Improvements in environmental conditions at the Supreme Court Complex have received the “thumbs up” from representatives of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and the Bar Association, as operations there resumed on Monday.
The High Court (for civil cases) and the Registry have returned to the White Park Road, St. Michael complex, after being temporarily relocated to Manor Lodge last year, following environmental conditions at the White Park Road facility.
Registrar of the Supreme Court, Barbara Cooke-Alleyne said: “It is really good to be back at home base. We have been away almost a year, and we are glad to come back to an environment that is healthier for all the users, staff, the Bar [and the] public.”
She was speaking following a tour of the complex, accompanied by her deputy, Joyann Clarke; Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson; shop stewards; President of the NUPW, Akanni McDowall; Acting General Secretary, Delcia Burke; and President of the Bar Association, Liesel Weekes.
The registrar said the criminal high courts presently operating from Cane Garden, St. Thomas, would relocate by the end of the week, to start work officially at White Park Road, St. Michael, from Monday, April 15.
She added that two new courts, one for civil and the other for criminal cases, were also being constructed to assist with the backlog.
In addition, persons visiting the Registry for records and certificates will now have access to a public bathroom, as officials used the closure to make improvements to the existing plant.
Mrs. Cooke-Alleyne also gave those present the assurance that a maintenance plan would be in place for the facility going forward.
“We are looking to get a facilities management team in place in the next three months. We will go to tender shortly, so we would have somebody familiar with the needs of a building this size and the capacity,” she said, noting that this would ensure that everything continued to function as it should.
Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson echoed this view, noting that all efforts were being made to ensure that the issues relating to air quality and ventilation did not reoccur.
Ms. Weekes stated: “Having completed the tour, post the environmental issues that presented themselves in April last year, we are quite pleased with the developments that have taken place. It is a much better use of the space that should lend to better efficiency in how we do things in the courts.”
Meanwhile, Mr. McDowall commended the swift action of the management of the Supreme Court to address the existing problems. “We are here today quite pleased at the progress that management has made in resolving some of those issues,” he said.
However, he noted that the union wanted to see the post report so that it could compare pre and post conditions.
Both the bar and union presidents expressed kudos to the registrar, commending her dedication to taking corrective action at the judicial centre.