Categorized | National News

Swift Justice Relaunched

Described as the most aggressive and significant assault on crime, the newly relaunched Swift Justice programme is expected to galvanise a cross-section of legal, social and law enforcement entities to root out crime and restore faith in the country’s judicial system.

Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson revealed Wednesday that Swift Justice will serve as a significant plank of Project Safe Bahamas.

Swift Justice is comprised of the Attorney General’s Office, the Ministry of Social Services, the courts, the prison, the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) and a pathologist.

At Wednesday’s first meeting, the cross-section of representatives reviewed 80 current cases before the courts.

It is expected that all of those cases will be brought before the courts within the next 90 days.

The attorney general explained Wednesday just how Swift Justice will work.

According to Mrs. Maynard-Gibson, programme representatives will convene a weekly meeting at which time all current cases before the courts will be reviewed.

As the court date approaches the Swift Justice team will ensure that everyone who plays a critical role in moving a case forward is properly prepared so that all court matters can move forward without interruption and delay.

“This programme strengthens team spirit. Representatives from each of the agencies will meet once per week to ensure improved communication and effective implementation of plans and responsibilities. Swift Justice facilitates accountability. Our team will be well positioned to proactively identify and respond to lack of performance or weaknesses in the system,” Mrs. Maynard-Gibson said.

“The programme strengthens transparency. Justice must always be seen to be done and it is in our national interest to protect the integrity of our justice system. Swift Justice will cultivate the environment of trust and confidence in the Attorney General’s Office as the preeminent law chambers in The Bahamas.”

On the road ahead, the attorney general explained that the programme will expand to include families of victims of crime as well who will sit on an advisory committee to the Swift Justice team.

Mrs. Maynard-Gibson noted that if the judicial system is seen as inefficient, the consequence is the increase of widespread criminal activity.
“We cannot allow a perception to take root that the justice system can be easily undermined. We will not allow that to take root,” she said.

According to Mrs. Maynard-Gibson, Swift Justice will stand committed to concentrate on effective management in serious cases, such as murder, from investigative stages to a final ruling.

Under the re-launched Swift Justice programme all murder cases will be tried within a year after the offense is committed.

The attorney general also revealed that anyone who attacks an officer of the law, a judicial officer or anyone involved in administering justice will be brought before the courts within six months.

The programme has been structured to review heinous murder cases which have already occurred to determine if a death penalty applies.

Mrs. Maynard-Gibson said Swift Justice and the government will work to strengthen the witness protection programme and increase communication with the public to ensure that Bahamians are aware of the programme’s processes, growth and success.

Assistant Police Commissioner Hulan Hanna said the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) fully supports the objectives of the Swift Justice programme.

“We understand when a member of the public feels as though the system has failed them. There is nothing to gain if one part of the component of justice is working and the other is not. So, we believe that this thrust which will bring us together on a weekly basis is the right thing to do and the right way to go. For us, this is refreshing,” Mr. Hanna said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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