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Wednesday 12 December 2018
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Industrial Court for Tobago by next year

File photo: President of the Industrial Court Deborah Thomas-Felix with Chief Justice Ivor Archie after the court's formal opening on St. Vincent St, Port of Spain.
File photo: President of the Industrial Court Deborah Thomas-Felix with Chief Justice Ivor Archie after the court's formal opening on St. Vincent St, Port of Spain.

A CONTRACT has been executed for work to start on the restoration of a building for the Industrial Court in Tobago.

The court’s president Deborah Thomas-Felix this morning said the court and NIPDEC earlier this month executed a contract to start work on the first phase of the project.

“It is my hope that the entire project will be completed by the end of next year.”

Two years ago a building at Court Street was acquired for the court, but needed restorative work and needed to be outfitted as a court.

In her address at the opening of the 2018/2019 law term, at the Industrial Court, Port of Spain, Thomas-Felix said she remained resolved to meet the commitment she made in 2012 for Tobagonians to have proper access to the Industrial Court.

Each year, from 2012 to 2016, judges of the court have given up one week of their vacation to preside over cases in Tobago, resulting in the hearing and determination of 109 disputes in 47 days.

She said for the past two years, the court has been unable to sit in Tobago because of budgetary constraints.

Thomas-Felix also spoke of space constraints for staff at its building in Port of Spain, since the third floor was occupied by an agency “which is not the Industrial Court.”

The Registration, Recognition and Certification Board currently occupies that space.

She also said the operations of the court continued to stymied by the continued depletion of court reporting staff, bemoaning that because of this notes of evidence are not prepared and given to judges in a timely manner resulting in them not being able to deliver their decisions in a short period of time.

Lawyers and industrial relations experts are also affected by this.

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