New judicial complex planned for old post office site
The former General Post Office site on East Hill Street has been earmarked as the home of the new Supreme Court building, according to Attorney General Carl Bethel.
Bethel made the announcement at his address at a special sitting to mark the opening of the 2019 Legal Year earlier this week.
Though providing no details on when construction will begin, Bethel said that we can look forward to a “proper judicial complex”.
At present, the supreme courts in New Providence are located in four separate building in the downtown area.
During his speech at the ceremony, Bar Association President Khalil Parker also harped on the physical deficiencies of the courts.
He said, “We continue to see judges and judicial staff contending with a dislocated Supreme Court physical plant, which requires files to be trekked up and down the City of Nassau. These are not new problems. These are not novel problems. However, we have yet to see substantive engagement from the government demonstrating any semblance of urgency or a plan to alleviate these vexing problems in the future.”
Parker also said that litigants had to be physically lifted up several flights of stairs due to a lack of disabled access in the Supreme Court.
Parker also said that matters have been adjourned due to malfunctioning air conditioning systems.
The late Chief Justice Stephen Isaacs highlighted the need for a judicial complex at his swearing in on August 10, 2018, just two weeks before he died.
Isaacs said, “Our immediate concern has always been that the judges are separated into, in this case, four buildings.
“But we’re getting closer because they’re all on Bank Lane now, instead of scattered all in different locations. So that’ll help us coordinate our efforts.
“Having a purpose-built judicial complex is still in the works. It’s been in the works since I was registrar. And with any luck you may see it before I retire.”
The old post office building is set to be demolished, but the timeline for that is unclear.