The lawyers walking through the streets of Roseau

Attorneys from the Dominica Bar Association marched through the streets of Roseau on Tuesday morning to highlight the condition of the courts in Dominica since Hurricane Maria.

The attorneys walked from the High Court on the Bayfront to the Financial Center to deliver a letter to the Justice Minister, Rayburn Blackmoore through his permanent secretary on the matter.

President of the Dominica Bar Association, Mary Roberts, told DNO the attorneys are very concerned about the conditions of the courts which have not been fully operational since Maria devastated Dominica last September.

In an interview, Roberts said their action was “not a protest” but “simply a casual walk to the Financial Center to deliver a letter to the Minister of Justice through the permanent Secretary Ann Lewis. We met with her and delivered the letter to her personally.”

She explained the contents of the letter.

“The contents of the letter are addressing the situation at the courts, the High Court and Magistrate’s Court. We felt that as legal practitioners, enough has not been done to bring the courts up to operation after Hurricane Maria to the satisfaction of the lawyers, Judge and members of the general public who attend at the registry. We think that much better can and should be done and we felt that we had to make that statement,” she stated.

She continued, “The Permanent Secretary assured us that they are working hard and everything will and is being done for the improvement on government’s building. We have also asked that the Minister meet with us to tell us more about the proper opening of the court to serve the general public.”

Roberts highlighted other concerns.

“The current status of the registry, it is not air-conditioned, also the vault, so we are seeking to have that improved. The Judge can’t speak for herself, so we are speaking on her behalf … we want things moved forward in a timely fashion,” she stated.

Last week Justice Minister, Rayburn Blackmoore, said that work was at an advanced stage to ensure that the court system returns to normal.

He said much of the work in the Civil Court was “99% complete.”