‘High legal costs affecting accessibility to justice’

Saint Lucia’s Attorney General, Kim St Rose, has told the opening  today for the new law year that high legal costs contribute to inaccessibility to the courts and justice at times.

The opening ceremony included the traditional inspection of a police guard of honour on the grounds of the National Cultural Centre.

law-year-2Addressing legal minds who gathered later in the Centre, St Rose said those who attended the  weekend OECS Bar conference  would be able to attest to the cost of the books which were available for purchase.

St Rose described the cost as being “significant” although the items were free of customs duties.

“The cost of keeping up to date with the law in part contributes to the high cost of legal services,”  the Attorney General said.

She said  that unfortunately, she could not attempt to chastise her colleagues in that regard, because the cost of legal education, legal books and insurance for those who can afford it is high, while aesthetic premises come at a cost.

St Rose noted that only the client can bear the cost.

“It stands to reason that low earners who may have genuine issues to be resolved increasingly cannot afford legal services – even people with relatively good jobs find it difficult to countenance the cost of legal services,” she observed.

The Attorney General noted that although some legal aid is available,  the question must be asked whether there are many takers in terms of the providers, or whether the processes to access the aid are too complex.

She said there seem to be so many persons in need of legal assistance but cannot obtain it for one reason or another.

St Rose spoke of remand prisoners who have been denied bail or perhaps cannot get someone to bail them while being unable to afford legal representation.

She asserted that this was an area in need of attention in terms of their accessibility to courts.

“Invariably these people spend excessively long periods incarcerated while the presumption of innocence is still guaranteed in their favour,” the Attorney General observed.

She said the access of such persons to the timely disposition of their matters, or conversely, inability to achieve an early trial amounts to a court which is inaccessible.





  1. Nisa
    September 20, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    I ashamed at the legal system in my country, so many lawers, so many police officers a huge prison, a governor general, an attorney general, My goodness no DDP, no law, no enforcement,

    So many too many unsolved murders, and even when the murderer is in plain sight all he needs is some money and a good lier/lawers

  2. fedde
    September 20, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    That Kim St. Rose needs to be fired asap. She’s stifling progress

  3. Anonymous
    September 21, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Books my @rse. Someone has to pay for those X5s and mansions. It’s all about exploitation. True story: Went to get some legal advice. 10 minute chat: $115. End result, nothing can be done. Went to a second lawyer for second opinion. 15 minute chat: $115. Nothing can be done. Second lawyer suggested I keep filing motions against the other party. It will get costly to defend and perhaps they will throw towel in and comply. And yes it will get very costly for me file those motions to. The problem is the legal code here sucks.