The Children Court component of the Family and Children division of the High Court will hear its first case in October, says Chief Justice Ivor Archie. As he gave an account of his stewardship of the Judiciary at the ceremonial opening of the 2017/2018 on Monday, Archie announced that the Children Court was ‘almost ready to go.’
Judicial officers have been recruited and are being trained and customisation work on buildings in North and South Trinidad are being completed in time for next month, the CJ said. He also added that protocols to govern the court have been signed and launched but bemoaned
that for the last year the Judiciary has been awaiting comments for the Law Association on the Children Court Rules.
In an immediate response, Law Association president Douglas Mendes admitted that he was unaware of a delay in the association’s feedback on the rules but took full responsibility for it. “I know the committee has been working on it and I take full responsibility for the fact that it has not yet been delivered.
The fact that he has mentioned it in his speech has given me the further impetus to go find out right now and ensure our comments are delivered as soon as possible because the Juvenile Court System is extremely important,” Mendes said.
In his address on Monday, Archie spoke of the adoption of international codes to map every offence on the statute books to a numerical code.
This, he said, will enable better record-keeping, management, monitoring and planning. In addressing the recently established Criminal Procedure Rules, Archie said despite initial misgivings in some quarters, the culture change intended by the introduction of the rules was beginning to take root.