New judge for St. Maarten installed

POSTED: 04/11/16 12:26 PM

Resources for investigating and prosecuting are scarce

St. Maarten – “The criminal justice system is unable to solve all security problems. For this reason, the Public Prosecutor’s Office will take the initiative in the coming years for active consultation and cooperation with partners to arrive at a joint intervention and prevention strategy,” said chief Prosecutor Ton Maan yesterday in his speech at the installation of Judge Carolien Giesen.

“The ambition of the prosecutor’s office is to contribute effectively to a safe and just society and to offer solid guarantees for an honest democratic constitutional state,”Maan continued. “The inconvenient reality is that, in spite of all efforts, the desired results are not there yet.”

The prosecutor’s office aims to develop an integral approach, to improve its communication with the community and to continue the professionalizing of its own organization.

St. Maarten Stumbling blocks

Maan addressed also the stumbling blocks that get in the way of the prosecutor’s office work. “It is a fact that the available resources for investigating and prosecuting are scarce. The economic reality of St. Maarten will not change that in the coming years. The point of departure is therefore that we will have to do more with the available resources in terms of money and people.”

The chief prosecutor said that “disinterest, complacency and cynicism must be replaced by involvement of citizens, companies, social organizations and the media, focused on a culture of legality and justice. “Intervention by criminal justice has only a temporary effect, unless the community disapproves collectively of lawlessness and takes shared standards and values as the point of departure.”

The prosecutor’s office will seek cooperation from “partners with authority and moral leadership” in the world of churches, schools, community centers, volunteer organizations and sport clubs,” Maan said.

He closed off his speech with a joke. “Judges are not free of mistakes. I refer here to the judge who wanted to charge a male witness with perjury because he had said under oath that he had one brother, while his sister had said the same morning that she had two.”

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