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ECSC members to get state-of-the-art courthouses

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Plans are in place to construct state-of-the-art courthouses in the member states of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) in the OECS.{{more}}

And, according to Janice Pereira, Chief Justice of the ECSC, the project, affectionately called “The Halls of Justice Project”, will be a welcome change, since most of the present court facilities barely have adequate facilities for the complement of judicial officers.

Pereira made the disclosure on Tuesday, while delivering her address at the opening of the new law year, during a special sitting of the High Court via simulcast.

The Chief Justice said the court is cognisant of its mandate to ensure access to justice for all persons, but noted that one hindrance to achieving this is the inadequate physical structure in which they operate.

“The issue of proper accommodation is critical in most of the member states. In several of our states, the court buildings are not designed for the uses for which they have been put. Many may be properly described as being in a condition which violates basic health and safety standards,” she mentioned.

Pereira said this has adversely affected the health of court office staff and judicial officers, which has in turn led to a loss in productivity.

Pereira said such situations cannot be allowed to continue unchecked. She noted that the consequences for the system of justice and to the society could be dire.

She stated that the provision of adequate facilities will result in the reduction of delays, caused by the deficiencies of the current accommodations.

Highlighting the plans for the new facilities, Pereira said these facilities will create additional space to allow for simultaneous sitting of the court, in order to decrease the backlog of cases.

While the project has been in existence for a number of years, with some progress achieved, Pereira said the improved facilities will make for better dispensation of justice.(KW)

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