The chief justice has issued a practice direction, contained in Gazette No 12 of 2023, identifying sexual offences and human trafficking as case types which will be dealt with on rules designed to provide a fast track.
This is dependent on the proclamation by the State of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Amendment Act which has been receiving attention from the various agencies in the criminal justice system. Among other things, it seeks to remove the additional step of preliminary enquiries at the Magistrates’ Court.
With the proclamation of the Act, the police will be required to file charges in indictable proceedings directly at the High Court and the Judiciary will have better control over the progress of cases.
The agencies in the criminal justice system inclusive of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service, Trinidad and
Tobago Forensic Science Centre, Public Defender’s Department of the Legal Aid and Advisory
Authority, the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago and the Judiciary have been meeting in
the Criminal Justice Committee chaired by the Chief Justice to prepare for the proclamation of
the Act in an effort to speed up the hearing of criminal cases.
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