Justice Williams requests clarification

The report of court proceedings carried in your newspaper on Thursday, Aug. 11, headlined “Police dispute case delayed,” requires some clarification.

Your report attributes to me as the presiding Grand Court judge the loosely quoted words, “This is not Magistrates Court. It is not a free for all.”

Unfortunately, your report failed to frame in proper context my comments made when considering an application for an adjournment of a hearing made at the outset of a three-day hearing that had been fixed four months prior by the applicant.

The context of the words “This is not a free for all.” was that I hoped that the attorney was not stating that formalities were not important in Grand Court. I reminded the attorney that this was not Magistrates Court where counsel often argue that it is not a “court of pleadings.” I questioned the need for the Grand Court Rules if parties did not intend to comply with procedural requirements imposed by the Rules.

Your reporters provide an invaluable service in covering court cases and in the process generally manage to reflect accurately the nuances in rapid verbal exchanges in complex court cases. However, in this case the specified inadequate contextualizing has not only resulted in an inaccurate report but, more significantly, it has also created an unintended reflection on the procedures of Magistrates Court.

Justice Richard Williams
Grand Court Judge