Constables and prosecutors graduate from development course
Prosecutors and other judicial and law enforcement authorities have been urged to be impartial officers with integrity as they carry out their professional duties, Magistrate Wanda Blair has told court prosecutors and police constables.
The officials were graduating from a professional development course at the Regional Police Training Centre at Seawell, Christ Church.
She told the graduands: “ Prosecutors you are not expected to be cowards. You are not expected not to have zeal and be zealous of your work. But you are expected to be fair, you are expected to be kind, you are expected to be impartial and independent. You can fight fire with fire in the courtroom but remember at all times that you are an administrator of justice.”
Blair, who presides over the Holetown Magistrates’ Court, also reminded the prosecutors and police officers that there is no excuse for mistakes in court.
She declared: “These days when you are allowed to refresh our memory and read your notes, read from your notebook.
“You have no excuse for some of the mistakes that are made in the court these days.
“So, as an administrator of justice, you must always be prepared.
“You have to keep abreast of the law, follow the changing legislation, follow decisions in the court if you don’t then you can be ambushed.
“Learning is constant we have to be consistent …keeping abreast with the law.”
Blair told officers from the Royal Barbados Police Force, Barbados Prison Service, Belize Police Department, Royal St Lucia Police Force, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda that they are required to be people of integrity.
She said: “As a prosecutor, you are required to be honest, to be a person of integrity. When you are examining a file to determine whether someone should be prosecuted or if you are investigating a matter to make a recommendation if someone should be prosecuted your role is to examine the evidence carefully and determine whether the evidence is of the standard to prosecute.
“You have to sit down and make an honest assessment should this person be prosecuted? Is the evidence sufficient in this case to prosecute this person?
“Not only are you required to be honest you are required to be impartial.”
She urged the constables to be men and women of integrity so that the community can feel comfortable divulging information to them.
Magistrate Blair said: “Remember at all times you are an administrator of justice. Police constables, you also are required to be persons of integrity if you are a police officer of integrity persons in the community would be able to come to you and give you information because they trust you and they know they could come and give you certain information and know that you would not go and jeopardize their future by going to the suspect.”
Commandant of the Regional Police Training Centre John Maxwell encouraged the graduates to strive always for excellence.
“Do not allow negative attitudes and behaviours to distract you from fulfilling your dreams and your goals if you do you only have your self to blame,” he said.
Maxwell also echoed the charge made by Magistrate Blair to the officers to prepare adequately for court within specified timelines.
The senior police commander said: “This inept behaviour affects the victim, the accused and the entire judicial system.
“Almost on a daily basis, there is a news report to the effect that cases are being dismissed because of the absence of case files.
“This is unacceptable and I beseech each and every one of you to not fall victim to this [practice].”
The students received their certificates and special awards from Commandant Maxwell, Magistrate Blair and Superintendent Leon Harewood. (LG)