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T&T ponders 17th century policing initiative

Scene: Office of the Minister of Justice

The telephone rings.

“Good morning, Herbert Volney speaking.”

“Good morning, Minister. This is Chief Justice Ivor Archie.”

“Aah, Ivor. Good to hear from you, my boy. What can I do for you today?”

“Well, Minister, I’m rather concerned about your statements about conducting trials without juries.”

“I can’t see any problems there, Ivor. We have trials without juries all the time.”

Justice Minister Herbert Volney

“Yes, Minister, but they are minor offences in the magistrates’ courts: petty theft, driving offences, minor assaults. You’re talking about major crimes.”

“The principle is the same, my boy. Saves money and time. Don’t you believe that judges are more capable of interpreting the law than magistrates?”

“Well, yes, Minister, but…”

“There you go then. I’m glad we agree on this.”

“But I don’t agree!”

“Let’s not split hairs, Ivor. We have a two-year backlog of murder trials and I want that reduced to three months.”

“But we can’t deny people the right to be tried in front of their peers.”

“Listen, Ivor. This is coming from above.”

“What, Kamla?”


Uhm, God?”


“Higher than God?”

“Yup. Jack.”

National Security Minister, MP and ex-FIFA VP Jack Warner

“The new Minister of National Security?”

“Look, Ivor, between you and me, we have a problem. When Sandy was Minister of National Security, we didn’t really bother trying to solve all of the murders. We just went after the ones that affected important people or the ones that that buffoon Ian Alleyne highlighted.

“But now we have Jack to deal with. You know how he likes his publicity. He’s setting out to improve the murder solve rate by a further 50%. That means we’ll have another 100 murder trials per year. We just can’t cope.”

“I understand, Minister, but we can’t just dispense with people’s right to trial by jury.”

“It gets worse, my boy. Did you hear Jack say he’s not interested in the 21st Century Policing initiative?”

“Yes. He said we need to get back to 20th Century policing”

“Well, that statement was edited. Watch his lips closely. He said “17th Century policing.”

“17th Century?”

“You remember the old European witch trials by ordeal?”

“Where you throw a witch into a pond and if she’s guilty, she’ll float on the surface and if she’s innocent, she drowns?”

Probably a witch.

“Exactly. What Jack wants to do is round up a dozen or so murder suspects. He’ll then take them out on one of the old water taxis and throw them overboard. If any float, clearly they will be guilty. Therefore, there’s no need for a jury. They will just be taken before the judge and sentenced.”

“I’m, I’m, I’m…… absolutely speechless, Minister.”

“So was I at first. It’s simple and effective.”

“Well, I have to tell you clearly that I am not in favour of this and I’m certain that my colleagues will feel the same way.”

“I’m sure you’ll come around to our way of thinking, Ivor. Especially as we’re changing your job title from Chief Justice to Witchfinder General.”


Editor’s Note: This column is pure satire and all conversations are faked; no offence is meant at the parties named although they probably deserve it

About Filbert Street

Filbert Street
Filbert Street is a real columnist who works in a fantasy world that sometimes resembles our own.

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