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From left: IT Manager, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Mark Ernest presents laptops and printers provided by the UK and US Governments to support remote hearings in the region to Senior Magistrate, Christine Phulchere as Court Administrator, Marlies Agdomar; Senior Executive Officer, Diane Richards, and Supernumerary Clerk, Mykela Samuel display laptops.
From left: IT Manager, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Mark Ernest presents laptops and printers provided by the UK and US Governments to support remote hearings in the region to Senior Magistrate, Christine Phulchere as Court Administrator, Marlies Agdomar; Senior Executive Officer, Diane Richards, and Supernumerary Clerk, Mykela Samuel display laptops.
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St. Vincent and the Grenadines is among six countries in the Eastern Caribbean to benefit from EC$200,000 from the UK’s Caribbean Security and Stability Fund (CSSF) to facilitate remote operations of the magistrates’ courts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The other countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts and Nevis

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced jurisdictions to implement stringent physical distancing rules to lessen the risk of transmitting the virus. These measures have resulted in the suspension of physical court activity. 

As a functioning criminal justice system is essential to delivering law and order and reducing the risk of social unrest, the US/UK Criminal Justice Adviser to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Sirah Abraham, approached CSSF for assistance to support remote working in regional Magistrates Courts, a press release said.

The funds will be used to purchase equipment including laptops, printers, scanners, mobile phones and Zoom subscriptions. The equipment and use of technology will allow the courts to make a smooth transition to the digital delivery of some essential services and limit substantial disruption to the criminal justice process. 

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The Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), Dame Janice Pereira, had already urged courts to use remote hearings to facilitate the continuation of proceedings and prepared guidance on how these matters were to be conducted in a practice direction issued in relation to COVID-19 emergency measures.

Abraham explained the importance of ensuring a responsive and adaptable criminal justice system during the pandemic:

“This support will reduce the risk of spreading the virus, prevent courts from being shut down as a result of spread and limit any delays in the criminal justice process by ensuring that these essential services are still provided to the public.”

Dame Janice expressed her gratitude for the funding and the continued support of the Criminal Justice Reform Project. She said: “I thank you so much for your continued assistance in coming to our aid and more particularly, in these times when we must retool to ensure that the justice system continues to deliver justice fairly and effectively, even if the physical doors and spaces are closed.”

The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) is a UK cross government fund which supports and delivers activity to tackle instability and conflict. In the Caribbean this fund is focused on supporting the region to address serious organised crime and the development of the justice systems in the region to be able to effectively and efficiently tackle serious crime.

3 replies on “SVG, EC courts get funding for remote hearings”

  1. Recently the political scam of “reparation” has raised its deceitful head again here as our General Election draws near and volatile sentiments are being aroused in order to gain political capital from a people who cannot work out who todays “slave masters” are or why this nation now lives on Loans we cannot repay and Grant Aid from the UK, the EU, the USA, Taiwan and others.

    In looking back we see how fortunate we in St Vincent and the Grenadines were, to have been handed a fledgling democracy and democratic institutions by the British, despite the Brits years of being part of the Slave trading empires and running extensive slave plantations here. One might say that the British had redeemed themselves in so doing! From then on destiny and prosperity would be in our own hands.

    So just how did we get to this place where we are today, with a family run dictatorship, where justice is so hare to achieve, where democratic institutions have been rubbished and democracy retreated? Narcissism no doubt! Narcissism as a fact, is observed to have had a great part to play in this sad decline of ours!

    The vision of a dictator with the psychology of tyranny and the obedience of participants, is quite telling we can observe for sure, as we once again declined into gross exploitation and poverty all over again.

    For some time now, one keep hearing a refrain in various quarters, a refrain reaped by our dictator’s sycophants, that the dictator is the best thinker in SVG. Moreover, that this narcissistic individual who suffers from a personality disorder, is above all in intellect. For his sycophants, he has the best intellect in the region. But is this really so? Is this true?

    This utterly ridiculous nonsensical twaddle of theirs, rather than being given short shrift, which is what it deserves, and be treated as total buncombe, has also come to be believed by the Dictator himself and by his family too. One reads it even in Post here, and hear it in some quarters, yet there is no evidence whatsoever for such. Only economic incompetence, arrogance and verbose waffle about socialism!

    In short, what we have in SVG is a bloated egotistical individual who is suffering from a severe narcissistic personality disorder, rampaging in office, and being told that he is the brightest thinker ever of all the Vincentians who has ever lived. That he too should believes this too, is not at all surprising!

    What confounded rubbish eh? Thus our delusional dictator has been hence able to run roughshod over the lives of all in SVG. Some personalist dictators and their tragic fall are often documented as we know others often die with their booths on, some manage to escape the wrath of an angry populace who could stand them no longer, yet others ends their days hanging from a gibbet. as did Benito Mussolini in Italy and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. What indeed will be the outcome here in SVG?

  2. This is a very good things though a bit late .I would like to know how big the problem has become to prompt this initiative at this time..the ability to dispense justice should never be denied or impeded regardless, and should always be flexible enough to engage the various levels of jurisprudence, In the state and the region as a whole.
    Now we have to find a way of improving our prison conditions in terms of security and to enhance our ability to rehabilitate the incarcerated..mitigate the process that deals with less serious we can concentrate on the more serious crimes from a deterrence perspective.
    We also need to focus on the youth while they are in school to teach them the responsibilities of good Citizenship and to charge them with the responsibilities of the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen of St vincent and the Grenadines.
    This class should be taught towards the end of their senior Graduating school year.
    So they can be aware thereby reducing the probability of becoming involve in a cycle crime.
    Justice ,The law, Enforcement and Rehabilitation is like a quadratic equation ..when you change something over there you must adjust also on the other side to maintain balance.
    We must not forget the mental health of our officers and the conditions they work under its very important to provide service to them in this regard and make it available, the integrity of the office must be upheld even in these hard times after all they bare the name Royal before SVGPF. They should be supported by the crown financially and should all have communication devices
    And service energy weapon devices as minimal field equipment.
    We must do more….

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