Grenada Bar Association Press Statement

Grenada Bar Association -(google image)

Following the complete shutdown of all criminal and civil high courts in Grenada in May 2018 the Grenada Bar Association gave the government of Grenada until 31 December 2018 to provide suitable accommodations to collectively house all High Courts and ancillary services.

In advance of that deadline, the Minister for Legal Affairs assured the public that plans were well underway for the government to acquire the RBTT building on Gore Street, St George’s for that purpose. Reliable information subsequently reached the Bar that since in or about October, 2018 the government was outbid for the purchase of that building by a credit union. The deadline given by the Bar has come and gone and finds us in Grenada with only one operational criminal high court and a temporary civil high court housed in the Grenada Parliament, which functions subject to the parliamentary schedule. This is increasing the backlog of cases and the ability of litigants to access justice and in some cases, liberty.

Before the LIME building was finally decommissioned in May 2018, the government was aware since at least 2017 of problems plaguing that building including – water shortages, termite infestation, consistent leaking of parts of the roof, problems with electrical wiring, malfunctioning air-conditioning units and flooding which caused temporary closure of the building in June 2017. The events of April/May 2018 which accelerated to causing serious health challenges for judges and court staff and eventually caused the abandonment of the LIME building, were most certainly not a sudden occurrence.

Fifteen years after the passage of Hurricane Ivan in Grenada, the Grenada Bar finds it unacceptable and deplorable that no solution has been found to provide adequate high court facilities for the State of Grenada. The high courts have been moved from one building after another each having to be abandoned due to poor conditions. Recent pronouncements about a long-promised Hall of Justice refer to design drawings sitting at the office of the Attorney-General with no indication as to when construction may possibly start. The Bar has received reliable information that the land space adjacent to the Parliament building for which the drawings for the Hall of Justice were prepared, is available. A feasibility study was conducted prior to the site being selected. For reasons unknown to the Bar there now appears to be a move to relocate the site of the Hall of Justice which can only mean further delaying of this project before it even begins.

In the meantime, the situation at the Registry continues to present a crisis for Grenada. Apart from the well-known problems with the decayed condition of the ledgers, including the permanent loss of records and the failed digitisation programme, the Registry is in urgent need of repairs and is overcrowded. There are also critical staffing issues which remain to be addressed.

The Court transcription office is severely understaffed and written transcripts which are critically required to facilitate appeals of both criminal and civil matters are backlogged, in some cases for more than 5 years.

There is already an historical record of the challenges affecting our magistrate court facilities and amenities.

All these facts point to a crisis in the entire judicial system which threatens public confidence in this system, public order, good governance and the economic and social life of this country. The Grenada Bar contends that the authorities have not demonstrated with sufficient urgency and action that they accept that there is such a crisis, that they intend to deal with this crisis once and for all and how they intend to do so.

On Monday, 7 January 2019 members of the Grenada Bar Association will therefore gather at the carpark of the Supreme Court Registry at Church Street at 9 am to protest this continued state of affairs and to call upon the government to come up with an urgent plan to comprehensively address all of these issues.

Lisa Taylor, President
Grenada Bar Association

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6 thoughts on “Grenada Bar Association Press Statement

  1. Anonymous

    Kmc dont care about public institutions…this is a dictatorship no police stations no post office d fire truck in sauteurs is house in someone driveway d police is renting a room is someone’s home …
    That’s how grenada has come the disappearance of public institutions a serious signal . wake up my people all of our institutions are left in shambles… Post office in sauteurs and grenville . we cannot build a police station in sauteurs whats up open our eyes our tax money is being usrd for political expediency and sorrogates

  2. Kimi trace

    Is this reflective of a democratic society where all the arms of government have been eroded , undermined or systematically driven to failure ? The public service has been brutally decimated and is being daily replaced by an underclass of Imani and contract workers with no job security and therefore no rights and no voice. Labour and other institutions have been bought, sold or positioned into silence. Loyalists have been promoted to their highest levels of Incompetence as excellence in performance is of little circumstance where only loyalty is valued. In retrospect we have paid dearly for the leadership we have bestowed on this country in suxxessive trenchant. We have seen that perhaps democracy is threatened by longevity when power is retained at all cost

  3. Anonymous

    All our institutions are disappearing this happens in a dictatorship no police stations no post offices d one i.n grenville and sauteurs are abandoned d police in sauteurs is renting a room in somebody’s house and a quarter mile away d fire truck is park in a driveway thats d kind of progress we talk about in grenada. The tax payers monies are use for political expediency and to pay sorragates and whats about d mnib why a commission of inquiry. The money is missing we have a financial unit in d police force put them on d case Claudius? They might end up on your door step to detain u for questioning. Grenada. Grenada oh Grenada!

  4. Renisha Joseph

    They are too busy taking care of themselves and their friends. And despite all of this going on they say we are making progress. What are poor people going to do in this country where justice is concerned.

  5. Vince Joseph

    No police stations d police in sauteurs is renting a room in somebody’s house quarter mile away d fire truck is renting someone’s driveway d post office has been left to crumble also in grenville
    All public institutions are disappearing thats happens in a dictatorship. Grenadians voted for this..where is d development no health care in a country where there is a medical school. Our infrastructure has crumble also agricultural. These politicians only pleases their sorrogates with tax payers monies…all of them and come election time its bla bla bla. Having an inquiry instead of an investigation whats about the financial unit in the pf are they not capable? Or maybe they cannot b tainted or maybe they might make some arrest..wake up Grenada opem your eyes think what u can do for ur country not vice versa

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