The following remarks were delivered today (Feb 28) by the Shadow Minister for Legal Affairs, Scott Pearman – One Bermuda Alliance…
Yesterday’s Legal Affairs Budget Debate shows very clearly how a new OBA Government would do things differently to fix Bermuda’s problems.
Four years ago, the Opposition laid out a creative plan to increase revenue in Bermuda’s court system.
The OBA proposed a tiered system for court fees in our commercial court.
Under this OBA proposal, expensive commercial cases will pay larger court fees to match the higher value of commercial claims.
This OBA solution would raise much needed revenue for Bermuda’s struggling justice system.
And what you should know is that the PLP does not disagree with this OBA plan.
The PLP have simply failed to deliver. Repeatedly. For four years.
The PLP has promised that changes are progressing, yet nothing has happened.
Yesterday (Feb 27), in the Budget Debate, the OBA also highlighted how our family court needs increased support.
The Minister bravely admitted to Parliament that there has been a 25 percent increase in child cases last year.
A 25 percent increase in cases involving Bermudian children.
We all need to pay attention folks.
Our commercial court is held in extremely high regard, locally and internationally.
Our commercial court deal with multi-billion dollar cases.
Our commercial court fees must be harnessed to better support our family court.
Likewise, our criminal justice system urgently needs focus and support.
When Bermuda’s top prosecutor – the main person responsible for putting the bad guys in jail – warns that our criminal justice system is “under attack” – we all need to pay attention.
The DPP is right to point out that Government cannot simply pass laws without providing effective funding.
It has been four years since the OBA proposed a funding solution.
The OBA has identified how we can harness our Commercial Court to get more money to our under-funded Family Court and Criminal Court.
So the PLP needs to deliver – or get out of the way.