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The judicial system has its shortcomings – DPP

High Court building on the Dame Eugenia Charles Boulevard in Roseau The judicial system has its shortcomings, Director of Public Prosecutions Gene Pestaina has acknowledged. The DPP has pointed to inefficiencies he says that include the absence of a proper bail act, a new jurors’ act, and a new evidence act. However Pestaina says it is difficult to single out “which area I find would contribute to a lack of faith in the justice system, it’s a combination of many many matters”. He was responding to ongoing suggestions online and on the country’s talk shows questioning the impartiality of the courts, especially on matters of a political nature

Outstanding court matters to be addressed

An initiative will be launched in Dominica to address outstanding and serious court matters. High Court Judge Bernie Stephenson Brooks says the Dominica Bar Association will be asked to assist the court with matters which has not been heard over several years. “We are going to have some new initiatives from the bench and the magistrates to move the outstanding criminal matters along. I don’t want to say the figure less some of you be distraught.

President calls for establishment of Legal Professions Act

Liverpool President of Dominica Dr. Nicholas Liverpool is calling on legal professionals here to encourage the Roosevelt Skerrit-led government to pass the Legal Professions Act. Dr. Liverpool was addressing the official opening of the first ever free law fair at the University of the West Indies Open Campus over the weekend.

We must not only recognize men with wallets – Law Lecturer

Tracy Robinson Senior Law Lecturer at the University Of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus, Tracy Robinson, is of the opinion that imprisonment is not a  good way to deal with fathers who are not taking care of their children. She said this while addressing a conference Thursday evening  at the Fort Young Hotel dubbed, “Family Laws, Institutions in Transition: Rights, Rhetoric and Reform.” Robinson, who sees Caribbean Family Law as being heavily influence by old colonial and “unsuitably legislation” that are wholly imported from England, wants Dominica to reform legislation where family law is concerned. Robinson pointed out that current laws concerning child maintenance are inadequate because they alienate the father from the child and in many cases the father cannot pay child maintenance fees because they are away in prison.  “The law tells us you are a father for the purposes of supporting this child; it doesn’t say you are a parent raising this child,” she stated. The Oxford trained Jamaican specialist and author of several publications on domestic violence, family and gender law believes that “we must not only recognize men with wallets.” “We need modern law dealing with custody which respects the status of fathers as parents.” Robinson proposes.

Attorney calls for legalizing of simple marijuana possession

Lawyer Quandwanie Williams wants authorities to consider “amending the law where necessary to ensure that offences of simple marijuana possession can be dealt with outside from the ambit of the court system.” His claims comes after weeks of repeated concerns by Magistrate Evalina Baptist presiding over matters at the Roseau Magistrate Court that the cases of simple cannabis possession are “clogging up the court system,” and that the court and Police is becoming “overwhelm by these conditions.” In an interview with DNO earlier this week Williams said, “The use of the substance is becoming more and more fashionable; it is no longer in the bush by the river, but in parties and being used by both men and women.” Williams claims that not enough is being done to sensitize and educate young people about the effects of marijuana. “We see in popular music and in the print media that marijuana is being referred to as the eternal herb and the healing of the nation and society have failed to counteract this sort of encouragement,” he pointed out. Williams in advancing his call for the legalization of simple possession spoke of the consequences of convicting such cases. “Minimal sensitization of the dangers and of cannabis often leads to convictions on the backs of unemployed youths, which then make them unemployable given the demographic of our small island state,” Williams said.

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