BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (SKNIS) – The High Court in St. Kitts has been relocated to the Charles Amory Building at Fortlands, Basseterre, in the vicinity of the War Memorial.
A brief ceremony was held this morning, Wednesday, September 20, to mark the occasion. It was attended by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, the Honourable Garth Wilkin, representatives from the St. Kitts and Nevis Bar Association and other members of the legal fraternity in St. Kitts and Nevis.
In his remarks, Attorney General Wilkin stated that a new home for the courtrooms became necessary following the closure of the Sir Lee L. Moore Judicial & Legal Services Complex in early June 2022, due to mold infestation.
AG Wilkin said, “The duty of the ministry is to provide sufficient support to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. In doing that, we have to provide judicial infrastructure. We have to provide comfortable courtrooms for our judges, for our lawyers, for our staff, for our registrars, and for everyone who is involved in the administration of justice. When I took office about thirteen months ago this was a big issue for the ministry. The Sir Lee L. Moore Judicial & Legal Services Complex which served as our High Court and Magistrate’s Court had a serious mold infestation and was closed in June 2022. A couple of weeks after taking office, we opened the Magistrate’s Court with the help of Mr. Ernest Amory who owns both properties.”
“When I saw the operations of the Magistrate’s Court and I saw how particularly comfortable the senior magistrate was and the reports that I got from the staff, I thought that it was very good that Mr. Amory stepped in and stepped up to provide a temporary solution to our permanent problem. This building, the Charles Amory Building, is also a temporary solution to our permanent problem,” the attorney general said.
The relocation of the high court services to the Charles Amory Building was welcomed by the St. Kitts and Nevis Bar Association. Its President, Ms. Kurlyn Merchant commended the attorney general “for the Government’s efforts in improving the physical court infrastructure and securing a space where attorneys and litigants can easily navigate.”
“I look forward to continued priority being placed on the development of our judicial system, particularly continued improvements in the infrastructure of our courts and our registry. I remain optimistic for the future of the administration of justice in St. Kitts and Nevis,” Ms. Merchant added.
Moreover, Minister Wilkin noted that the intention of the ministry is to conduct a complete renovation of the Sir Lee L. Moore Judicial & Legal Services Complex for the permanent housing of the High Court.
“Our permanent solution will be that the Sir Lee L. Moore Judicial & Legal Services Complex would be gutted, it would be fixed, and it would become the permanent home of the high courts, civil and criminal, as well as the High Court Registry. We have sent out a tender to get engineers to give us a full report on what needs to be done and hopefully by January 2025 that building will be fully operational and the High Court will be moved there permanently as well as the Judges’ Chambers and the High Court Registry,” Attorney General Wilkin said.