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CJ Disappointed Over Court Services Bill Delay

Chief Justice Sir Brian Moree called on the government to give members of the judiciary the tools they need to get the job done.

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In his final address before his retirement, Chief Justice Sir Brian Moree called on the government to give members of the judiciary the tools needed to get the job done. He expressed disappointment that the court services bill didn’t make it past parliament.

 



Chief Justice Sir Brian Moree sent a stern message to the executive branch at the start of the legal year, saying, “Give us the tools, and we will get the work done.”

During the ceremony, which was held virtually in response to the surge in Covid-19 cases, Moree lamented the way the courts are handled. He said if the court system is to be truly independent, it cannot be treated as another government department or agency. He renewed calls for judicial independence, and strongly urged the Davis administration to reintroduce and pass the court services bill, which, if passed, would give the courts financial autonomy.

He added the judiciary needs more control over its matters to implement the necessary reforms. For this reason, he said he’s disappointed that the bill wasn’t passed. It was tabled in the house of assembly under the Minnis administration before the dissolution of parliament last year.

The chief justice also addressed efforts to reduce the backlog in criminal cases in the supreme court. He noted that additional Supreme Court justices have been brought on. However, Sir Brian said some criminal lawyers are also contributing to the delay in cases due to their commitments. He made it clear the court is not prepared to surrender its calendar for this reason.

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