Bar caution on judge-only trials

Lawyers want a careful examination of the proposal for judge-only criminal trials.

The Barbados Bar Association (BBA) reacted yesterday to Attorney General Dale Marshall’s proposal stating that while it was not “absolutely opposed” to it there should be consultation.

“The BBA wishes to sound a note of caution. The introduction of such provisions ought not be reactionary, but rather the BBA calls for a consultative approach, with more analysis and study of judge only trials before such legislation is presented. In particular, the BBA would wish to ensure that the provisions are properly suited to the context and resources in Barbados,” it said.

The BBA called for an evidence-based approach to the proposal including research from other Commonwealth jurisdictions, and giving consideration to the questions of whether there should be a single judge, a panel of judges, or a hybrid panel of a judge with two lay persons.

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