Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, has pointed to the need for the judicial system to be reformed, as an important element in the crime fighting effort.
He was making his contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate on Tuesday July 17 in the House of Representatives.
He stated that the 2012 National Security Policy (NSP) pointed out that the judicial system is currently the weakest link in the national system of law enforcement and criminal justice.
“There is a huge backlog of cases. Serious crimes take years to be settled, violent criminals are granted bail, evidence is compromised, witnesses are murdered, and the criminals are free to continue to enjoy their criminal profits,” he stated.
He further noted that “a culture of adjournment” has infected the judicial system, which is costing the state millions of dollars, while also punishing the victims and witnesses in criminal cases.
“Lawyers frequently delay legal proceedings on spurious grounds with the acquiescence of some judges,” he further remarked.
Meanwhile, Minister Bunting stated that the Government is actively developing legislation to strengthen crime-fighting capabilities.
He informed that the Ministry has prioritised three pieces of legislation that will be brought before Parliament by the end of this financial year.
These are the Anti-Gang legislation, the DNA legislation, and an Act to establish the Police Management Authority.
He said that while the Government is guided by the pressing demand to bring legislation to Parliament, it has taken a deliberate decision to rigorously examine and properly review bills before they are introduced, in an effort to ensure that they are sufficiently robust to protect all citizens.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter