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October 30, 2007



"Both parties need to tone down the rhetoric and work hard to fix our paralyzed criminal justice system. The survival of the nation depends on it."

Amen to that!


THe majority of our politicians do not want the justice system to be efficient, as they would find themselves before it !
Of our 900 odd lawyers, find me a dozen with ethics or that do not collect retainers with no intent to perform or conclude a case.
The system is busted, but it does not impede their revenue streams.
You do not get justice in the Bahamas and the world knows it.
Anyone who has appeared in court knows it.
Do not hold your breath for reform, you will perish first.


So basically what you're saying is that 50 or 60% of the people accused of committing murder between 2004 and 2007 are not locked up?

And the percentage for burglary, armed robbery, and sexual assault is probably even higher?

larry smith

An informed source responded to this article as follows:

1. A major cause of the backlog of both criminal and civil cases, but particularly criminal) is that cases do not proceed, after being set down for trial, because the prosecution or the defense ask for an adjournment because they are not ready.

2. So with no matters set down for hearing, the judge may be just sitting there doing almost nothing for the next 2-3 weeks. This could account for why only four murder trials were heard this year.

3. Damien Gomez's constitutional application re the government refusing to a)hold the judicial review commission in time and b) implement its recommendations, cannot get off the ground because Gomez cannot get a date to even get leave to bring the action.

Other lawyers have also been unable to get dates for constitutional actions they have filed.

In other words, nobody moves, nobody gets hurt.

4. One of the newer judges is hearing only one chamber's application in the morning, and one in the afternoon.

Consider that a judge's morning could run from 9.30 to 1, and the afternoon from say 2.30 to 4.30.

So the judge could be hearing as many as seven matters a morning, but has decided to hear only ONE in the morning and ONE in the afternoon, no matter what.

5. This could be because lawyers appear in court without a CLUE as to what they are doing, leaving the judge to lead them in their case, as if it were a law school exercise. This absorbs time without necessarily producing a result, because sometimes lawyers are told to go away and get their case together.

Still, these factors do not negate the arguments raised in the article, since if there are 300 murder trials outstanding, and 5 judges sat and heard a case ever 3 weeks, 48 weeks per year (assuming all trials came off as planned, it would still take years.

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