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Committee considers abolishing prelim enquiries
2012-07-20 13:58:43 | (0 Comments)
A joint parliamentary committee is to be set up to examine the legislation to abolish preliminary enquiries.
The Bill, which was had been stalled for nearly 40 years, was again brought before the Senate by Justice Minister Mark Golding.
Golding argued that the Bill has caused great delays to the criminal justice system and incurred unnecessary costs.
He also argued that Preliminary Enquiries often cause unwillingness and reluctance on the part of witnesses to attend court, frustrating the administration of justice.
However, following a request by opposition senator Arthur Williams, the Justice Minister acceded and moved that the debate be suspended.
Senator Williams had raised concern that the Bill titled, Committal Proceedings Act, it would not meet its objectives to reduce delays.
Referring to the Gun Court Act of 1974, Senator Williams contended that the provisions of the Bill are contrary to the rule of law.
The bill to abolish Preliminary Enquiries has been taken to Parliament at least eight times and abandoned.
According to Senator Golding, a Bill to this effect was first introduced in 1973.
However, he explained that despite being passed by the House of Representatives and later approved by Parliament in 1999, the proposed legislation fell off the order paper several times.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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