It was not a case of magistrates being elevated to the bench overnight, it was a temporary measure in which a magistrate sat in the Supreme Court, San Fernando, and adjudicated on charge cases while workmen repaired the roof of the 100-year-old magistrates court building across the road.
It is a measure that has been employed instead of shutting down the courts to facilitate the repair of the roof which has been leaking.
Yesterday, Senior Magistrate Cherril-Anne Antoine sat in the Third Assize court. She dealt with several cases, retired to one of the judge’s chambers and continued during the afternoon session.
Magistrate Kerrianne Byer held court at the nearby Medina Building from 1 pm. It is a court reserved for traffic and domestic violence cases. She usually sits in the Fourth and Fifth magistrates courts. There was no work yesterday on the roof because of heavy rains. The repairs have been long-awaited and will pave the way for the re-conditioning of the magistrates court house which has been visited by three previous Attorneys General and two Chief Justices in their effort to find a solution to the inhabitable conditions which, two years ago, led to clerks boycotting the courthouse. One attorney said yesterday, “I understand the repairs involve removing the yellow tarpaulin on the roof and replacing it with a blue one.”