The Keith Mitchell-led government has appointed a sub-committee of the Cabinet to look into building a Hall of Justice as a long-term solution to the current High Court crisis in Grenada.
In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper last week Thursday, Legal Affairs Minister Kindra Mathurine-Stewart said that when Cabinet met last week Monday, it “appointed a sub-committee to look at the plans, diagrams and the whole discussion surrounding the construction and the building of our Halls of Justice”.
The female minister said that a site has “not yet been identified” but “it is the responsibility of the sub-committee appointed by Cabinet to look into all of those matters”.
“I am on that committee, Honourable Peter David is part of that committee, along with members of the Bar (Grenada Bar Association) and very soon we should hear some more with regard to that development,” she added.
The island has been without a fully functioning high court for months following the decision to close down the Lime Building on the Carenage which was being used as a “Hall of Justice” due to health concerns.
Noting that the High Court challenge is one “which existed quite a while now,” the Legal Affairs Minister said, “steps have been taken to address the (rat infestation) issue at the CAIPO building” on Upper Lucas Street which prevented high court sittings.
In addition, the authorities were forced to once again “treat the mold and yeast issue” that surfaced following recent tests conducted at the St. George’s No. 1 High Court on St. John’s Street, which was renovated to facilitate the recent opening of the 2018/2019 Law Year.
The female government minister said: “The CAIPO building and the original High Court No. 1 still cannot be accessed at this time because we still have some outstanding issues there but I am very confident that within the next week or two those two buildings will be able to be utilized”.
Minister Mathurine-Stewart stated that while “negotiations continue to take place as it relates to a medium-term solution” for the courts, she wished “not to comment on it at this time” but wanted to assure the public that “this is a matter that we are taking seriously and that we are doing all that we can given our limited resources to ensure that our judiciary gets back on track”.
She pointed out that the Mitchell government is “not ruling out any of the buildings” that have been proposed and that “remedial works are taking place on some of the buildings as I speak”.
However, she said it is the position of government that “in the long run all these problems will be sought out once we have our Halls of Justice”.