Repairs to the court in Castries is taking longer than expected and magistrates are forced to work in very unsuitable conditions, Human Rights Activist Mary Francis has said.
The attorney told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) on Friday that it is appalling that repairs to the court house located at Peynier Street, Castries has still not been completed, one year later.
“There is no urgency in trying to complete the renovations on the old court building, where you had the mold infestation. And I thought it would have finished by February, but work still continues, she said.
Francis who also serves as the Coordinator of the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights, said Saint Lucians must come out and protest this issue.
The shuttling of courts between Gros Islet and Castries, and the inconvenient spaces is disrespectful for the personnel of the courts, especially the magistrates.
Francis said little attention is given to the District Court and it must not be allowed to continue.
The human rights activist said she was surprised that the government ensured that a Commercial Court was opened within a short time frame, yet the District Court is split at different places.
“I don’t know how much commercial matters they have, but I suppose the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ was part of the reason why they had it opened quickly,”Francis added.
She said a criminal case is first heard at a District Court and there should have a proper facility for that.
“I am just using that as a comparison to show how quickly they were able to get a judge for the Commercial Court and you can’t even get proper housing for the District Court,” she said.