Criminal and traffic matters at standstill since chief magistrate left the bench, and lawyers say the AG is to be blamed

Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh reportedly has not sat on the bench
since Monday July 17, and, for the third consecutive day, the
criminal justice system in the Magistrates Court has been at a
standstill, attorneys complain.

Meanwhile, attorneys allege that, since Monday, the Prosecution
Unit of the Police Force has not showed up to Court and the
Prosecution team has refused to work.
As a result, no criminal or traffic cases have been heard this week,
and scores of court users have been left without an explanation, they

Other sources say this situation might have to do with the protest
action taken by officers at the St. John’s Police Station, who, on
Monday, began a sit-in to protest the unhealthy conditions under
which they are expected to work.

Accordingly, the affected attorneys are chiding Attorney-General
Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin for failing to address these issues.
One lawyer tells REAL News that matters set for today, Wednesday,
July 19, in the Traffic Court have been adjourned to November 14,
2023, and this is the third day that his matters have been delayed.

“The courts fall under the AG; the Police fall under the AG; and it is
the incompetence of the AG to be blamed for all of this,” he says.
Not only are lawyers affected, he adds, but the persons accused,
witnesses, and supporting families are all affected by this