The 2010/2011 law term, which opens today , promises to be explosive, with the "high-profile" trials into the murders of businesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman and businessman Dr Eddie Koury expected to start.
In the case of the 12 men charged with Naipaul-Coolman's murder, the trial is expected to set the record for the longest criminal trial in the nation's history.It is also expected to see the introduction of DNA evidence being put to a jury for the first time.
The Xtra Foods CEO was kidnapped on December 19, 2006, from her home at Radix Road, Lange Park, Chaguanas.Her body has never been found, but she has been declared dead by Homicide Bureau investigators.
Similarly, the head of decapitated businessman Dr Koury, 38, has never been found.
The trial against four men charged with kidnapping and killing Koury will also be heard in the new law term.Today's opening will follow the customary church service at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Hart Street, Port-of-Spain.
And after the procession along Abercromby Street to the Hall of Justice, Chief Justice Ivor Archie will deliver his address in the Convocation Hall of the court, to members of the judiciary, magistracy and legal fraternity, before formally opening the new law term.
In his address at the start of the 2009/2010 law term, Archie was critical on the limited funding allocated to the judiciary in the budget presentation days earlier.The judiciary had requested $393 million for the development programme for 2009/2010, which included a new Family Court.Instead, the judiciary was allocated a meagre $42.5 million.
This year, the judiciary would be without former judge-turned-politician Herbert Volney, who resigned earlier in the year to contest the general election.Ironically, Volney now heads the Ministry of Justice, the office which will oversee certain aspects of the administration of justice.
The judiciary now has three vacancies to fill with his departure, as well as the departure of temporary judges Gillian Lucky and Rajiv Persad.The temporary appointments of the latter two will expire at the end of September.
Sources in the judiciary revealed that they have not applied to fill the vacancies for the permanent positions.The judiciary was yet to appoint attorneys to fill these vacancies, but Guardian understands that Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Wayne Rajbansee, who resigned from office at the start of September, and defence attorney Ricky Rahim were interviewed for the jobs.
One new face which will join the magistracy for today's opening is Rehanna Hosein.Hosein, who worked in the office of the Chief State Solicitor in the Ministry of the Attorney General, was appointed to the magistracy in August.
The following streets will be closed today between 6 am and 1 pm to accommodate the opening of the law term:
n St Vincent Street, between Duke Street and Queen Street;
n Hart Street;
n Knox Street; and
n Abercromby Street, between Independence Square and Park Street.
Also, parking would be temporarily restricted between 6 am and 2 pm on the following streets:
n Abercromby Street;
n Edward Street;
n Duke Street;
n Pembroke Street;
n Henry Street, between Independence Square and Park Street; and
n Queen Street.