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St.Lucia to introduce Electronic monitoring and electronic crimes laws

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By SNO Staff

Government plans to enact “critical legislation” this year to strengthen the criminal justice system.Governor General Pearlette Louisy made the announcement during her Throne Speech on Tuesday.

Among the legislation to be enacted are the Witness Protection (Special Measures) Bill, Electronic Monitoring Bill, Electronic Crimes Bill, and Child Justice Bill.

Louisy said the Witness Protection (Special Measures) Bill seeks to protect the identity of witnesses who may be at risk should they testify and their identity be known.

She said the Electronic Monitoring Bill will reduce the number of persons sent to correctional facilities on remand, particularly young offenders.

She said the Electronic Crimes Bill will “aim to prevent criminal activities perpetrated through an electronic system and facilitating the collection of electronic evidence relating to criminal activity”.

She went on to say that the Child Justice Bill will establish a criminal justice process for children accused of committing offences that aims at protecting the rights of children as provided for in international instruments.

She added that the Bill “will establish the minimum age of criminal responsibility and establish a procedure for assessment of children, as well as an initial inquiry as compulsory procedures”.

It will also incorporate diversion of cases away from the formal court procedures, ensure that children are tried in a family court, and extend sentencing options available in respect of children, she said.

“Above all, the Bill will entrench the notion of restorative justice in respect of children,” she noted.

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