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 7 Judge-Alone Trials in TT

7 Judge-Alone Trials in TT

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A year after legislation has come into effect, seven judge-alone trials have been completed.

A release from the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs stated that the Miscellaneous Provisions (Trial by Judge Alone) Act, 2019 came into effect on February 1, 2019.

It stated that there have been “seven historic, completed judge-alone trials to date, with others schedules to commence.”

The release added, “Accused persons are electing trial by judge alone and the length of these trials are dramatically shorter, demonstrating a significant reduction in demand for judicial resources.”

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The types of se­ri­ous crim­i­nal mat­ters be­ing heard by a judge with­out a ju­ry range from mur­der, manslaugh­ter, rape, lar­ce­ny and wound­ing with in­tent, the release stated.

It added that sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits of judge-alone tri­als include avoid­ance of ju­ry in­tim­i­da­tion, avoid­ance of re­tri­als due to hung ju­ries, avoid­ance of oner­ous ju­ry ser­vice ob­lig­at­ed on work­ing class cit­i­zens and avoid­ance of costs and ju­di­cial time.

The release stated that the latest judge-alone trial took place on Friday in the San Fernando High Court and was completed in a record 20-minutes.

It stated that the matter was before Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds and the accused was charged with wounding with intent.

The release stated that the incident occurred 18 years ago and the accused was found not guilty after the judge determined he acted in self-defence.

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