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(SNO) — It seems that the grand idea of establishing a Hall of Justice, a building that would hold the various departments of the justice system, has been shelved for smaller individual court buildings.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet told reporters on Thursday (Sept. 20) that improving the justice system was one part of a holistic plan for tackling crime hence one of the first things he did on entering government was to offer the judiciary the Financial Centre building in Sans Souci.
That offer was not accepted which led to the idea of building a Hall of Justice at Barnard Hill, Castries which would mean the relocation of the Cultural Centre.
According to the prime minister, the Barnard Hill location was for a temporary structure but that project, which was considered to cost between $25 million to $26 million, ended up with a price tag of $50 million, changing the whole idea of a temporary structure at that location.
The involvement of the private sector in building that Hall of Justice raised the cost of that project to US$65 million, according to the prime minister, but which is subject to correction.
“As much as I put justice as a priority, there is no way I can find US$65 million. So we have now decided we are going to build independent court structures,” Chastanet said.
It seems the priority is to build a structure to hold criminal cases as the building in which such cases are being heard is said to be grossly inadequate.