Guy Joseph Raises Concerns Over Halls Of Justice Project – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

The first Deputy Political leader of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has raised safety and security concerns regarding the construction of Saint Lucia’s multi-million dollar Halls of Justice.

Joseph, a former Economic Development Minister, spoke at a UWP news conference on Tuesday.

“I am going to sound one note of caution about the location next to the Cathedral. Are you going to be driving piles? And if you drive piles, the vibration, what will it do to the buildings?” The former Castries South East MP stated.

He recalled that the Cathedral had already undergone repairs.

“So can you imagine driving piles a few yards away from the building?” Joseph told reporters.

The former Minister also expressed concern about the impact of vibrations on the CDC apartments in the City.

“The CDC buildings, is that another way to say to all the residents of the CDC, ‘ You have to vacate?’,” he said.

In addition, he declared that a Halls of Justice should not be in the middle of Castries with its heavy traffic.

Joseph pointed to the sophistication of crime these days and questioned why the authorities would have to drive a high profile prisoner to court through a capital prone to heavy traffic.

“Are they going to close off the City when there are high-profile cases?” He asked.

The UWP official noted that the Halls of Justice would exist for the next fifty years.

“Can you imagine the level of sophistication of criminal activity and everything that would be happening?” Joseph told the news conference.

Last month, Saint Lucia hosted a sod-turning ceremony for the Halls of Justice project.

The building will stand four storeys high and occupy two lots on Laborie Street, Castries.

 The old courthouse site will be the new home of the Civil and Family Division, and the former site of the Ministry of Education will house the Criminal Division.

An overhead bridge will connect both buildings.

The complex will have fourteen courtrooms, six magistrate chambers, and nine judges’ chambers.

It will also accommodate eleven witness rooms, ten administrative offices, a law library, a police post, holding cells, and a high-security defendant dock. 

Construction will take two years.