Senator Expresses Reservations Over Trial by Judge Alone Bill

Senator Joseph

Senator Jonathan Joseph has voiced concerns over the recently passed Trial by Judge Alone Bill, despite acknowledging its potential benefits.

His primary issue lies in the perceived lack of consultation on making the measure permanent and the removal of the defendant’s right to choose their trial format.

The Senator emphasized past promises of consultation on the matter, dating back to 2020. “We were told that there would have been consultations to determine if it should have been a permanent fix,” he stated. “I’m asking, were the consultations held?”

Central to his argument is the belief that defendants should retain the option to choose between a trial by judge alone or by a jury. “I strongly hold that that option should be there,” he reiterated.

“He or she should be given that option; it should not be taken away.”

While the Senator acknowledges the benefits of trial by judge alone, such as increased speed, reduced costs, and alleviating backlogs, he stressed that this should not come at the expense of the defendant’s right to choose.

“I don’t have a problem with a permanent fix, but let the accused be given that option to choose.”

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  1. The defendants must always be given the right to choose trial by jury or judge alone. It would be unconstitutional for the legislature to take such right away, especially in serious charges.

    ANTIGUA has a more reactive police force that is also not adequately trained in criminal procedure, investigation and evidence. I highly encourage defendants be given every option available constitutionally to protect their rights.

    I witnesses firsthand with a family member the incompetence in Antigua and Barbuda. Most people are focused on staying popular to win votes while innocent people are being charged wrongfully and in violation of law.

  2. Yep..more opportunities for cases to be overturn later by the privy council. This is too powerful a position in the hands of one person that will decide the fait of someone’s life,and also more opportunities for corruption.
    But then again, we all know who are behind these laws..

    What a ting in Antigua to backside..A Government and a judicial system that can’t get anything right.
    Just damn foolishness everywhere you turning this country. None of the departments of government is functioning properly is the island state, none..


  3. Judge alone opens up the door for crooks with deep pockets to buy their way out of serious charges. Think of it
    A jury of peers involves 12 persons. Is it not more probable to throw serious resources at ONE person as opposed to TWELVE? The reason the CCJ is still not a popular choice in these parts.
    I am sure this can be rescinded to allow the accused a choice,and it must.

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