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#1 2017-08-13 12:23:30

Registered: 2017-03-04
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With the Magistrates’ Courts already under significant burden, a number of lawyers are complaining about the way their Preliminary Inquires (PI) are been handled.According to one lawyer, the problem is stemming mainly from Magistrate Gordon Gilhuys’s absence from the bench because of his involvement in a shooting incident last year on Woolford Avenue.After Gilhuys was involved in the shooting incident last year,Ben Gedeon Youth Jersey, his matters were transferred to different courts which placed a burden on the respective magistrates.This, of course,Daeshon Hall Jersey, delays justice since the other magistrates would have other pending matters and with an average of 10 new cases each per day, the situation is cause for grave concern. That magistrate now has to look at their old matters in addition to Magistrate Gilhuys’s matters.The lawyer further told Kaieteur News that two lawyers have since moved to the High Court to get a constitutional order which states that the preliminary inquires must begin within 10 days and finished within no fewer than 120 days.The lawyer said that no judicial body has the common courtesy to hint if Gilhuys would return to the bench or if the judiciary would replace him.The lawyer opined that with the addition of two temporary magistrates, Dale Kingston and Judy Latchman, they should have already been given some of Gilhuys old matters, which he said would alleviate the growing problem.One case in which Gilhuys was the presiding magistrate was that of Devon Carrington,O. J. Howard Womens Jersey, ‘Nasty Man’ (a juvenile), Dwight Da Silva and Quincy Evans and the now deceased Jermine “Skinny” Charles. They were all charged jointly for the murders of the Kaieteur News pressmen on August 8, 2006 at Eccles East Bank Demerara.The preliminary inquiry is at present before another magistrate and the court is awaiting a ruling if the matter would be dismissed or would the defendants be committed to stand trial in the High Court. This matter could have already ended and other preliminary inquires could have begun,Charlie Blackmon Rockies Jersey, the lawyer said.Another issue that raises the eyebrows of some is whether the police only convict persons based on the evidence of eyewitnesses.This certainly is a disastrous move by the police since a majority of witnesses are not turning up to give evidence for matters,Dalvin Cook Womens Jersey, according to one court official. One sitting magistrate recently asked a police prosecutor “whether they can only convict a defendant on what the eyewitnesses have to say”.The magistrate said that the police should have “sufficient evidence” to convict even if the key witness declines to testify for some unknown reason. Both eyewitness account and substantial evidence must be present even before the police institute charges, according to the magistrate.Even Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee had earlier stated that a major factor in improving the criminal justice system is getting the courts to deal more speedily with remand prisoners.According to Rohee,Ahkello Witherspoon Youth Jersey, the rate of persons going into the system is far greater than those coming out.He pointed out that improving the prison system cannot be separated from the criminal justice system.“There are too many persons on remand. The court system must be faster,” Rohee said. Legislation was recently passed that makes it difficult for persons to be granted bail and this is one of the main contributory factors influencing the increased remand population in the prison,” Rohee had stated.Another peeving situation is that a majority of cases that need not reach the court are being heard before different magistrates. The lawyer pointed to an article which was written in this newspaper on Sunday, which states that some matters should be mediated at the police stations.In most cases these matters would be dragged out, wasting the court’s limited time.


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