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Bahamas: No New Trials

ALL new trials have been suspended as the judiciary expands its coronavirus mitigation protocols. Members of the jury pool for each criminal court will be contacted by the respective bailiff to inform them when to return to court.

According to a statement from Chief Justice Brian Moree, arraignments fixed for March 27 are adjourned to May 8 at 10am and until March 31, only urgent bail applications will be heard in the Supreme Court.

The urgent bail judge roster is posted on the judiciary’s website – bahamasjudiciary.com. “Where possible, the hearing will proceed with the lawyer alone in court or by video conference,” Chief Justice Moree said. “If required, the accused person will be in court. In either instance, the in-person hearings will be conducted in accordance with social distancing requirements.”

The statement added that case management conferences and pre-trial reviews are also suspended until the week of April 14 as well as partly heard civil trials in the Supreme Court.

New dates for these matters will be assigned by the respective judge.

In the meantime, only urgent interlocutory applications will be heard. These are applications for injunctions; domestic violence protection orders; child protection orders; orders under the Mental Health Act; orders under international treaties; writs of habeas corpus; and any other orders deemed by the judge to be fit for hearing on an urgent basis.

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