Club Soda and Salt

No more stains

No-one ever said rottweilers were smart

Posted by clubsodaandsalt on February 15, 2007

Normally, Keith Rowley is the only member of the Manning Administration not to make my head hurt. If I lived in Diego Martin West, I would even consider voting for him (well, not anymore), which isn’t (wasn’t?) true of any other PNM member. But my goodness is this stupid:

HOUSING Minister Dr Keith Rowley believes the preliminary enquiry in criminal court cases should be abolished entirely, because it is holding back the swift course of justice.

…. 

He said that while the preliminary enquiry is meant to establish if a person has a case to answer, that is what would already have been done by the police.

“The police would have investigated the situation, would have gotten a body of evidence, they would have charged somebody, and justice, justice is only expected to be swift and what the preliminary enquiry does is guarantee that there is no swift justice,” Rowley said.

*head explodes*

Is he serious about this? Look, the point of the preliminary enquiry is to establish whether the court believes a case exists. It is the first real involvement of the judicial system. It’s also crucial because if the DPP is wrong (it happens!) and the case should be dismissed, it avoids the necessity of a drawn out jury selection and trial. In fact, it probably PREVENTS judicial gridlock by nipping crappy prosecutions in the bud.

Rowley’s point that the preliminary enquiry is somehow redundant is completely absurd. Not only does it assume the infallibility of the police — and let me repeat that to drive home how laughable this whole thing is — the infallibility of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, but of course, it can also be extended to render the whole judicial system irrelevant, except for sentencing. The police have already investigated! Obviously the man guilty! Jail ‘im!

Of course, given the authoritarian bent of the Manningites, maybe that’s the eventual goal. Vision 2020: No more need for courts!

Naturally, the idea that our crime situation is because of the existence of a particular court procedure doesn’t even bear recognition or reubttal.

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