Former government minister and magistrate of the Gros Islet Court, Velon John, is now a magistrate in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
John is acting for Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards, who is scheduled to go on leave soon.
According to a report on bvinews.com, John has sent a strong warning to lawyers in the BVI that he will not tolerate excuses for continuous adjournment of cases.
“I take a dim view of adjournments,” Magistrate John told lawyers on Wednesday (December 4) shortly after prosecutor Herbert Potter requested that a number of cases be pushed back until the new year.
The St. Lucian argued that his revulsion to adjournments is predicated “on the principle that justice delayed is justice denied”.
“The reasons proffered will be scrutinized by the court,” he warned.
Shortly before making his view clear on the matter of adjournments, Magistrate John, according to bvinews.com, also told the lawyers that his job here “is to dispense justice without fear or favour”.
“Life is a plethora of compromise, but there has to be exceptions. There has to be an area when you do not compromise, and that’s what defines you as a man,” he argued.
On behalf of the BVI Bar, attorney-at-law Stephen Daniels welcomed him to the territory, the report said.
“It’s a small place but a lot of laws have been ventilated here, and I know you will have no qualms when it comes to dispensing justice,” Daniels said.
John is a former Minister for Labour Relations, Public Service and Co-operatives in St. Lucia and represented the Laborie constituency for the Saint Lucia Labour Party, but stood down before the general election of December 11, 2006.
The Gros Islet court is yet to appoint a new magistrate since John’s departure.