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Trinidad and Tobago

AG promises faster courts

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi

Shirvan Williams

Attorney General Faris Al Rawi on Friday presented the second reading of a bill in Parliament that if passed could significantly increase the speed at which the courts currently work.

The Bill is called: An Act to amend the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act.

He said the Bill would also make it easier to prosecute white collar crime and could reduce the amount of preliminary enquiries.

According to the numbers he presented, up to 2018 there were about 43,109 preliminary enquiries before the magistrates court. At least 151 of them are over 14 years’ old.

He said the sheer volume of cases were putting a significant strain on all aspects the judicial system.

If the bill should pass, the Judiciary would increase it’s productivity by more than 70 per cent.

One of the ways this would be achieved is by removing the cap on cases that High Court judges have from 36 to 64.

Another part of the Bill would bring those arrested before the court in quicker time. The Bill was being reviewed because it was time for justice, Al Rawi said.

“What is necessary for people in TT to understand is that the party is now over. It is time for justice to have a fighting chance. The methodology to cause that to happen, one of the pieces of the puzzle which caused Point-of-Pierre (MP David Lee) panic, is certainly the proclamation of the abolition of preliminary enquiries,” he said.

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