Magistrate’s Court proceedings will be moved to a semi-permanent structure that is being donated by the United Kingdom.
This is according to Acting Permanent Secretary in the Deputy Governor’s Office, Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe.
“With the assistance of the United Kingdom government, we are getting a modular building. It should be here by the end of February… We are talking about something temporary so that we can start getting some Magistrate’s Court matters dealt with,” Stoutt-Igwe said.
The acting permanent secretary said the building will be similar to the structure currently housing students from Bregado Flax Educational Centre on Virgin Gorda.
She said government is working swiftly to ensure local courts return to normalcy, and noted that a functioning judicial system is important to any society.
“I don’t think we want to come to the point where we hear prisoners are being let loose because we can’t seem to be able to get the court together,” Stoutt-Igwe reasoned.
The Magistrate’s Court in John’s Hole and Prospect Reef on Tortola were among the structures damaged by the September 2017 hurricanes.
Stoutt-Igwe said ‘tender documents’ to repair the Magistrate’s Court has been filed; adding that the contract to repair the building that houses the High Court and House of Assembly already have been approved by Cabinet.
She further noted the said building that houses the House of Assembly will be ready by tomorrow for the viewing ceremony of former legislator, Omar Hodge.
Stoutt-Igwe said work to that building includes temporary fixes to the upstairs section where the High Court is located.
She also noted that the building will be used for rotation between the Magistrate’s Court, High Court, and the Standing Finance Committee.
In the meantime, Stout-Igwe announced that the territory’s Commercial Court is now being housed inside the Ritter Building on Wickham’s Cay II.
Commercial Court operations were moved to the Ritter Building after being relocated to St Lucia for several months following Hurricane Irma.
Stoutt-Igwe said commercial court cases resumed in the territory last week.
She noted that the Commercial Court will be housed at the Ritter Building until repairs to the orginal Road Town-based edifice is completed.
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