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11 November 2022

Letter: Delay in court hearing

Friday 14 April 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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Letter: Delay in  court  hearing

Dear Editor, I wish to complain about the poor attitude of the Ministry of Justice in allocating the sittings of the High Court of the Cook Islands.

Thursday’s hearings are primarily dedicated to Criminal and Traffic Court.

Yesterday, April 13, a Family Court hearing was scheduled to begin at 9am and began at 9.20am.

The court was stuck with the Family Court matter until 10.15am.

About 50 people were left waiting in the public gallery for their day in court. This is not good enough.

Another day should be allocated for Family Court matters. I will file an official complaint to the registrar.   

Norman George

A very disappointed senior lawyer

Secretary of Justice Tamatoa Jonassen replies – The family matter that Mr. George refers to was a matter filed by an attorney the day before that required some urgency given it related to a temporary restraining order. The reason for the delay in the family matter starting was due to the attorney coming into court 20 minutes late, which inevitably impacted on other matters. The issue raised by Mr. George has less to do with Court scheduling and more to do with those who attend Court respecting the time of the Court.

However, as with any matter that comes before the Court, there can be many reasons for legitimate delay as there are often many matters brought before Court which are heard one matter at a time, while striving to operate on the limited resources allocated to the Ministry. We appreciate our community’s patience and understanding with Court processes as we continue to serve as best as we are able.