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Bacchus-Browne: ‘Laywers being slapped in the face’

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Some lawyers who are part of this country’s legal fraternity are being slapped in their faces and the time has come when enough is enough.

This is the view of Vice President of the Local Bar Association, Kay Bacchus-Browne. In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT, Bacchus-Browne said that Judges continue to work under horrible conditions and that they have been due an increase in salaries for a long time, but the heads of government would not look at the document.{{more}}

“How do you expect judges to give of their best when they are being paid a small salary in comparison with persons doing similar work in other territories? A salary increase is long overdue.”

Bacchus-Browne stated that there seems to be a personal attack on lawyers by this present administration for some unspecified reason. She mentioned that she is horrified by the move of the Government to abolish Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) since they are going against the recommendations by the Privy Council. “This is the most retrogressive and backward step I have ever heard, I don’t like what is going on,” said Bacchus-Browne. She said that moves to have PACE abolished are being made because it is standing in the way of getting a conviction of certain persons. Browne further noted that she does not see the move as being in the best interest of the citizens of St Vincent and the Grenadines. She said persons should be educated about PACE and rebel against the abolition of the Act. “It is basic human rights for persons who are detained or suspected of offences to know about their rights” Bacchus-Browne said.

The veteran lawyer said that she is highly annoyed that in murder cases the prosecution is being paid nearly 10 times as much as the defence to do the same work. She said it is unfair that a high priced prosecutor was brought in from Trinidad to do a Preliminary Inquiry (PI) recently, but no money is available for defence counsels doing legal aid at the PI stage.

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