She said on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, that this is not a step in the right direction for the justice system.
“There has been an increase in the number of persons on remand in already overcrowded prisons. This does not bode well for any state and has serious implications for the maintenance and promotion of the rule of law and indeed the peace and security of us all,” she pointed out during the opening of the 2022 Law Year.
“It is disheartening and quite troubling when those accused of inflicting harm and those who have suffered harm find common ground in lamenting the seemingly interminable wait for justice.”
“The criminal justice system is in dire need of robust reform,” she expressed.
“As I expressed in my last address, the time is ripe for our governments to assist the judiciary by including in their legislative agendas, criminal justice reform measures such as provision for the implementation of judge alone trials for specific cape types within the context of the constitutionally guaranteed right to a fair trial.”
She said in the absence of judge-alone trials, Governments can consider reducing the size of the existing jury panel which would be a cost-cutting measure as well.
“Having judge alone trials, or trials with reduced jury panels will have many benefits including decreasing the expenditure associated with operating a jury system, which ultimately is in the benefit of the public purse while boosting efficiency, accountability and importantly public confidence in the justice system.”