Lawyers up in arms over  state of courthouse

Lawyers up in arms over state of courthouse

Noting that Saint Lucia’s jail house, Bordelais Correctional Facility, looks better than the courthouse, the President of the Bar Association of Saint Lucia, Mary Juliana Charles, has said that it is high time that the government look at the justice system as a vital component in national development.

Charles told the Times that she has been reliably informed that plans for a new hall of Justice had been approved since 2010, and the French government is willing to assist in the construction because there are a number of French nationals on remand.

“I have consulted with a number of members of the Bar and they are of the general view that the government, through the Ministry of Legal Affairs, is treating the legal profession with an arrogant or is it a don’t care attitude?” Charles asserted.

According to the Bar Association President, the government can find money to do everything, except build a new courthouse.

court 5

Charles noted that $150 M had been earmarked to build a four-lane highway, whereas the building of a new courthouse would cost less than $50 M.

She disclosed that Criminal  Lawyers who are members of the Bar have had meetings together with the members of the Prosecution Service and collectively decided that they would not like to re-enter the court for health reasons.

court 4

The Bar President told the Times that she had written to the Ministry of Legal Affairs on September 30, 2015, and in that letter mentioned among other things, that they had failed in their duty to supply the Bar Association with the proper report about the assessment of the air quality in the building, which is reported to contain asbestos.

court 2

She made it clear that members of the Bar will not re-enter the court building until air quality tests are done and renovations on the structure are completed.

Charles disclosed that in the meantime, various venues such at the House of Assembly, Bordelais Correctional Facility, the Town Hall, and Auberge Seraphine will be used to conduct court sessions.



  1. laughable
    October 10, 2015 at 12:55 pm Reply

    I was sympathetic with the lawyers up until I heard a stupid statement by the president of the bar association.
    I heard the president of the bar association say that the new government building which is located at Point Seraphine opposite fisheries if made available to them would not be appropriate because of it’s location due to the fact that they are not fishermen. Excuse me madam bar association president? Some of you lawyers are struggling to pay your bills just like ordinary citizens but yet live above their means. It is time lawyers come down their high horses because they are no better than any ordinary citizen. It is sad when a lawyer takes your money to represent you and acts like you are to low class to be greeted on the streets.
    I hope your statement does not reflect the many lawyers in this country because it would be a sad day.

  2. Debra
    October 10, 2015 at 1:53 pm Reply

    In fairness to Ms Charles’ statement, court hearings were being heard at the FISHERIES BUILDING NOT THE NEW BUILDING THERE. She said that court hearings could be done in the NEW BUILDING and NOT THE FISHERIES BUILDING. That’s what I understood you may listen again whenever it’s aired.

    1. Anonymous
      October 10, 2015 at 7:51 pm Reply

      I beg to differ with you. The first comment is right. That is what I heard she said. The building at the back of fisheries is not appropriate because the are not fishermen.

  3. smh
    October 11, 2015 at 12:25 am Reply

    I really dont think that the President was in any way implying that lawyers are better than fishermen. I think she was simply making the point that it is highly insulting not just to lawyers but to the country to have a court house at THE FISHERIES! Not because lawyers are on some high horse but for the same reason why the Prime Minister’s office is not at the market and why government ministries are not located near the garbage dump or why hotels arent usually located neat sewer plants. It is not that any of those persons are better than market vendors or waste workers; It is simply inappropriate. Moreover, we are talking about Halls of Justice or a Court Building; a country’s justice system. WHERE ij the world would it ever be deemed appropriate to house a court at the fisheries.

  4. laughable
    October 11, 2015 at 12:34 am Reply

    I took watched the news again this evening as you suggested and my dear you are the one who got it wrong. The statement made by madam president of the bar association regarding the building behind fisheries is that it is not appropriate because they the lawyers are not fishermen. Very unfortunate statement!!!! Thank you Anonymous for getting it right!

  5. smh
    October 11, 2015 at 12:40 am Reply

    Im sorry but I quite agree with the president. Its a ridiculous arrangement for the reasons I have already indicated. Unbelievable that we don’t get it in 2015. THAT is unfortunte!

  6. laughable
    October 11, 2015 at 12:46 am Reply

    I have a problem with the present court building also so please do not get me wrong. However I took offense to the manner in which ‘your’ president came across and not withstanding her facial expression, had it not been frightening would be laughable.

  7. Karen
    October 12, 2015 at 11:47 pm Reply

    LOLOL….. From 2004 I went to the First District Court and saw the state of the place, I was in SHOCKED. Yes that is how shocked I was. When I went to HIGH COURT….LOLOL, thinking maybe the management of District Court were just “Lame” HIGH COURT proved worsera….. LOL. The issue here is not Mrs. Charles ok…. the issue is the inefficient, ineffective, ill-equipped Legal System we have here and the lawyers, judges, magistrates, staff who are held hostage by their social responsibility and accountability for so many years that they are forced to work in those unbearable conditions. The building has had fungus for YEARS. Now because Mrs. Charles face is probably reflecting her utmost disgust and dismay at the prolonged period she has been forced to served under these derogatory and appalling conditions. Stop fussing with the lady face…. start remembering whose face always smiling and happy…. the Ministers charged with the responsibility. They quite content, it is not bothering them. Give the lady a break, she is fed up. Let us look at the broader issues at hand. The Ministers charged with governing this country refuse to prioritize the needs of the country. They are using tax payers money to line the pockets of the ones who helped their campaign. Providing long term contracts for rent, paying unqualified people for jobs, all sorts of rubbish. And we soooooooo stupid we minding the messenger’s face…. LOL. LUCIANS wake up and use your brains, as far as I am concerned the entire GOSL should be on strike on behalf of Ministries such as Health and Justice which get so little attention. Not to make a lil 4% increase GOSL take back anyway.

Leave a Reply