St Ann's Bay, St Ann — Justice Courtney Daye has put forward two initiatives which he said may help in tackling the large case load before the St Ann Circuit Court over the Michaelmas session, which is expected to last for only six weeks.
According to Justice Daye, a High Court judge, the session may have to be extended to deal with the over 100 cases on the list.
The other initiative was effective criminal case management. This, he explained, would include lawyers ensuring they are ready and present for trials on dates when they are set and avoiding lengthy trials where possible.
Justice Daye, who was speaking at the opening of the session on Monday, asked the lawyers to co-operate as they work to make use of the limited time and resources. He said the overall objective is in the interest of justice.
In welcoming Justice Daye to the parish, attorney-at-law Ernest Smith said lawyers will co-operate in order to deal with what he referred to as a "formidable list".
Smith said that the time allocated for the session was "interesting", given the number of cases.
Ninety-nine matters were on the list on Monday with another 15 cases expected to be added. The list includes 34 Gun Court matters, 28 murders, 12 rapes, nine carnal abuse, six grievous sexual assaults, one child abuse and six deaths by dangerous driving.
The St Ann Circuit is expected to end on November 21.
During Monday's opening, a moment of silence was observed for prosecutor Joan Barnett, who died last week.
Smith, who described Barnett as a great prosecutor, made the request for the moment of silence with permission from Justice Daye, who described Barnett as exemplary.