The St. George’s High Court No. 1, which is currently situated on St. John’s Street, St. George’s will soon be moved to a new location at the LIME building on The Carenage, St. George’s.
Supreme Court Registrar Lisa Telesford confirmed this to THE NEW TODAY newspaper.
In an exclusive interview last week Friday, Telesford said that the decision to relocate High Court No. 1 was taken following complaints of what was described as “a strange smell” emitting from the jury room, which resulted in one of the jurors falling sick, and forcing the cancellation of an ongoing criminal trial.
“One of the jurors on that trial fell ill while in the Jury room…and subsequent to her falling ill, all the other jurors on that particular trial complained about a strange smell emitting from the Jury room that is causing persons to feel nauseous…”, she told this newspaper.
“… (And) having regards to that, the judge (Justice Shiraz Aziz) had to discharge the jury and abort the trial…in order to investigate the position of the Jury room and try to have the situation rectified,” she said.
According to the Registrar, the Jury room looks fine to the naked eye since it was recently repainted and new flooring tiles were installed.
“…It looks as a brand new room, almost…so I am not certain that the scent emitting in there is a mixture of paint and tiling fumes,” she added.
Telesford pointed out that her office wrote the Ministry of Health last week Wednesday to get it to send in a team to assess the Jury room in terms of the quality of air inside it and to ensure that whatever is causing the smell “is not dangerous to the health of anybody.”
The Registrar was unable to provide an exact relocation date for High Court No.1 to the Carenage location of the Lime building.
However, she affirmed that plans are in the making to move High Court No. 1 to the LIME building “so that the incident (involving the juror) will not be an issue in the future.”
Since then, the No. 1 High Court has not been able to facilitate any trials in the current assizes.
Several of Grenada’s courts had to be relocated after the passage of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, which devastated York House, which accommodated the island’s Parliament and the Number 1 High Court on the island.
This led to High Court No.1 being relocated to where High Court No.2 used to be prior to Ivan.
High Court No.2 was then moved to a building on Lucas Street, while High Court N0.3 was housed at the St. George’s Club building on The Carenage that is owned by Jonas Browne & Hubbard (G’da) Ltd.
However, due to the deplorable condition of the building, the owners sought to have the building fixed and the court was forced to move out.
THE NEW TODAY understands that at the start of the 2015 criminal assizes, Madam Justice Paula Gilford who presides over High Court No. 2 allegedly refused to sit and hear matters at her courtroom, which she deemed dangerous to her health and other users of the court.
As a result the Number 2 High Court was relocated to the LIME building, which currently has the capacity to facilitate 4 courtrooms – those being 3 civil courts – High Courts Nos. 3,4 & 5 and High Court No. 2, which is being used as the other criminal court.
Telesford said that one of the civil courts at the LIME building would have to be moved in order to facilitate sittings of High Court No. 1.
This, she said should not pose a problem as the civil court will not have to use the Jury room as there are no Jurors involving in civil matters.