The National Assembly Monday night unanimously passed legislation that lawmakers hope will pave the way for judgments to be handed down speedily through the recording of court proceedings and the production of official records.
But Opposition MPs raised some concerns about perceived drawbacks of the high0tech computerized recording system. Shadow Attorney General Basil Williams said the pilot project should have been extended to the Criminal Assizes also to ascertain how the system would function during jury trials.
Attorney General Anil Nandlall said the project would be run as a pilot in the Court of Appeal, the Chief Justice’s Court and the Commercial Court. Eventually the project, he said, would be extended to the Magistrates Court.
The High Court Registrar and the Clerk of the Magistrates Court would be the custodian of the records.
Education Minister Priya Manickchand welcomed the system, saying that it would assist judges and magistrates in the speedy writing of their decisions.
Attorney General Nandlall said the Recording of Court Proceedings Act was adopted largely wholesale from Trinidad and Tobago.
The equipment for the system has been procured with funding from the Inter American Development Bank (IDB).
“This Bill seeks to legitimize the record that will be produced by the equipment and to make the record the final product generated to be the lawful record of the proceedings which they purport to record.,” said Nandlall.