Categorized | National News

Swift Justice Working, Says AG

Despite only being re-launched just over a month ago, the Swift Justice programme is having a marked improvement on the judicial system, according to Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Allyson Maynard-Gibson.

The programme’s reintroduction is a significant plank in the government’s “Safe Bahamas” anti-crime plan.

Also known as Integrated Justice, it facilitates collaboration between institutions and agencies within the justice system, including probation, the police, the courts, the prison and the Attorney General’s Office.

Minister Maynard-Gibson said officials have been working on the Swift Justice programme.

“I think that if you speak with the commissioner of police and the other stakeholders involved in the administration of justice, they’ll be able to tell you that they are satisfied that there has been a marked improvement in the administration,” she said.

“We are not perfect, there is no ability to wave a magic wand to solve these problems. These are systemic problems that have existed for quite some time.”

The attorney general admitted inaccurate record keeping is a serious problem for her office.

For instance she is still hesitant about releasing the figures for the number of people out on bail for murder, as she is not satisfied the numbers are accurate.

Minister Maynard-Gibson maintains, however, that the number is over 400.

But since the implementation of Integrated Justice, Director of Public Prosecutions Vinette Graham-Allen boasted that there has been an improvement in the preparation of the files.

“I’m working very closely with the police in all of the Swift Justice initiative, where the AG has brought together all of the agencies involved to ensure that the files are properly prepared from the investigative stage on to trial,” she said.

“We are having a great impact and improvement in that area. In the very short term you will see the results, in fact we are seeing those results already, where the files are in fact being completed.”

While Integrated Justice will ensure accurate information in a timely manner, Mrs. Graham-Allen said another important impact of the system is that it will avoid scheduling case conflicts.

“It will assist with scheduling of cases in the Supreme Court, in the Magistrates’ Court as well as within the Court of Appeal. You may know that when cases are fixed down for trial sometimes they do not go ahead because lawyers are double booked. The system will avoid all the conflicts in scheduling,” she said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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