Clouden makes a case for effective legal aid system

One of the country’s most vocal Defense Attorneys, Anselm Clouden is clamouring for legal services to be provided to accused persons who cannot afford representation in court.

Clouden’s appeal came in light of the number of persons who are now before the high court for the current criminal assizes and cannot afford to pay a lawyer to represent them.

He told reporters last week Tuesday it is distressing to have so many unrepresented accused persons on the cause list.

The outspoken Attorney-at-Law pointed out that there are 19 persons with varying charges who are unrepresented for their trial.

Some of the accused are facing robbery with violence, house breaking, non-capital murder, attempted murder, maiming, grievous harm, dangerous harm, rape and other sexual-assault offenses.

According to Clouden, some of the accused persons are held in custody on remand at Her Majesty’s Prisons in Richmond Hill, St, George’s, while others are on bail.

He said the current situation underscores the need for legal representation to be provided to the accused persons, which the criminal bar has been clamouring for over the years.

“(We need) an effective legal aid system so as to have unrepresented persons represented so that justice may be dispensed fairly,” he remarked.

According to Clouden, in most Commonwealth Jurisdictions, especially in the criminal jurisdiction of the court, accused persons are afforded legal aid lawyers who are paid either by the State or by some legal aid organisation to look after unrepresented persons in court matters.

The long-serving attorney fears that an accused person who is innocent and is without legal representation may find himself being found guilty and the guilty being declared innocent.

Under Grenadian law, the State is mandated to provide legal representation to persons who are charged with murder or treason and cannot afford to retain their own legal counsel.

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