Ceremonial opening of the 2012/2013 law term today
CHIEF Justice Ivor Archie will today lead a congregation of Judges, Masters, magistrates and attorneys to church to mark the opening of the 2012/2013 Law Term.
The day's events will kick off with the Service of Divine Worship at the Holy Trinity Cathedral on Abercromby Street, Port of Spain at 10 a.m. followed by a procession to the Hall of Justice and an inspection of a Guard of Honour by Archie at 11 a.m.
Archie will then give an account of the Judiciary's achievements during the past year, challenges and future plans for the administration of justice in Trinidad and Tobago. The address will take place at the Convocation Hall of the Hall of Justice at Knox Street, Port of Spain at noon.
At last year's opening, with the State of Emergency being declared, Archie sought to assure citizens that their rights had not been suspended.
He said then that contrary to what was being expressed in uninformed circles, the Constitution was not suspended.
Archie said Judges and magistrates are committed to maintaining balance and the rule of law.
"I would not wish for you to entertain any unnecessary doubts or apprehension on that score. Citizens may continue to have access to the courts for the protection and vindication of their rights."
Archie had also expressed concern about the increased number of people appearing before the courts on drug-related offences or who may have committed crimes to feed a drug habit.
He said the Judiciary participated in discussions with the Secretary for Multidimensional Security of the Organisation of American States with a view to establishing drug treatment courts in Trinidad and Tobago.
"This resulted in the creation of training opportunities for members of the Judiciary and other critical partners whose services will be integral to the formation, implementation and maintenance of these courts," Archie said.
A commitment was given to establish one drug treatment court as a pilot project during the first quarter of 2012.
That Drug Treatment Court Pilot Project was launched at City Hall, San Fernando on Tuesday last.