Much pomp and pageantry is expected when this country’s new Supreme Court building is officially opened this Friday, June 24.
The spacious, ultra-modern building located on White Park Road, was completed in 2009, replacing the old structure at Coleridge Street, which was deemed to have outgrown its space.
With a floor area of approximately 170, 000 square feet the Supreme Court is divided into two main areas that are often considered two different buildings with separate entrances – one to the Supreme Court and the other to the Registry.
The main Supreme Court entrance opens into a triple height public atrium with glass balustrading, and natural light from above; and from this atrium, at different levels, access is gained to all the courtrooms.
On level 1 are the local Court of Appeal and four Criminal Courts, each boasting of teak wall panelling, public seating and high ceilings. Level 2 of the atrium gives way to the balconies of the Court of Appeal and the Criminal Courts, Community Legal Services Commission, and a public cafeteria.
Seven Civil Courts, the Registrar’s Court and Attorneys’ consulting rooms can be found on level 3.
Behind the scenes, one can expect to find 14 individual Judges Offices including the Chief Justice’s suite and a Master’s Office.
Located at the south of the building is the Registry, which has its own separate entrance.
The Registrar’s Office is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the building.?? It incorporates the Court of Appeal Registry; the High Court Registry; the Court Process Office; the Records Branch with an Administrative Unit; the Court Transcription Unit; Management Information Systems Office and Records Management Unit; the Law Library; Records Repositories; the Training Room; and Search and Waiting areas.
The Supreme Court began operating from its new building on Tuesday, October 6, 2009.
This coming Friday, Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, will deliver the feature address at the official opening ceremony, which starts at 3:00 p.m. Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, along with the acting Chief Justice, Sherman Moore, and key members of the legal fraternity will also be in attendance.