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Supreme Court looks at implementing special division for criminal matters

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The increase in the number of criminal matters filed in the courts has propelled the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court to pursue implementing a specialised criminal division in the judiciary, with the view of providing a more effective case management system in criminal matters.{{more}}

This announcement was made on Tuesday, by Chief Justice Janice Perreira, as she addressed a special sitting at the opening of the new law term at the High Court in Kingstown.

The Chief Justice said that the Criminal Division pilot had been successfully implemented in St Lucia and work on similar pilots continue to progress in other member states and territories, where all indications show that the continued success for implementation is imminent.

In addition, sentencing and bail guideline documents, which were adopted from the courts, were introduced and discussed with judicial officers in the High Court and Magistrates’ courts.

“It is our hope that these guideline documents will enhance the bail and sentencing regime throughout the jurisdiction.”

Perreira said she is aware that in many jurisdictions, collection of fines and compensation is not as efficient as it should be.

“As a result, the Court has begun to streamline the administrative procedure for the collection of fines and compensation, using available technology, which would greatly assist in our initiative …,” she continued.

The Chief Justice said the intention of the administrative procedure is for a more aggressive approach to be taken in relation to the collection of fines and compensation, in order to ensure that court orders are complied with.(KW)

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