expedient for rectifying the situation and I have so recommended in the earlier part of my address.
REDUCING DELAYS IN HEARING CIVIL CASES Delays in the hearing of civil cases will unfortunately continue, because of the present congestion of this list and the need to give priority to criminal cases. When however the measures I have advocated to relieve the situation are adopted, delays will be considerably lessened.
As to the vacation of 2 ½ months taken by the Court in each year, the position is that each Judge is entitled to have 2 months vacation in every two years. Under the present system (which was first advocated by the Bar Association in 1955, then a united, vibrant and powerful body), a Judge is required to take his vacation in August and September of every year and at no other time. If he does not take it, he loses it, because he is not allowed to accumulate it. Five and sometimes six of the ten Judges of the High Court are allowed to go on vacation during this period while the other five or four as the case may
be, are required to remain on duty to them sits in Tobago to hear criminal
To allow Judges to go on vacation during the term will cause serious dislocation of the business of the Courts. Acting appointments to the Bench are not only undesirable as the Bar pointed out in 1955, but suitable material for that purpose is well-nigh unobtainable. The convenience of members of the Bar and Law Society, who are also entitled to some vacation, must be considered as well, since without their assistance the Courts will be unable to function effectively and in many cases, at all. Whenever it is feasible however, criminal courts sit in August in Port-of-Spain and San Fernando, as was the case last year, but this is always dependent on the availability of sufficient Judges during that month.