Public solicitors’ absence in court worsening: Judge


High Court has put the spotlight on lawyers of the Public Solicitors Office for not attending court sessions.

And, worse, Judge Maelyn Bird says this trend of public solicitors not attending their court cases is becoming frequent.

Judge Bird raised the concern in court yesterday when two public solicitors failed to attend and assist the court regarding cases they represent.

“I cannot entertain lawyers who are not complying with court directions, it is becoming a trend in the Public Solicitors Office and I just don’t know why this happens and becoming worse.

“Such practice has not improved, lawyers not attending court and to their clients, it’s not fair on the defendants,” Ms Bird said.

She said she will talk with the Registrar to inform the Office about the issue.

During the opening of the legal year 2021, Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer had highlighted “those ongoing delays are an affront to the rights of an accused to have his case heard within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court”.

He said victims and the community are entitled to know that complaints will be attended to in good time and justice dispensed promptly.

“Such delays are incompatible with a society founded on the rule of law and on embedded constitutional rights.

“There is no short cut to the issue of delay and hearing of cases, the Court and Counsel in the DPP’s office and the PSO should rise to the challenge and ensure that cases involving those in remand are given priority for hearing,” he said.

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