BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, March 10, 2017 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – As early as next week, the backlog of cases before the court will be addressed, when the second High Court Chamber opens here in St. Kitts at the Sir Lee Llewellyn Moore Judicial Complex.
An official dedication and opening ceremony, led by Chief Justice and President of the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean States, Dame Janice Pereira, is scheduled for Monday, March 13, 2017.
This was revealed by Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, the Honourable Vincent Byron, during a visit to the new chambers earlier today with Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.
According to Minister Byron, a second resident judge is expected to be appointed by Dame Janice Pereira to occupy the new High Court Chamber.
“When there will be two panels, the court will use this chamber to assist,” the minister stated. Subsequently, we would expect that the court would be prepared to hear matters at the High Court. We have been assured by the Chief Justice that we will have a new judge – a second judge – appointed here to the court and to help us with reducing the backlog in cases, both criminal and civil in our jurisdiction, so we are very happy this morning.”
The Attorney General noted that the new chamber could serve as an example for other court systems, in terms of the use of technology in courtrooms.
“It is a model of how courts would proceed where evidence will be presented on screen; where it will be technologically adept in making our court processes much better and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of dispensing justice here in St. Kitts.”
Prime Minister Harris agreed that the opening of this second High Court will significantly reduce the backlog of matters before the court and added that it forms part of the government’s broader commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all.
“The addition of a second High Court and a second judge would certainly lend to more efficient and effective dispensation of justice in the country and we are grateful for that. It’s part of our commitment to make our country safe and secure and to make our country a special place in which persons can have their freedom promoted, protected and defended through the court system.”
The prime minister also commended Minister Byron for delivering on the promise of a second High Court in such a timely manner, stating, “You had promised the Cabinet that we will have this second court ready to go in 2017 and I am therefore delighted that come Monday, we will have the formal blessing and presentation of this new facility, which will add much to the dispensing of justice in St. Kitts and Nevis. Justice delayed is justice denied and therefore whatever we can do, we have been doing to ensure that we are able to expedite the orderly processing of matters before the court.”