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|Shortage of judges could halt hearing of current sessions - Murder & rape cases unheard|
|Wednesday, 11 July 2012 22:41|
THERE is allegedly no judge available to replace Justice Roxanne George, who proceeds on leave as from today. Jurors serving before her were sent on leave until September 3, 2012.
And only a minimal number (about six) of the 234 cases listed for trial at the June Sessions have, so far, been tackled by the two assigned judges.
A breakdown of the listed cases is as follows: 75 are for murder, 24 are for manslaughter, 31 are for rape, and 61 are for carnal knowledge.
Justice George will reportedly be leaving the country for London, where she would be taking her children to the Olympics.
The distinguished Justice George is one of two judges who have been assigned to serve at the June criminal sessions. The other judge is Justice Franklyn Holder, who is also expected to go on leave after the end of the rape case currently before him.
Justice Holder did not say whether anyone would replace him after he goes on leave, but Justice George did say, on Tuesday, that the Chancellor had disclosed to her that there was no judge available to replace her.
She made this statement after the rape trial before her ended with an 11 to 1 verdict of not guilty in favour of the accused, Devon Mc Farlene.
When the panel of jurors serving before Justice George returned to court as required yesterday morning, they were told that she would be going on leave, and that they should return for further service on September 4, 2012.
Meanwhile, a mixed jury empanelled on Monday to try rape accused Leon Doris of Vigilance, East Coast, Demerara for allegedly violating a 15-year-old girl in 2006 was told that the trial will begin today.
Prosecutors in the matter are Senior State Counsel Miss Zamilla Ally and Miss Danne Kaulesar of the DPP’s Chambers. The accused is expected to conduct his own defence.
A recent, similar, situation in which judges were sent on leave without replacement had elicited from the Chief Justice the comment that there was nothing he could do, since he could not make judges out of clay.
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