Defence Headquarters, 23 OCT. ‘23 (RBDF): In an effort to enhance and strengthen its administration of military justice, The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), over the past weeks, has engaged in discussions with various international and regional partners, in the form of a Two-Week Training Seminar aboard HMBS Coral Harbour from October 2 to October 13, 2023.

The primary purpose of this seminar was to provide legal and judicial training to Warrant Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers, and Senior Commissioned Officers within the RBDF. This training focused on the Defence Act Chapter 211 and the Defence Regulations Chapter 211 and was aimed at equipping these officers and marines with the knowledge and skills necessary to objectively and effectively fulfill their roles and functions within Summary Court and Courts Martial proceedings.

Additionally, the seminar seeks to improve their understanding of the practices and procedures associated with these legal processes.

The seminar covered specific roles, including:

  1. Convening Officers
  2. Duties of the President and Members
  3. Duties of the Judge Advocate
  4. Authorizing Officer
  5. Prosecution Counsel
  6. Defence Counsel
  7. Other key actors within Summary Court and Courts Martial proceedings

By providing comprehensive training in these aspects of military justice, the RBDF is poised to transform the legal structure of the Defense Force. This transformation is likely to result in a more competent, fair, and effective military justice system, enabling the RBDF to uphold its legal responsibilities and obligations with greater proficiency and integrity.

The course culminated in a focused discussion with Sir Michael Barnett, the President of the Court of Appeal for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, where RBDF members had the opportunity to discuss issues and pose questions to him concerning military law as well as law in general. The training also included two (2) members of the Barbados Defence Force: Captain Neville Corbin and Lieutenant Kashara Forde.

This legal training is a continuation from last year’s training which took place is Georgetown, Barbados and represents another significant step toward achieving a higher standard of legal administration within the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

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