BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC - Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite outlines an ambitious agenda to tackle crime over the next few months including the establishment of a drug court as well as the introduction of legislation to fight corruption and improve the offshore financial sector.
Brathwaite is particularly keen on the drug court which he expects to be operational within four to six months once necessary legislation is enacted.
“We are looking at having a drug court in Barbados and I am enthusiastic about that because we are seeing lots of young people going to prison because of drug offences or drug habits. What we need to do is cure them instead of just incarcerating them,” he told the Nation’s Sunday Sun newspaper.
Brathwaite revealed that his ministry is awaiting the results of an in-depth study to determine the level of drug use on the island even as it holds dialogue with key professionals required for the court’s operations including psychologists and psychiatrists.
“The National Taskforce on Crime Prevention is going to do that study for us. It has 60 days to get that study to us.”
“It’s not a question of whether or not we will do a drug court; it’s a question of when we will do it and the format. The research will give us the necessary data to take that forward,” he noted.
The Attorney General said the drug court will not be a separate court. He explained that “it will be a matter of the operationalisation of a court within the court system.”
With respect to the introduction of anti-corruption legislation, Brathwaite is hoping this be presented to Parliament shortly.
“Legislatively, we have the anti-corruption legislation which is before a joint committee of Parliament. We had promised that we would have done that before the end of the year. It is my hope that we can get it within a month or two,” he said.
The Attorney General further disclosed that long awaited legislation for the international business sector is forthcoming.
“…there are certain pieces of legislation- private trust company legislation, an amendment to the trustee act, an amendment to the mutual fund legislation. It is my hope we can have those done within the next couple of months,” Brathwaite said.