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Inquiry launched into party allegedly held at magistrates court

Court officials launched an internal inquiry into a party that allegedly occurred inside the Magistrates Court Complex on July 9, Chief Justice Brian Moree and Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt said.

The inquiry follows the circulation of a video that showed men and women — not wearing masks or physically distancing — dancing on each other. The video was reportedly recorded at the complex and inside a courtroom.

In a joint statement released on Friday, Moree and Ferguson-Pratt said some of the individuals in the video appear to be “members of the court staff while others do not appear to be employed by the judiciary”.

They described it as a “serious matter”, which requires their “urgent attention and action consistent with maintaining public confidence in the administration of justice”.

“The scenes shown on the video do not reflect the standards and professionalism of the members of the court staff in discharging their duties to the public,” Moree and Ferguson-Pratt said.

The statement added, “In response to this, we wish to advise that an internal inquiry into this incident has been launched to determine what actually occurred in the Magistrates Court building and the facts and circumstances surrounding the events, which are partially captured on the video.

“Appropriate action will be taken in line with the conclusion of the inquiry.”

Moree and Ferguson-Pratt said they were “cognizant of the importance of preserving the decorum of court buildings and the dignity and fairness of all court proceedings”.

They noted continued efforts to reform and modernize the court system in The Bahamas.

“We trust that the results of our endeavors will become apparent to the Bahamian public over the next three to six months, as we execute a series of new initiatives in the delivery of justice to all persons in The Bahamas,” Moree and Ferguson-Pratt said.

 

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