Attorney and lawmaker Wilfred Abrahams has welcomed the appointment of a second Master of the Supreme Court, expressing hope that it will put an end to inefficiency in the way the judicial system operates.
Speaking in Parliament on the amendment to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, Abrahams, a former president of the Barbados Bar Association, said: “Our court system seems to have been designed to frustrate people as it has been plagued by improper staffing and technology. In a time when Barbadians are more prone to file lawsuits than ever before, we simply cannot continue to function in this manner.
“In fact, if you assign the current number of cases now pending before the court to the amount of judges we have, even though that complement was recently increased from 13 to 20, it would still take them a very long time to get through the backlog. So that is why we will have to look at alternatives like mediation, or the two parties can come to an agreement between themselves without getting the courts involved.”
He stated that the Bar Association had been calling for a second Master of the Supreme Court for quite some time. “However, now we have that, we will also have to reexamine the role that officer will play,” he said. “Essentially, the Master is an intermediary between the Registrar and a judge, and we can consider giving them the responsibility of dealing with small claims cases (those involving under ten thousand dollars) as well as the more minor cases at the bottom of the Supreme Court spectrum.”
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