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Law body meets to discuss crisis
In the face of criticism from senior members of the profession over its dormant role in the current crisis facing the judiciary, the Law Association today convenes a special general meeting to discuss the approval of a $15 million budget to outfit its new headquarters on Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain. The meeting which takes place at the Convocation Hall is scheduled to begin at 3 pm and will discuss current public criticism of the judiciary’s failure to dispense speedy justice.
Since the furore over a threat by death row inmates Lester Pitman and Gerard Wilson to take legal action against the Chief Justice for failing to deliver judgments in their appeal for close to four years, the association has only issued one statement, on December 5.
The statement referred to several newspaper articles and editorials on the issue and expressed “deep concern of unexplained and excessive delays in the delivery of judgments” and reiterated the adage “justice delayed is justice denied.”
“The recent issue as raised in the media more importantly gives an opportunity for pause to consider the broader underlying issues that affect the judiciary and the administration of justice. The Law Association issues a clarion call to the judiciary to treat the issue of delay in the delivery of judgments as a priority, and resolves to support the judiciary in finding solutions that accord with the constitutional right to due process,” the statement noted.
However, many senior practitioners have called for a more proactive role by the association, with one even suggesting that a team meet with Chief Justice Ivor Archie to find solutions to the problem. Today’s meeting also seeks to get approval for funds to furnish the new building, which was purchased for $13 million while repair and retro-fitting work has been estimated at another $2.5 million. A parcel of land previously purchased by the association at Haye Street, St Clair, was sold in October for $7.5 million.
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