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New Homes for Law Commission, Land Registry, Intellectual Property Office, Legal Aid & Advice Centre and Electoral Office
Justice and Legal
Office of the AG
Four departmental units superintended by the Ministry of Justice and legal Affairs and one functionary operating under the purview of the Office of the Attorney General will find new homes in 2021. Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Hon. Vincent Byron made the disclosure during his presentation on the 2021 Budget in the National Assembly in December 2020.
He was at the time making reference to the acquisition by the government of the building previously owned by the firm of Barker and Kelly and located at George Street in Basseterre on St. Kitts. The premises had been latterly occupied by the C&C Supermarket and other occupants but had since been vacant for some time.
According to the AG, “Mr. Speaker, ….in that building you will find that there is going to be a major renovation going on. It will house…ultimately five departments under our [ministries]. It will have the Law Commission …… on the top floor of that building in an attic….. On the second floor will be the Registry of Lands….It will also house the Intellectual Property Office…. We also have the ground floor where ….the Legal Aid & Advice Centre will move to that building as well as we expect that the Electoral Office will find its new home there at the corner of George Street and The Sands [Complex] opposite the Courthouse”
Minister Byron expressed his expectation that the required renovations to the second floor and the upper floor would be advanced in time for a hand over early in 2021, with the remaining sections on the ground floor becoming available later in the year. He opined that this building is another exciting project for the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs. He also referred to the relevant budgetary allocation of $1.4 plus Million in addition to the $2.5 Million spent on the Annex to the Judicial And Legal Services Complex at Independence Square Street.
The aforementioned departmental units and functionary have been challenged in terms of space for some time. The Attorney General has continued to seek to provide relief by way of efforts at procuring and allocating adequate space. The most recent developments will augur well for the increased comfort of staff as well as the general public who interact with them. This should also promote greater productivity and enhanced customer service going forward.