Joint Court hosted open house in Saba

The Joint Court of Justice held an open house at Saba’s new courthouse in Windwardside on Satur­day to inform residents of its presence and purpose on the island and educate locals about the court’s procedures.

St. Maarten-based Judge Gertjan Wouters spoke to the open house’s visitors on a vast number of topics, such as judges’ integrity and main­taining privacy in a small is­land setting, as most of the court’s hearings are open to the public, except for fam­ily cases and those involving minors.

Joint Court Judge Gertjan Wouters (left) speaking with a Saba resident at Saturday’s open house.

Residents spoke about dif­ficulties surrounding legal aid, as there is only one law firm in Saba and high costs deter some from seeking as­sistance.

According to Wouters, the court is trying to improve this situation through the recently opened Small Claims Court, which people can use for claims less than US $5,587. Individuals and businesses can represent themselves, without the need to hire a lawyer, with the cost of filing a case between $50 and $100.

Wouters said there is a need for the court to educate residents more, so the com­munity can better utilise its services. More open house events will hopefully be held in the future, he said.

The Daily Herald.

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