Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett has laid down the ‘law’ aimed at ensuring greater efficiency and effectives at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, where he presides.
It is not going to be business as usual at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, once Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett presides there.
The Senior Magistrate made this clear during a sitting of that Court on Monday, as he outlined a number of measures he has in place to ensure greater efficiency and effectiveness.
“The Court is going to manage the matters so there will no longer be automatic adjournments.
“Excuses that were given in the past will no longer be tolerated,” the Magistrate declared.
He pointed out that he had already been taking steps to ensure that the Court office operates more efficiently and effectively, and he is also expecting this from the Prosecution and the Private Bar.
In relation to lawyers who have matters in his Court and at the High Court at the same time, he said those lawyers have to take steps to ensure that the matters in both Courts proceed.
Burnett also highlighted the importance of lawyers having a Junior Counsel to hold for them when they have to be engaged in other Courts.
There will now be fixed trial dates for civil matters in Burnett’s Court, and he announced the first and last Thursday for those hearings.
“This thing about lawyers writing letters asking for adjournments will not be tolerated. If you want an adjournment, there is a way for this to be done,” he emphasised.
“I have been very generous with the adjournments, maybe too generous, and this has got to come to an end. It will not be business as usual,” he warned.
The Magistrate also took issue with the police in relation to the serving of summons on time.
With regard to all the measures he outlined, Burnett made it clear, “I am not speaking for the magistracy. I am speaking for my Court, and he urged the journalists present to make that clear in their reporting.