ATTORNEY General Faris Al-Rawi met today with retired UK judge, Sir Anthony Hart, QC, who is in TT for a panel discussion and training exercise for criminal high court judges this week.
The panel discussion and training exercise is being held in collaboration with the British High Commission and the Judicial Education Institute of TT (JEITT).
The discussion deals with judge alone trials and will be held tomorow at the Convocation Hall of the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain.
In 2017, both houses of Parliament passed legislation which will allow an accused to elect to be tried by a judge, without a jury.
The legislation is expected to come into operation on a date to be determined by the President.
The Miscellaneous Provisions (Trial by Judge Alone) Act, 2017, provides safeguards for the accused person and the court can make the order for a judge-alone trial once it is satisfied that the person received legal advice from an attorney.
If the accused does not wish to be represented by an attorney, and they wish to be tried by a judge alone, then the court has to be satisfied of that person’s competence to make the decision.
Similarly, in a case with multiple accused people, then the court has to be satisfied that all of them have each elected to be tried without a jury and if they are to be tried for more than one offence, then the court also has to be satisfied that they wish to be tried by a judge alone for all the offences.
According to the Act, the judge sitting without a jury will have all the power, authority and jurisdiction to determine any question and to make any finding which would have been required to be determined by a jury.
Source: Newsday https://newsday.co.tt/2019/01/22/ag-meets-uk-jurist/