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Guy Joseph Raises Concerns Over Halls Of Justice Project


The first Deputy Political leader of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has raised safety and security concerns regarding the construction of Saint Lucia’s multi-million dollar Halls of Justice.

Joseph, a former Economic Development Minister, spoke at a UWP news conference on Tuesday.

“I am going to sound one note of caution about the location next to the Cathedral. Are you going to be driving piles? And if you drive piles, the vibration, what will it do to the buildings?” The former Castries South East MP stated.

He recalled that the Cathedral had already undergone repairs.

“So can you imagine driving piles a few yards away from the building?” Joseph told reporters.

The former Minister also expressed concern about the impact of vibrations on the CDC apartments in the City.

“The CDC buildings, is that another way to say to all the residents of the CDC, ‘ You have to vacate?’,” he said.

In addition, he declared that a Halls of Justice should not be in the middle of Castries with its heavy traffic.

Joseph pointed to the sophistication of crime these days and questioned why the authorities would have to drive a high profile prisoner to court through a capital prone to heavy traffic.

“Are they going to close off the City when there are high-profile cases?” He asked.

The UWP official noted that the Halls of Justice would exist for the next fifty years.

“Can you imagine the level of sophistication of criminal activity and everything that would be happening?” Joseph told the news conference.

Last month, Saint Lucia hosted a sod-turning ceremony for the Halls of Justice project.

The building will stand four storeys high and occupy two lots on Laborie Street, Castries.

 The old courthouse site will be the new home of the Civil and Family Division, and the former site of the Ministry of Education will house the Criminal Division.

An overhead bridge will connect both buildings.

The complex will have fourteen courtrooms, six magistrate chambers, and nine judges’ chambers.

It will also accommodate eleven witness rooms, ten administrative offices, a law library, a police post, holding cells, and a high-security defendant dock. 

Construction will take two years.

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  1. Guy is on the money. No pun intended. While reading an article about the construction of this new building, I thought of these same concerns. Who would want to build a security building in a congested area. By doing so, one adds unwanted vulnerabilities. Any security person who is worth his salt knows it. This is what happens when ministers manage areas that they nothing about.

  2. Guy ….you talking about driving piles as if you are an engineer! Piles are driven in many metropolitan settings to ensure stability in high rise, slender structures!!! I agree with you though….this is a poor poor poor location for such a facility due to the logistical nightmares…imagine a huge funeral and a high profile court case and a blocko in the boulevard….those magistrates and judges will be sitting ducks (if you know what I mean).

  3. Expressing concerns and making up negative hypotheticals is an interesting political tactic. Politicians often raise concerns about proposed projects, highlighting potential negative consequences, which can resonate with voters. Guy Joseph is doing just that. I can’t blame him. It’s part of the game (or police science).

    He does not have to genuinely care about the people in the CDC, but perhaps he does.

    He is also highlighting the lack of consultation. In the Spectrum of Public Participation, first, you inform. The government did that with its pronouncements and groundbreaking ceremony. The media was invited, and it was on the new bla bla bla.

    But the next step is to consult, which the government presumably has not done.
    A huge part of politics is about getting in the headlines – good job Guy!!

    Guy may try to get into the headlines before the consultation period begins. For every Government action, there are people who will be affected, so calling that out is low-hanging fruit.

    It would be even better if he got off the chair and included voices of concern from the CDC. His message would go further.

    Some of his concerns may have been addressed in the design. It was mentioned by Jn Marie that the building will have a basement, dedicated parking for lawyers and judges, and a secure bay for prisoner transfers. Also, the custody suites are walking distance away.

    I believe that the entire block should be used by the government and courts as it was done before. It was smart to place the entrance on constitution park also.

  4. THE WHOLE IDEA OF CONSTRUCTING A BUILDING OF THIS MAGNITUDE ON A CITY THAT WAS BUILT ON RECLAIMED GROUND IS CRAZY. I remember after having been away for about twelve years, my family and I on that first night went to bed, at my folks CDC Blocks C.S. Apt. within a few minutes an Earth quake though slight struck. I don’t know what happened in other Apartments but a great crack showed up in ours. A few years later on a return visit I found the Apt block and the one opposite, both demolished; I can only suppose both Buildings suffered structural damage and had to go. Knowing Castries as I do, having worked with the CDC Design & Construction group, it was no secret, Castries should not have four Storey solid concrete Buildings, since the (a) Grounds are mostly reclaimed Soil (b) St. Lucia like most of Caribbean Islands, are subject to Tremors.
    WHY WOULD ANYONE IGNOR THE FACT THAT JUST A FEW FEET FROM THE BRIDGE ON BRIDGE ST. THERE ARE MUCH MUCH MORE THAN ENOUGH GROUND SPACE FOR ALL THAT JUDICIAL JAZZ. Why are the Politicians playing games with the Department of Planning? Its just crazy for anyone, irrespective of money, political bias, this or that idea or thought. Pride is one thing, but think of the present and the future damage of Castries. MY LORD GOD BE BLESSED.

  5. Cousin Guy you are a 7 days behave like a true one. You are tarnishing the reputation of the church. At least for once, tell the nation the truth, stop the lies. Allen you are misleading Guy with untruths.

  6. Wolf in sheep clothing !
    Concern ?
    Did the stolen materials and heavy equipements which were stolen after the defeat of the opposition party,on the st jude’s site has been return ???


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