Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard SC has described as , “disingenuous and misleading” , statements attributed to his office by Chief Justice Ivor Archie, in which the CJ publicly stated the criminal justice system is on the brink of collapse due to the DPP’s office.
Archie, in his public address on October 7, at the opening of the Law Term stated the fact that the DPP’s Office only filed 12 indictments last year ,”… hides a distressing truth that the criminal justice system is near collapse owing to factors beyond the judiciary’s control”.
Gaspard, who was contacted shortly after the statement for comment, indicated he will not be making any knee jerk comments and will address the issue in due course.
He did so today and minced no words in his eight page release stating after perusing the CJ’s address, he now embraces the opportunity to respond publicly to certain matters, since some matters cannot be addressed privately.
The CJ in his address stated, " I have left this Division of the High Court for last because there are some troubling issues that need to be
"Yes it is true that Covid19 has affected our ability to have jury trials. Yes it is true that some of the judges have been elevated to the Court of Appeal. But there must be a reason why only 12 indictments were filed last year.
"We have completely cleared up the transcription backlog in the Summary
Courts and Committal Bundles are now transmitted electronically to the office of the DPP so it can’t be that. And why are plea-bargaining and MSI’s not being utilised more? Nevertheless, we are chipping away at the backlog, having disposed of 97 matters but we can take no comfort in a clearance ratio of 800%; it hides a distressing truth that the criminal justice system is near collapse owing to factors beyond the judiciary’s control".
Read more in the Sunday Express