Court: ‘Must Be Listed For Trial Expeditiously’

December 9, 2017

A man charged with drug offences who has been awaiting trial for over two years brought legal action saying that “he has been deprived of his right to a fair trial within a reasonable time,” with the Court noting that “criminal proceedings have been moving with dragging feet,” and saying “this matter must now be listed for trial expeditiously.”

The ruling said, “The Plaintiff is an Accused person charged with drug offences on indictment. He has been awaiting trial for a period in excess of 2 years. He now appears before this Court on his Originating Summons claiming that he has been deprived of his right to a fair trial within a reasonable time, contrary to section 6 of the Constitution of Bermuda.

In the Conclusion, Acting Puisne Judge Shade Subair Williams said. “Having examined all of these aspects of this case, I find that the Plaintiff has not been deprived of his constitutional rights under section 6[1]. However, I do agree that the Plaintiff’s criminal proceedings have been moving with dragging feet.

“Such systemic or institutional delays will necessarily weigh against the Crown in constitutional applications. This case narrowly missed a dismissal of charges by this Court.

“This matter must now be listed for trial expeditiously. Counsel of record should make themselves flexibly available to accommodate the earliest possible trial listing. A new trial date must be canvassed and confirmed before the close of December 2017.”

The judgement follows below [PDF here]

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