Categorized | National News

Date Set for Lawyers Suit Against AG–Lawyers to sue Attorney General over court reporters removal

Criminal defense attorneys, fed up with the removal of stenographers from the Magistrates’ Courts, have received a date in the Supreme Court for their lawsuit against Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson to be heard.

The matter is set for April 19 before Senior Justice Jon Isaacs.

The attorneys who make up the Criminal Bar Association said last week that this is a fight for justice.

The group held a press conference on the steps outside the South Street Court Complex last Monday.

Since the court reporters have been removed from the courts, the magistrates have had to record the proceedings and according to Attorney Murio Ducille, this creates a challenge for those seeking justice before the courts.

“Magistrates are now the official court reporters – their notes constitute the official record of the trial and proceedings,” he said at the time. “There is danger of subjectivity versus objectivity. Already, there have been instances of magistrates being observed not recording the evidence and legal issues arising but apparently summarising what they consider to be important and relevant.”

The lawyers said the attorney general has shown no indication that she is willing to compromise on the issue, therefore leaving them with no other alternative but to take the matter before the courts.

Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson declined to comment last Tuesday on the lawsuit because she had not yet seen it.
Nonetheless, she said her priority remains repairing the current system.
“My team and I are determined to do everything that is within our power to ensure that justice is seen to be done in The Bahamas and the system that is broken – the result of inordinate delays, adjournments etc, that are impacting both accused and victims –is fixed,” the attorney general said at the time. “We are expending all of our energies fixing a system that has been broken. We are determined on behalf of the Bahamian people that the system should be fixed.”
The attorney general maintained that the decision now to have court reporters in the lower courts is out of her hands.
Last month the court reporters were removed from the lower courts.

However, attorneys can request stenographers for proceedings at the Magistrates’ Courts through the chief justice or the chief magistrate, but Mr. Ducille said so far none of the attorneys’ requests have been granted.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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