Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has described as ridiculous the build-up of court cases and is calling on those in the justice system to do their work.
“The judiciary must do its work. I mean this thing of having cases so long to be heard, I mean, the judiciary and prosecuting authority, it’s ridiculous,” Dr Gonsalves, who has responsibility for legal affairs, said while on the Issue at Hand programmed aired on WE FM last Sunday.
Dr Gonalves made the comment as he spoke about building social capital.
“And then what you might call the government and social capital is really the capability of the state and the credibility of what the state does in terms of its institutions,” he said.
Prime Minister Gonsalves said that following the general elections he wrote to everybody, including judiciary, the magistracy, the prosecutors and the police about the situation.
The Prime Minister’s comment on Sunday came just over two months after he admitted that while finance availability may be a contributing factor, administrative weaknesses are the leading cause of failure to achieve optimal delivery of quality goods and services under his government.
On the Issue at Hand program in December, Dr Gonsalves said the extent of quality services and goods was of concern to the people and the people made a clear statement when they went to the polls in November 5th, 2020.
In December, there were two major incidents which attracted national and regional attention, drew widespread criticisms and caused embarrassment – the escape of murder accused Veron Primus and Ulric Hanson; and the interruption of landing of barrels in the height of the Christmas season because of constant breaking down of heavy equipment at the port.
“Clearly, that too is a function of availability of finance but there is evidence that administrative weaknesses have retarded the optimal delivery of extent of quality of goods and services even within the context of resource restraints, resource limitations …,” Gonsalves said in December.
Speaking then of the escape of the two prisoners to illustrate his point, Dr Gonsalves said: “The Superintendent of Prisons made a request for early retirement, which early retirement has been granted. And there is now new leadership already installed in the prison.
I have responsibility, I can’t take the blame, but I have to act in a manner which is responsive to the public in addition to being responsive to them,” he said.
Dr Gonsalves also stated: “And you’ll notice that within that analysis there is self-criticism too. Which is the way you have to move forward in this very complicated world awash with all sorts of contradiction and all kinds of difficulties.”