Opening of a second High Court advances good governance and democracy

(PRESS SEC) — St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said today, Tuesday, March 14th, 2017, that yesterday’s opening of a second High Court Chamber at the Sir Lee Llewellyn Moore Judicial and Legal Services Complex in Basseterre shows his administration’s “faith and commitment” in the Good Governance Agenda is “deep and enduring.”

The new High Court was officially opened during a special sitting presided by Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Her Ladyship the Hon. Dame Janice Pereira, DBE.

Its establishment means that there will be a second resident High Court Judge – joining His Lordship the Hon. Justice Trevor Ward, QC, who is the resident High Court Judge for the St. Kitts Circuit of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court – to assist in reducing the backlog of cases, particularly criminal matters.

Speaking on WINNFM 98.9’s Voices program, Prime Minister Harris referred to the March 9th lecture presented at the Sir Cecil Jacobs Auditorium by His Lordship the Hon. Justice Adrian Saunders, Judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

“I want to put this [the opening of the second High Court] in the context of good governance,” the Honourable Prime Minister said, adding that, “The central piece of his [Justice Adrian Saunders’] message on good governance was that the rule of law – and the holding of that – was critical to good governance.”

The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis further stated that, “In our democratic Westminster model, the court is the critical linchpin in terms of the justice system. It is where we go when our relationships with each other have broken down…It is where we go when we seek justice against the government or against any other party or body within the country. Therefore, it is important that the machinery of justice is working well. When we therefore invest as we have in the judiciary, when we take steps to improve on the delivery of justice within the country, it means that our faith and our commitment in the Good Governance Agenda is deep and enduring because that very court will arbitrate in matters…involving citizens and the state.”

Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris continued: “Equally important is that rather than having these seasonal assizes… the court will function throughout the year, and therefore both civil and criminal matters could now be disposed of; so there will be tangible benefits to the man on the street who sometimes has to wait for years for matters to be litigated and determined in the court process. We are just waiting for the Chief Justice, in her wisdom, to assign the second [High Court] Judge.”

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