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Jan 13, 2015

Bar Association Calls Out Court of Appeal for Underperformance

Eamon Courtenay

The January session of the Supreme opened on Monday with the usual fanfare. But beyond all the pomp and ceremony, there are serious issues facing the judiciary. The president of the Bar, Eamon Courtenay, pointed to a delay in the speed of dispensation of judgements, as well as to the inactivity of the General Legal Counsel which has not met in one year. But there is also another major impediment to the delivery of justice and when justice is delayed, justice is denied. Courtenay told the Court on Monday that there has been a historic underperformance by the Court of Appeal.

 

Eamon Courtenay, President, Bar Association

“The Court of Appeal. My Lord, members of the judiciary; the Bar of Association wishes to put on record its serious concern about the state of affairs in the Court of Appeal.  The last session of the Court of Appeal was historic in its underperformance. For the first time in history—or as far as I am aware—there was not a single criminal appeal heard. That is unacceptable. On the civil side, there were a record low number of civil appeals heard. The Bar Association met in November and resolved that I should write to the government to bring to the government’s attention the concerns of the Bar. I have done so on two occasions and have been ignored. The association took a decision that we should public to the public the state of affairs and also decided that it intends to take drastic and dramatic action to have this matter resolved. We remain hopeful that the government will engage with the judiciary and the association to ensure that criminal appeals and civil appeals will be heard with dispatch.”

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