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Lawyers To Take Action Over Lack Of Stenographers

Excerpt:

 

LAWYERS of the Criminal Bar Association intend to take legal action against Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson for the removal of stenographers from the Magistrate's Court.

This action comes nearly a month after calling a press conference to protest the removal of court reporters, leaving it to magistrates to take handwritten notes until digital recording comes on stream later this year.

Lawyers gathered yesterday at the steps of the Nassau and South Streets court complex, and indicated that they are taking the issue to the Supreme Court.

"Since then (February 14), there has been some discussion with the stakeholders and decision makers," lawyer Murrio Ducille told the media.

"The AG suggested that we may choose to bring our court reporter, but the problem is our court reporter's record would assist us, but it's not the official record of the proceedings in the trial, the magistrate's notes are," he added.

"Matters are being adjourned, but some magistrates are proceeding with trials despite the reasoned objections by defence counsel on instructions from their clients. This has created some disquiet among some magistrates who see our assertion of our client's right to a fair trial as a hindrance in what they are required to do... to make an accurate recording of the evidence and legal arguments in the proceeding... no more, no less."

"It is a no-brainer that one cannot record accurately or at all anything relevant and important if one does not write what is said as part of the trial process. As one client puts it, 'the magistrates do not go to jail, I do. I need to have my case properly recorded if I am convicted and have to appeal'."

 

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Article by Lamech Johnson of the Tribune Staff Reporter

 

 

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