Justice Bryan Sykes: Weighty arguments were presented on the utilization of more judge-only trials by Chief Justice Bryan Sykes after he revealed that some defence Attorneys have insisted that they will not move forward with their case following the suspension of jury trials due to COVID-19.
But Justice Sykes says the courts must uphold justice during this uncertain time citing that the trials may be without a Jury for a while. However, there are some defence lawyers who insist on delaying their case because of the absence of a jury.
The Court administration division has suspended jury trials due to the threat of the coronavirus in March. Since then there have been no new jury trials. Justice Sykes who was speaking at the opening session of the new term of the St. James Circuit Court on Sunday, says as the number of COVID-19 infections increase, it is very unlikely that juries will be used in the near future in order to prevent any further spread.
He says the delay not only causes emotional stress on the victims who are seeking justice but the alleged perpetrators who are seeking to move on with their lives. He is calling on the Bar Association to encourage members to rethink their position.
Attorney General, Marlene Malahoo Forte says the technical team will review the recommendations. In the meantime, she’s is calling on the Bar Association to reconsider their position. While, President of the Cornwall Bar Association, Lambert Johnson describes the arguments as weighty, one that will be strongly encouraged during the uncertain time.
CVM LIVE’s Jamaila Maitland reports: