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Roberto Pocaterra Workman ||//
‘Change’?the enemy at T&T gates

It has finally arrived: “analysis paralysis” was twice heard last week, coming from T&T Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.

 

Standing up for his legislation to soup up the engine of the criminal justice system, the ever-embattled AG summoned “analysis paralysis” from foreign discourse.

His current battle entails an offensive called the Indictable Offences (Pre-Trial Procedure) Bill 2017.

The title headlines a thrust to abolish preliminary inquiries into criminal charges that qualify for High Court determination.

Take those cases straight to the Hall of Justice, the Al-Rawi Bill proposes. Doing so would skip “inquiry” by the Magistrate’s Court to assess the prosecution’s case.

In less troubled times, magistrates likely helped by ensuring, through legal triage, that only deserving cases reached the bewigged High Court judges.

Non-lawyers today, however, easily recall how, after 15 years, highest-profile Piarco Airport corruption cases never got out the Magistrate’s Court, and into the High Court.

Count me among such observers, who hold that episode, and lower-profile others, against the preliminary enquiry system.

© Roberto Pocaterra

© Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra

elmercuriodechile.com
The AG’s project, we now find, to be long overdue.

But this is T&T. So to others this Al-Rawi law-making sounds the alarm against a fearsome enemy called “Change”.

In no time, vassals in the realm of the legal status quo rallied rhetorically against this enemy at the gates.

Gerald Ramdeen, Pamela Elder, DPP Roger Gaspard, and the redoubtable Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj all found fault with the Al-Rawi Bill that dares raise that dread standard of “Change”.

It will not work, they predicted.

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economiavenezuela.com
So much else in the criminal justice system today does not “work”. But abiding by the known dysfunctions remains, in their minds, a more comfortable option than playing for “Change”.

And, yes, there’s that knee-jerk demand for “consultation”.

It’s against the endless reviewing and chewing-over, maybe in “consultation”, that AG Al-Rawi has invoked “analysis paralysis”.

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elnewyorktimes.com
As applied to T&T, any proposal for “Change” stands in danger of being bad-talked to death.

“We have an obligation to try the remedies we prescribe and see the results,” he said in language that resonates positively with me.

This is a change-averse T&T.

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enlasgradas.com
Waiting in the wings, to be booed and pelted, by those in the best seats, is the other Al-Rawi proposal, supported by Chief Justice Ivor Archie, for doing away with jury trials.

If ever passed, Woodford Square will be treated to the grand show of Ms Elder dramatically setting alight her silky Senior Counsel gown—prudently near the fountain.

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politica-venezuela.com
So she has vowed.

Much larger Commonwealth countries—India and South Africa—run their judicial business without resort to jury trials.

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elnewherald.com
Self-absorbed legal T&T hardly wants to know how that works there—satisfied only that it’s not for us.

The “paralysis”, then, of remaining unmoved in a bad place follows all the “analysis”.

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www.entornointeligente.com
Mr Al-Rawi last week recalled Ms Elder’s earlier argument that “preliminary enquiries constitute a valid ground for young lawyers to cut their teeth on practice in the criminal justice sector”.

Behold a rare acknowledgement that retaining inquiries actually serves the interests of lawyers.

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xn--elpaisdeespaa-tkb.com
Maybe Ms Elder too cut her legal baby teeth there.

The Magistrate’s court affords rising, and risen, lawyers opportunity for another bite at the cherry of juicy retainers.

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eluniversalnews.com
But from those whose “analysis” ends with retaining everything as-is, full-disclosure is little heard about that self-interest factor.

As new T&T Chamber president Ronald Hinds warned last month: “If self-interest wins every time to stop manifest and necessary change, we, as a society, lose every time.”

Examples abound of T&T’s change-averse predisposition.

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© Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra

notifoto.com
Without having seen the place, The UWI law students act up against moving to the new Debe campus.

AG Anand Ramlogan, in 2013, tabled a Bill to precept some soldiers with police powers.

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demasiadochevere.com
So adverse was the “analysis” that he withdrew the measure.

The late senator Corinne Baptiste denounced the Bill: “We are seeking soft fixes because we are not willing to do the hard work of analysing and fixing the problem of the Police Service and the judicial process.”

In T&T’s desperate straits, however, even a “soft fix” seems better than no fix at all, or no attempt to fix any areas of our woeful public affairs.

The Ramlogan 2013 Bill struck me as an opportunity to bring suitably trained soldiers into law enforcement.

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xn--abcdeespaa-19a.com
Since the Traffic Branch was then down to 37 per cent of established numbers, I proposed a Traffic Management Battalion headed by a Sandhurst-graduated captain, preferably also trained in law and management.

It didn’t feel like a far-fetched expedient, nor does it now.

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© Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra

dolarve.com
Though a “soft fix”, it was sure to be welcomed in a place where the police remain much in need of fixing, soft, fast or other.

“Probably we can do new things,” Trevor Paul hoped aloud, on being appointed Police Commissioner in July 2004.

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dolarve.com
Shortly after reaching retirement age, and evidently disappointed, he declined request to hang in there.

Having retired as deputy commissioner, the late Winston Cooper sadly reflected about the Service: “Nothing works.

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www.google.co.ve
Even the best input seems not to work.”

Neither fan nor ally of Mr Al-Rawi, I support his trying something to kick “paralysis” habit.

.

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www.google.co.ve

© Roberto Pocaterra

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