Best served

Best served

The call by Bar Association Dean Caroline van Hees to speed up appeal verdicts (see Monday paper) comes as no big surprise. The Joint Court of the entire Dutch Caribbean appears to have its hands full.

The lawyer said 45 cases related to St. Maarten are awaiting such a ruling, of which 11 started more than three years ago. According to her, most colleagues even advise clients against appealing for this reason.

If so, it’s a serous matter that needs to be addressed. Apart from supposedly limiting people’s ability to effectively pursue their full rights in practice, this situation does not promote public confidence in the legal system.

The same goes for – at one point – more than 100 existing local prison sentences remaining unexecuted due to lack of detention space. Minister of Justice Anna Richardson recently announced adjustments in the policy regarding ankle bracelets for electronic monitoring to help alleviate the problem.

Until a new penitentiary planned at the current location in Point Blanche opens, this will likely stay an undesirable issue to be tackled using sparse available resources. However, at the end of the day, justice is best served with a swift application.

The Daily Herald

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