BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The Criminal Procedures (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which was successfully passed on March 4, 2021, during the Sitting of Parliament, received support from the Honourable Jonel Powell, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture.
“This Bill forms part of a suite of three bills which need an amendment in order to facilitate the conferment of powers of the Chief Justice to establish rules, criminal procedure rules to be exercised within the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court,” said Minister Powell.
Minister Powell expressed that in his capacity as an Attorney-at-Law, he appreciates the rules that are outlined in the Criminal Procedures (Amendment) Bill, 2021, thus he is happy to lend his support.
He stated, “In 2000, the court would have established Civil Procedure Rules which have provided significant assistance to the exercise of law in our jurisdiction and throughout the Eastern Caribbean.”
“The establishment of these rules is expected to…create more efficiency within the rule of law and the exercise of the various procedures. We expect to have some uniformity in terms of the application of the various rules which currently exists, as well as to have more efficiency in terms of speed when dealing with matters,” said Minister Powell. “The Honourable Attorney-General [the Honourable Vincent Byron Jr.] would have addressed the issues of persons on remand, getting justice faster, the swifter exercise of matters before the court, and to effectively ensure that justice is not just done quickly but seen to be done quickly.”
The Magistrates Code of Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which seeks to confer jurisdiction on the Chief Justice to make criminal procedure rules for the Magistrate’s Court, and the Jury (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which seeks to provide for alternate jurors were also successfully passed.