Basseterre, St. Kitts (CUOPM) — The issue of a coroner’s inquest into a sudden and unnatural death is an issue of concern for St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas.
Speaking at the recently held three-day Conference for Magistrates from the Eastern Caribbean on “Judicial Ethics, Judicial Independence and Coroner’s Jurisdiction,” at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, Prime Minister Douglas in welcoming the issue on the conference’s agenda, noted that in order to improve the region’s performance in matters pertaining to sudden or unnatural deaths, there will be special attention paid to the role of regional police officers in relation to that of the Coroner.
“On several occasions when members of the community come to me in my capacity as a Member of Parliament representing constituents, when people have been killed, allegedly by the hands of police, I ask the Commissioner when the Coroner’s inquest is going to be done. I have asked my colleagues in my cabinet the same thing, especially those who are trained in the law,” Prime Minister Douglas told magistrates from Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and host country St. Kitts and Nevis.
He pointed out that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has invested a great deal of time and money in recent years, to ensure that the quality and level of training of police officers approaches, and eventually equals, established international standards.
Prime Minister Douglas cited the recent groundbreaking in St. Kitts and Nevis of a European Union-financed multi-purpose training facility that will address the needs of police officers, not only within the Federation, but indeed across the region.
Prime Minister Douglas in commending the Judicial Education Institute (JEI) of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) and the Commonwealth Secretariat for organising the three-day conference said the emphasis on the role of regional officers in relation to that of the Coroner is of particular interest to him and other OECS Heads of Government.