Acting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart addresses participants as Acting Chief Justice, Sherman Moore and??Attorney-at-law, Paul Garlick, look on.??????

There must be a certain amount of sympathy and empathy from the prosecutor for the injured party in certain cases.

This was one of the messages from Acting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to prosecutors and other public servants attending a training course for prosecutors at the Frank Walcott Building on Monday.

??"Victims of crime come to court feeling aggrieved, hurt, wounded, and violated and they need all the psychological support they can get if they are to be able to sustain themselves through a trial," he told the participants.

Mr. Stuart pointed out that persons who circulated around the courts underestimated how intimidating that environment was for ordinary citizens. He stressed, therefore, that the prosecutor and the presiding officer had to be astute, to ensure that people who were not familiar with those surroundings, were not "destabilised psychologically by the novelty of having to come into the courtroom to give evidence".

The Acting Prime Minister also argued that the prosecutor should not be motivated by a desire to secure a conviction. "He is a minister of justice, whose rule in the trial process is to lay the facts out fairly and fearlessly, and leave it to the tribunal of fact to determine guilt or innocence after receiving direction on issues of law from the presiding trial judge. … The interest is the pursuit of justice. The purpose for the existence of courts of law is the dispensation of justice," he maintained.??

Mr. Stuart warned prosecutors that it was important to keep enhancing their skills. He pointed out, for example, that there were many cases where the witnesses were classified as experts. "If the prosecutor is not well schooled in the particular area, he may have difficulty in eliciting relative evidence to support the case that he is presenting. It is important, therefore, that prosecutors read much and read widely," he advised.

In this regard, the Acting Prime Minster noted that when Parliament resumed in October, several pieces of legislation would be introduced, with which prosecutors would need to become familiar. These included a transnational organised crime bill, a prevention of corruption bill, and a money laundering bill.

"So prosecutors will have to properly equip themselves on these issues so that they can effectively discharge their obligations as ministers of justice in our court system," Mr. Stuart stated. gapplewhaite@barbados.gov.bb

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