As the courts are, subject only to the Constitution and the law, independent in the exercise of their judicial functions the Deputy, will appreciate that it is not open to me to intervene or comment on the conduct of any individual case.
I have, however, had inquiries made in this case and I understand that the relevant transcript has recently been furnished to the Court of Criminal Appeal and the case can now be entered in the next available list to fix a date for hearing.
Due to vacancies in the grade of court stenographer, the criminal courts have found it necessary to utilise the services of stenographers from private agencies, as happened in this instance. Coupled with the pressure of work in the courts, this has resulted in difficulties in the early provision of transcripts.
At my Department's request the Civil Service Commission has arranged a competition for the recruitment of stenographers and suitably qualified candidates will shortly be called for interview. In the meantime consultations are being held with the private agencies providing a stenography service to the criminal courts with a view to expediting the completion of transcripts.