10 Dec 2007

The organ grinder

Dana Seetahal must have the patience of a saint. I say that, not because she works with dunceys daily and keeps her temper, but like a responsible organ grinder, she has chosen to teach these dunceys to dance. It is for their own benefit of course.
In an effort to stem the trend of losing almost half of its criminal cases in the magistrates' courts, the Police Service has beefed up its anti-crime arsenal, with a team of highly trained prosecutors ready to battle skilled defence attorneys in the courtroom.
What stood out in this story for me was:
"The justice system is not forgiving to prosecutors who are ill-prepared, ineffective and ill-equipped for their job," Police Commissioner Trevor Paul told the Express following the graduation ceremony on Saturday night of 56 police prosecutors, who participated in a 30-hour advanced prosecutor's course.
What's that? 30 extra hours of training to make them effective prosecutors? Surely not!! Come on, Paul et al. Your dunceys failed five years(!) of secondary school (some of the senior ones even failed primary school), and so many years on the job they failed to learn what is required of them. Yet you want to make them effective with a mere 30 hours of training? Surely that's more than optimism? And after their dismal failings for years, one 30 hour course is hardly enough to call them 'highly trained'.

By the way, they would be coming up in court against properly trained lawyers, who are specialised in the various laws they practice, who spent hours of study, hours practicing.. heck, some spent years at the law school training. Compare them to a 'highly trained in 30 hours' prosecutor... hmmm, I wonder how the outcomes of future cases are going to be affected.
Course facilitator, attorney Dana Seetahal SC, told the Express yesterday that the content of the course was designed to correct the failings of court prosecutors.
The organ grinder herself is very kind, optimistic, and foolishly brave. Still, I guess one must attempt to train the duncey to dance, and only when utter frustration at failure creeps in, then shoot it.