Categorized | National News

Civil Judges Swamped

After months of acting in the position, newly sworn in Chief Justice Stephen Isaacssays  he will be taking action to address the heavy load of civil cases in the system.

Following the brief ceremony at Government House, Mr. Isaacs said his plans for the judiciary is to work on efficiency.

He said that the number of judges are limited, but it’s a situation that’s being looked into.

“Because of all the social upheaval that’s been going on, most of the judges are assigned to criminal cases, so the Civil judges that are left are swamped with those1500 to 1900 cases that get piled up on the system.”

“That is something that we have to look at.  We’ve been looking at it and we keep looking at it. As a result of this, we try to distribute the cases a little more evenly and allow the criminal judges to hear some civil cases,” Mr. Isaacs said.

According to Mr. Isaacs, better distribution will aid in preventing what he termed as judge burn out.

He said, “one of the ways to do that is to focus on the administrative staff, if they’re efficient then the judges are more efficient.”

“You may have workers in the system when you ask them to do a specific thing it never gets done and that slows you down.”

“Having sat as Registrar, I have a pretty good feel on how to motivate the staff. I tend to have an open-door policy and as long as you are doing your work, then I will listen to your problems.  But my view is that the system has to be ran on a merit basis.”

Recently, the government faced a lot of criticism in taking  too long  to appoint a substantive Chief Justice.

However, according to Attorney General Carl Bethel, it was the Prime Minister’s right not to rush.

“Yes, he ended up really at a forgone conclusion, but he did so after due deliberation, careful thought and consultation, not only with me, but with the wider legal profession; with other senior attorney’s and I know for a fact with other member of the judiciary. It took time and it was a process that he went through because he wished to be very careful in what he did,” the AG said.

Mr. Bethel expressed that he is confident that Chief Justice Isaacs will attain the highest standard in his office.

Chief Justice Issacs  succeeds now Court of Appeal President, Sir. Hartman Longley.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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