Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 17th 2017 Contents A10 news
guardian.co.tt Friday, March 17, 2017
make any sense
because no one
man should be
able to make a de-
cision like that on someone else's life.
Yes, because a
jury can just make
any decision they
Let the judge do it
so that one man
can make one
of 10 or 12 heads
not being able to agree.
Yes, because the
judge will know
better than a jury.
Make up artist
I am spilt down
the middle. I
would agree that
a judge should
make the deci-
sion so that the
process can be
shortened. There are too many peo-
ple in jail for many years who are
awaiting for their trials to be con-
cluded. I would not agree because
some cases would need a better
assessment that can be done by
the views of more people.
No, I don't agree
because a judge
can be biased.
UK barrister: Fix, don't
remove, jury trials
Anand Beharrylal does not agree
with Government's proposal for
judge only trials. He said instead
there should be efforts make
thejury system more efficient.
Beharrylal spoke with the T&T
Guardian after presenting a semi-
nar on appeals to the Privy Coun-
cil at Royal Hotel, San Fernando on
Wedneday. He added his voice to
several others in the legal fraternity
who are not in favour of replacing
trial by jury with trial by a judge.
"It is something that has been
mentioned before but I amnot in fa-
vour of abolishingjury trials simply
because one of the main concerns
in Trinidad and Tobago is people
feeling disconnected from the in-
"They always feel like they are on
the outside. The jury system affords
an important role for ordinary peo-
ple to play in the administration of
justice in their own country and
particularly where the liberty of
the subject is concerned and, dare
Isay. whether the subject should live
or die, because murder carries the
Beharrylal said the only circum-
stances in which a jury should not
sit in a criminal case is where there
was clear evidence produced by the
police that the jury had been inter-
"In those circumstances, very
limited, a judge should then try
the case and that is a change that
has been made in England as well,"
Beharrylal said there is a great
need to invest more heavily in the
magistracy and the judiciary in the
High Court and Court of Appeal to
increase the number of judges.
"I have long advocated that what
is needed are regular part time judg-
es who sit to hear the less serious
cases to clear the backlog so that the
permanent senior judges at the Hgh
Court and the senior magistrates can
try the more serious cases and de-
vote all of their time to that," he said.
"That is a system that features in
other countries. It is modelled on a
system in England where you have
deputy magistrates and part time
recorders of the Crown Court and
deputy High Court judges where
they sit for a fixed period, a min-
imum six weeks for a year.
"It also has an added benefit be-
cause they sit on a daily rate and are
not salary judges, but on a pension.
It is cheaper for the public because
you are only paying them for the
work they do as you would do for
any kind of self employment."
Beharrylal, who has been practic-
ing law for 20 years and has provid-
ed advisory services to attorneys in
T&T and throughout the Carribean
for the past ten years on presenting
appeals to the Privy Council, also
thinks it was a bad idea to abolish
the Privy Council as this country's
highest appellate court.
"It is a matter for the people of
Trinidad and Tobago but what I
would say is where you have access
to agruably the best appellate court
in the world, that is not a right you
should give up easily or without se-
rious consideration as to what you
are getting in return.
"My view is that in the current
state of Trinidad and Tobago and
the way in which public institutions
are perceived, it is not the right time
to abolish the Privy Council which
continues to serve Trinidad and To-
bago in a very highly efficient and
highly effective way," he said.
Do you support
trials without a jury?
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