A new group dubbed Remand Justice – formed recently to tackle lengthy and other legal matters – has said the response so far has been positive.
Committee Member Dr. Stephen King told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) yesterday, August 20: “We are at a stage where we believe there is consensus in government and the general public to resolve the situation. So we want to harness that power without having to get into any sort of adversarial approach and mobilisation to make things happen.”
Dr. King said since the group announced its plans through a press briefing, both the general public and officials have responded positively and have stepped forward to assist.
“I think everybody is on board. We have spoken to government officials and even the Crown Prosecution Service. We are trying to resolve the situation.”
Getting the public sensitised through the media was important, he said, because at the end of the day the public now understand what needs to be done to resolve the issues at hand. The committee member said the group is looking to have all matters resolved in a timely, but amicable manner.
“For us it is not about chastising or blaming, but finding a resolution,” he said.
The group plans on meeting sometime next week to discuss further strategies. Plans are also being made to have another meeting with government to see how the overcrowding and other matters can be addressed speedily.
Depending on the next meeting with government, the group will decide whether it is necessary to meet with communities to garner further support.
The group seeks to have an immediate activation of a second criminal court, have a master for case management appointed, and review existing remand population and penal population with the view of reducing the population, increase revenue to offset increased costs for additional judicial services, and process delays in forensic service, among others.