Sod Turned For Multi-Million Dollar Saint Lucia Halls Of Justice – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

On Friday, Saint Lucia hosted a sod-turning ceremony for a $143 million Halls of Justice project.

The Halls of Justice 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.

“Today, our courts are scattered around the City,” Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre told the sod-turning ceremony.

He explained that the current court buildings, which are not ‘fit for purpose’ are generally rented from private landlords.

Pierre noted that law courts are highly specialized structures requiring secure parking areas for judges and staff, secure areas for prisoners, and separate areas for judges, staff, the public, and prisoners.

He said the buildings must be welcoming but secure, with separate areas for family matters.

“This building will deliver all of this,” the Saint Lucia Prime Minister said regarding the Halls of Justice.

He disclosed that the government will own a modern, secure building for the courts and judiciary when the twenty-year lease ends.

NH International is the contractor.

Pierre disclosed that NH’s confidence in the Saint Lucia economy had caused the company to invest $143 million in the building without any taxpayer guarantee in the Build Own and Lease Transfer (BOLT) agreement.

The PM said the agreement sets out timelines for complete design, approval, and completion with suitable arrangements for any possible delay.