A good housekeeping seal of approval for the newly reopened Supreme Court Complex has come from the union that represents Supreme Court workers and the lawyers who go before judges there.
The Civil Division of the High Court and the Registry have returned to the White Park Road, St. Michael complex from their temporary location at Manor Lodge last year following a massive environmental cleanup of the decade-old building.
Supreme Court Registrar Barbara Cooke-Alleyne said: “It is really good to be back at home base. We have been away almost a year, and we are glad to come back to an environment that is healthier for all the users, staff, the Bar [and the] public.”
She was speaking following a tour of the complex, accompanied by her deputy Joyann Clarke, Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson, shop stewards, National Union of Public Workers president Akanni McDowall, NUPW acting general secretary Delcia Burke, and Bar Asssocition president Liesel Weekes.
The registrar said the criminal high courts still operating from Cane Garden, St. Thomas are to relocate by the end of the week, to start work officially from Monday.
She added that two new courts, one for civil matters and the other for criminal cases, were also being built to clear the backlog of cases before the courts.
Visitors to the Registry for records and certificates will now have access to a public toilet, as officials used the closure to make improvements to the existing plant.
Cooke-Alleyne also gave those present the assurance that a maintenance plan would be in place for the facility going forward.
She said: “We are looking to get a facilities management team in place in the next three months. We will go to tender shortly, so we would have somebody familiar with the needs of a building this size and the capacity,” she said, noting that this would ensure that everything continued to function as it should.
Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson echoed this view, noting that all efforts were being made to ensure that the issues relating to air quality and ventilation did not recur.
Bar Association president Weekes said: “Having completed the tour, post the environmental issues that presented themselves in April last year, we are quite pleased with the developments that have taken place. It is a much better use of the space that should lend to better efficiency in how we do things in the courts.”
McDowall commended the work of the complex’s management to address the environmental problems.
“We are here today quite pleased at the progress that management has made in resolving some of those issues,” he said.
But he noted that the union wanted to see the post-cleanup report so that it could compare with conditions prior to the closure.