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VI giving ‘ray of hope’ for improved judicial infrastructure in region- CJ Pereira

- commends Gov’t for forging ahead with improved judicial facilities
Members of the judiciary, along with members of government, following the Special Sitting of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court to signal the opening of the 2020 Law Year. Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) is 5th from left while Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert is 6th from left. Photo: VINO
Chief Justice, The Honourable Dame Janice M. Pereira, DBE, LLB (right), addressing persons at a Special Sitting in the newly outfitted hall of the Supreme Court at Sakal Place, Road Town, Tortola, today, January 13, 2020, called for 2020 to be a year of action in all member states and Territories while noting that the Virgin Islands has given a ray of hope in the area of physical structures and equipment necessary for effective judicial work. Photo: VINO/ECSC
Chief Justice, The Honourable Dame Janice M. Pereira, DBE, LLB (right), addressing persons at a Special Sitting in the newly outfitted hall of the Supreme Court at Sakal Place, Road Town, Tortola, today, January 13, 2020, called for 2020 to be a year of action in all member states and Territories while noting that the Virgin Islands has given a ray of hope in the area of physical structures and equipment necessary for effective judicial work. Photo: VINO/ECSC
The Government of the Virgin Islands has been commendably placing much emphasis on improving judicial infrastructure in the Territory. Photo: VINO/File
The Government of the Virgin Islands has been commendably placing much emphasis on improving judicial infrastructure in the Territory. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Chief Justice (CJ), The Honourable Dame Janice M. Pereira, DBE, LLB has called for 2020 to be a year of action in all member states and Territories while noting that the Virgin Islands has given a ray of hope in the area of physical structures and equipment necessary for effective judicial work.

This was part of the highlights in her speech at a Special Sitting earlier today, January 13, 2020, to all jurisdictions of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court at the opening of the 2020 Law Year.

The Sitting was held in the newly outfitted hall of the Supreme Court at Sakal Place, Road Town, Tortola, and was attended by—in addition to those in the legal profession—his Excellency Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert, Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone (AL).

Present also was Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9), Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities, Honourable Kye M. Rymer (R5), Opposition Leader, Honourable Marlon A. Penn (R8), Opposition Member Honourable Julian Fraser RA (R3) and Deputy Governor David D. Archer Jr.

Need for improved facilities

The Chief Justice's calls for better Halls of Justice throughout the region, complete with the necessary equipment and amenities, were loud. She noted that the cost of constructing proper facilities is often lamented, "But the fact is that delays wouldn’t make it cheaper, just more costly as the years roll by.”

"All governments, and we all must face the facts that we are living in societies at a time when persons, given the ease of communication and information, have become much more aware of their rights and liberties and are increasingly coming to the doors of the court to exercise their rights and seek vindication of those rights. 

"So too do the governments and member states of Territories for the resolution of pressing issues and of general and public importance."

"Can the court be heard to say we have no facilities for hearing the matter and turn the parties away? Would that not cause a lull, huge and cry?"

Denial of justice

Chief Justice Pereira posited, "Why then the cries of the courts year after year seem to fall on deaf ears? No one should treat this situation as the normal, it is not. All we would be doing is setting ourselves up to pay a much greater prize down the road."

According to the Virgin Islander, the court will continue to look for ways to make the court more efficient and train judicial officers to manage cases and deliver timely decisions.

She noted, however, "Where facilities are none existent, or working conditions are not suitable or safe for human habitation, it is a denial of justice to all and in every respect an undermining of the independence of the judiciary."

VI a ray of hope

But giving much credit to the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government of the Virgin Islands led by Premier Fahie, Chief Justice Pereira said there is a ray of hope, "At this juncture though, I must mention one ray of hope. It emanates from the Territory of the Virgin Islands."

She said following the devastation by the 2017 hurricanes, "The government there is making every effort to outfit new temporary facilities to a level befitting of court offices and court rule complete with adequate furnishings and state of the art equipment."

"I am also reliably informed that construction should soon start on the first phase of their Halls of Justice."

She said another ray of hope beckons if Dominica fulfills its promise to start construction on its Halls of Justice this year.

4 Responses to “VI giving ‘ray of hope’ for improved judicial infrastructure in region- CJ Pereira”

  • vip heckler (13/01/2020, 16:21) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    justice is still not good the lawyers are a big rip offs
    • agreed (13/01/2020, 21:14) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      The lawyers are crooks too doing underhanded favors and sidestepping the law for their clients
  • Clearly (13/01/2020, 17:58) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Trying to justify a rotten legal system
  • Ones Rights (13/01/2020, 22:26) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply

    The Chief Justice should be ashame of the fact that the courts are violating people's constitutional rights and nothing is being done about.

    There's people on remand waiting on trial and to be sentence for a long time. What's being done about such? What's being done about preserving one rights.

    It have a young man on a charge of murder and he's before the Magistrate's Court for 26 months. His matter can't be send forth because of the lack of evidence. However the Magistrate refuse to throw out the case.

    Such is things the CHIEF JUSTICE should be concern about. Not a building being fancy and expensive furniture. Such is irrelevant, what the sense if one cant get a fair trial and one's constitutional rights are being violated day.

    The Chief Justice should be shame to know there's so much injustice in this territory and nothing has been done to address such.



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