Barbados’ economic progress relies on more than just the Government’s investment in capital projects, especially during these hard times.
It also requires the private sector to meet that spend in order to ensure the kind of financial growth necessary to facilitate opportunities for every Barbadian, says Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley
And at the reopening and renaming of the Old Supreme Court Complex at Coleridge Street, The City, on Friday, she expressed hoped that the renovation of the buildings, now known as the Henry Forde and David Simmons Legal and Judicial Complex, would act as a metaphor for the nation’s development.
“The investment, coupled with the careful administration of justice, coupled with the building of social capital, are all required to keep the balance which this nation needs to go through these very difficult and turbulent times within which the world finds itself,” Mottley said.
“We hope that the ability to be able to expand the functioning of the legal system and the capacity of the judiciary to meet the needs of the population can be ensured by ensuring the physical accommodation and the digitalisation for the required efficiency can be made available so that the system works for the average Barbadian in ways that are seamless.”
Members of Government and the judiciary attended the naming of the Henry Forde and David Simmons Legal and Judicial Complex. (Picture by Shanice King)
She added: “The notions of delays cannot continue to be a characteristic of our judiciary system. Justice delayed is truly justice denied. It is unacceptable that 80 per cent of the murder cases that lie before the court today to be heard in the high court predate 2018. In addition, we also accept that our ability to allow for commercial disputes to be resolved in quick time is absolutely essential if we are going to get the same level of investment that I spoke about just now in order to fuel the growth of this country and bring about stability for all of us.”
The Prime Minister, an attorney by profession, also announced the establishment of a commercial court and a modern family court, both of which she said were key additions to the judiciary, fitting of a postmodern and republic Barbados.
“We hope that we can keep that promise we have made to ensure that there is a single family court removing the difference [in] the magisterial jurisdiction and the high court jurisdiction and having an approach in the family court that is truly about the sustenance of the family and not just about the adversarial rights between the applicant and the respondent. The truth is this country needs that example of completing the circle and preserving the family more than it has ever needed it before.”
In October it was announced there would be the establishment of three more criminal courts.
President Dame Sandra Mason; members of the judiciary, including Chief Justice Sir Patterson Cheltenham; honourees Sir David Simmons and Sir henry Forde, both attorney and stalwarts of the Barbados Labour Party, and other specially invited guests attended the ceremony. (JC)