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Bid to create new home for Supreme Court launched

Dame Louis Brown-evans court building

A request for proposal to create a new home for the Supreme Court as well as a family court has been issued by the Government.

The RFP asked for companies interested in the renovation of the third to sixth floors of the Dame Lois Brown-Evans building to create suitable space for court services and staff.

The RFP said the floors would be used “to accommodate the Judicial Department functions and the relocation of Supreme Courts and supporting staff from Sessions House and to create a new unified family court dedicated to children and family matters”.

It added: “The objective is to contract for professional architectural interior design services in order to provide the best interior design solution for the internal renovation of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors of DLBE.

“The design and associated consideration of works shall provide contemporary and efficiently designed work environments and address key concerns like providing separate circulation routes for public, prisoners, jurors and judiciary members.”

The document said the selection process will be based on a combination of price, experience and qualifications, local benefits and references.

Anyone interested in a bid can take part in a site meeting on October 28.

The submission deadline for the project is November 20, with the anticipated execution of the agreement scheduled for December 11.

Bermuda’s judiciary has faced repeated challenges in recent years because of a lack of suitable courtrooms.

The Bermuda Judiciary Annual Report 2018 raised concerns after the loss of Supreme Court 3, which had been intended to house the Court of Appeal.

Renovations work at Sessions House closed the historic Supreme Court 1 and Supreme Court 2, in the same building, was changed into the meeting place for the Senate.

The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal moved into a single, modified courtroom in Magistrates’ Court as a result of the closures.

But the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic – and the lack of Covid-safe facilities – forced the Supreme Court to halt jury trials earlier this year.

Government announced in the summer that it would carry out renovations to Sessions House to allow jury trials to be carried out safely in Supreme Court 1.

Puisne Judge Craig Attridge said last week it was believed criminal trials would be able to resume in Sessions House in the “not too distant future”.

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Published October 21, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated October 20, 2020 at 4:54 pm)

Bid to create new home for Supreme Court launched

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