannot impose an appropriate sentence.



Samuels said the changes will serve the needs of the prosecution at the expense of accused persons.



He added that the Government should be seeking to address matters such as the backlog of cases in the courts.



However, Senator Golding told The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre this morning that he believes the measure is needed and he will be pursuing the enactment of the laws.



The Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn, maintains that the decision to enact the limited right of appeal is a step in the right direction as her office continues to push for a general right of appeal.



Meanwhile, the Jamaican Bar Association says some lawyers fear that government prosecutors could abuse the right and it could lead to prolonged cases.



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