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New law more cost effective
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young yesterday defended Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi on recent attacks involving debate on legislation to abolish preliminary enquiries in criminal cases.
Speaking in Parliament Young said there has also been “not-so-veiled” attacks on the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Chief Justice.
Young said the bill was designed to expedite the criminal justice system, will also increase cost effectiveness on all sides since laywers will not be earning two sets of fees from doing preliminary enquiries as well as further trials resulting from this.
He said the legislation puts the onus on lawyers to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
“Get your job done...but we’re hearing criticisms from the Opposition and certain persons have been trying to protect their turf and their domain and not the citizens of T&T,” he said.
“We were told ‘don’t do this’ since preliminary enquiries allow young attorneys a chance to to ‘cut their teeth’. But they can also cut their teeth in summary matters and and magistrates courts,” he added.
On Opposition arguments against the bill, Young said the bill didn’t violate any section of the Constitution or take away anyone’s rights.
“So stop trying to find boogie men where they don’t exist. Without a more effective criminal justice system, the only people who suffer are the citizens,” Young said.