9th February 2016
The Ministry of Legal Affairs this year in an effort to modernize a number of its functions, will introduce several new initiatives during 2016.
Under the guidance of the Minister and Attorney General, the Hon. Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, these changes will be made to better assist the public.
While making his contribution to the 2016 Budget presentation last week, the well-spoken and fluent Minister, made an announcement indicating that the legal aid department will be expanded.
He said that this will be done to assist persons who cannot afford attorneys in a civil matter and also persons who need representation in criminal cases.
The Minister also stated that in order to increase the capacity of the Ministry, three persons are currently pursuing their Masters Degree in Legal drafting.
Also on the agenda for this year, will be the establishment of a crown prosecution service, which the Attorney General said will prevent any claims of political interference where cases are concerned.
Benjamin said this will be done in consultation from several high ranking members of the judiciary from around the region.
In relations to the High Court, the Caribbean Court of Justice has sent an expert to assess the security situation of the building and give advice on what type of security should be implemented in the case that an emergency arises.
This comes in light of the number of bomb scares that were reported from the High Court in 2015.
Legislation will also be developed to make it easier for cases to be dispensed with in a quick manner.
Minister Benjamin indicated that video conferencing equipment will be secured to assist in cases where persons cannot make it to the court to testify or for persons who want their identity protected in a case.