The Joint Court of Justice organised a moot court together with the Caribbean Netherlands Prosecutor’s Office on Saba on Wednesday, April 19. At the end of the court session, Joint Court President Mauritsz de Kort announced that the Saba branch of the court will be opened soon.
Teenagers of forms 3-5 from Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) were invited to the main office of the National Department Caribbean Netherlands RCN in The Bottom, where they were given a presentation by De Kort, chief prosecutor for Bonaire Saba and St. Eustatius Walter Kupers and local acting judge of instruction Gerald Simmons-De Jong. They shared with the teenagers and their parents how an average day looks like for a judge, a prosecutor and a lawyer, and why they chose to pursue a career in law.
“Working for the Public Prosecution Service is working for justice in society. Prosecution ensures that rules and regulations are enforced. We lead the criminal investigation and prosecute the people who break the rules. We do that for the safety and freedom of all the people. Working at the Public Prosecution Service is dynamic, exciting and important, but above all very relevant for the society and its people,” said Chief Prosecutor Kupers.
An important goal for this day was to make teenagers more enthusiastic for a possible study and career in law. Recently, the Court and the Prosecutor’s Office were represented in the Netherlands during the National Career Day event.
The moot court on Saba was part of an awareness and recruitment initiative, as both the judicial partners are always open for internship or traineeship opportunities for children from the islands. During these traineeships students can get to know the organisation better and see if a law career is something for them.
The students of the moot court were divided in four groups. The moot court case that they had to handle was about a fight between three friends on Saba that led to a potential attempted murder. From form three the following students joined the moot court: Cianda and Kendra Gomez, Laryan del Carmen Carrion, Espermal Hassell, Benjamin Hermans, Sergio Hughes, Stefan Johnson, Zcnaida Matthew, Lex Plijter, Rashijden Riley, Kerry-Ann Simmons, Preston TenHolt, Noah Zagers and Sheldon Blair.
From form four: Thejhonae Campbell, Bea Durand, Trevon Johnson, Keon Peterson; and from form 5: Kadesha Daniel, Lorena Hassell, Elizabeth Henry, Theoni Wrigley and Mario Zaegors. The first group was tasked as the prosecutor who had to present the indictment to the panel of judges. The second group was tasked with the defence of the first suspect. The third group was tasked with the defence of the second suspect. The fourth and final group had the job to judge all three presenting groups and decide who won.
The different teams were supported by De Kort, Kupers and Simmons-De Jong and teachers Martie and Veronica.
After the moot court session Simmons-De Jong handed each student a certificate of participation signed by the court president and chief prosecutor.
SCS principal Jessica Besselink thanked the organisations from Curacao and Bonaire for the “great educational opportunity” they provided for Saba students. “This event was very much appreciated, and we arc very honoured to be included in a programme such as this,” she said.
“The Joint Court of Justice services all six islands, but only has branches on four of them. This means that it is important to improve and work on our presence on the islands Saba and St. Eustatius, and with that improve the access the Saban and Statian residents have to the judiciary. For this reason, I made use of this special day on Saba to also announce during my meeting with Island Governor [Jonathan – Ed.] Johnson and State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Alexandra van Huffelen that within a short term we will be opening a branch of the Joint Court of Justice on Saba as well,” said De Kort.
The Daily Herald.