Sentencing Advisory Committee entertained at British High Commissioner’s Residence in Barbados

Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson joined Dame Janice Pereira, Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, and judges from Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and Trinidad and Tobago at a two day meeting to establish sentencing guidelines across the region. Also participating was Mrs Justice Maura McGowan, a member of the High Court of England and Wales. The meeting was funded by the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom.

British High Commissioner, Janet Douglas, entertained the members of the committee to an elegant reception at her official Residence recently. Distinguished guests included Her Excellency the Governor General of Barbados, Dame Sandra Mason, US Ambassador Linda Taglialatela and the Director of Public Prosecutions, Donna Babb-Agard.

The Sentencing Advisory Committee was established in 2017 under the auspices of Dame Janice Pereira, Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, with the aim of developing sentencing guidelines for the territories served by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and the wider region in respect of the offences of murder, firearms, drugs and Proceeds of Crime/Money Laundering.

The Sentencing Committee at Ben Mar near Erdiston

Sentencing Guidelines are documents which set out a way for judges and magistrates to consider the seriousness of a particular offence, and to decide on the appropriate sentence in each case. These guidelines ensure that the sentence that is imposed on an offender reflects the crime that they have committed, and is proportionate to the seriousness of the offence.

From left, Sirah Abraham, Criminal Justice Adviser, Linda Taglialatela, US Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Sir Marston Gibson, Chief Justice of Barbados, HE Dame Sandra Mason, Governor General of Barbados, Dame Janice Pereira, Chief Justice of ECSC, Janet Douglas, British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

Sentencing Guidelines will serve the important role of ensuring that the courts are consistent in their approach to sentencing. By ensuring consistency, the sentencing process also becomes more transparent, as victims, the accused, lawyers, and the public can properly understand how a particular sentence has been reached. This will help the delivery of fair and efficient justice in the region.

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