Home Affairs Minister Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte has expressed concern over the number of Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) inmates on remand awaiting closure of their cases in court.
“We have over three hundred, about three hundred and forty-one inmates at Bordelais who are on remand. They haven’t had their day in court to decide their fate,” the Babonneau MP told parliament on Tuesday.
“I understood there is one inmate who has appeared before the court for thirty times and he has not had a judgement,” she disclosed.
The Minister’s remarks came during the debate on the constitutional amendment to make the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Saint Lucia’s final appellate body, ditching the London-based Privy Council.
She declared that accession to the CCJ would see the wheels of justice turning faster.
In addition, Albert-Poyotte declared that the move to the CCJ was part of the decolonisation process.
She noted that Saint Lucia sought independence, a process rather than a one-day affair.
“We are looking for our own court of justice to ensure our people get their rights – their rights are protected, this is what we are speaking to,” the Minister told the House of Assembly.
Albert-Poyotte asserted that the CCJ is for the ordinary man to access justice in this country without the expense of taking their case before the London-based Privy Council.
She explained that the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) government was promoting everyone’s rights, regardless of financial status, colour, class, religion or creed.