Last update: 09-Dec-2013 9:19 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Seetahal to redraft bill abolishing PIs
Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal has been given the responsibility to redraft the bill on abolishing preliminary inquiries that will repeal the present preliminary inquiry legislation—the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act, 2011—Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said yesterday. The bill seeks to repeal and replace the Indictable Offences (Preliminary Inquiry) Act, Chap 12:01, by providing a new system of pretrial proceedings relating to indictable offences. It is geared towards removing the backlog associated with the conduct of preliminary inquiries and introduce a new pretrial system for serious criminal matters which would reduce the pretrial waiting time.
Ramlogan said the Government intended to implement a simple and more effective model which would be built on the legislation used in Antigua. He said the current procedure was “complicated and convoluted.” “The Criminal Bar Association has taken issue with several issues with this act and the Government has experienced several challenges in implementing it. Consultations with several stakeholders, including the judiciary, the DPP and the Criminal Bar, have highlighted several aspects of the present act that are problematic,” Ramlogan added. The AG said the Government also proposed to amend the first schedule of the Bail Act and to substitute a new list of offences.
He said a person who is charged with such offence and who has a previous conviction for a similar offence during the last ten years would not be entitled to bail. However, where the matter has not started after 120 days, the person would be entitled to apply to a judge to be granted bail, he added. That amendment would require a special majority under Section 13 of the Constitution, which is, a three-fifths vote of all the members of each House of Parliament, he said.
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