Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 09, 2017 (SKNIS): The Honourable Vincent Byron Jr, Attorney General, said that the Government remains very committed in ensuring that a dedicated Land Registry becomes operational in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis this year.

Attorney General Byron was at the time speaking at the third in a series of town hall meetings dubbed “Good Governance and Accountability for Prosperity” on Tuesday, February 07, at the Newtown Community Centre. He said that it is of paramount importance to separate the Land Registry from the High Court Registry for ease of access.

“We have had this large backlog of cases and we have had a lot of work in terms of the registry, and this has slowed down the process and in particular, in one area, and that is the time taken to produce titles for land, certificate of titles and deeds,” he said. “People need to be able to have a certain amount of certainty that when you purchase land and you want to get your title, whether to go to the bank to raise funds to build your home or whatever it is, that there is as it was the title is produced in a timely fashion.”

The land Registry will be housed in the Georgian House, formerly the Clico Building. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) is also housed in the same building. Minister Byron said that the establishment of the Land Registry falls within the purview of the government’s good governance agenda.

Still on the matter of good governance, the attorney general said that over the next few weeks a new High Court Chamber will be opened at the Sir Lee L Moore Judicial Complex in Basseterre.

“This would mean a second High Court in Basseterre that allows for the first time for us to have two resident judges to reduce the backlog of cases in order to speed up the process by which litigants can face each other, where you have to be tried whether on a criminal charge and you may be remanded – that the time shall be reduced by which people remain in jail before they can be tried if they are not on bail,” said the attorney general. “Those who have civil matters – you may have disputes whether they are going to be over land, family disputes, divorces or whatever it is, that this backlog will be reduced significantly as we now move to improve the court system.”

Minister Byron said that plans are also on the way to introduce a third magistrate court in Basseterre that will also help to reduce the backlog of cases that exist.