Jus­tice for all

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & .COMMENTARY -


IWOULD like to ap­plaud the minister of jus­tice and the Gov­ern­ment on the im­prove­ments they have set out to achieve in the min­istry. The an­nounce­ments the jus­tice minister made in The Gleaner re­cently are long over­due; how­ever, it’s good that the Gov­ern­ment has de­cided to make a start.

I am a bit dis­ap­pointed, how­ever, that the minister only spoke about tech­no­log­i­cal im­prove­ments and trans­for­ma­tion. While this is im­por­tant and nec­es­sary, I be­lieve the peo­ple of Ja­maica are de­mand­ing change in poli­cies and pro­ce­dures that will reduce cor­rup­tion and level the play­ing field with re­gard to jus­tice. This is the is­sue that needs to be ad­dressed im­me­di­ately.

Our jus­tice sys­tem has be­come in­ac­ces­si­ble to mil­lions of poor peo­ple. We must en­sure every­one has ac­cess to equal jus­tice. Thomas Jef­fer­son wrote that “the most sa­cred of the du­ties of a gov­ern­ment is to do equal and im­par­tial jus­tice to all its ci­ti­zens”.

Af­ter the ver­dict of the re­cently con­cluded Kha­jeel Mais case has left the public with a sense of in­jus­tice the fam­ily, and the public have felt a sense of in­jus­tice and in­se­cu­rity, es­pe­cially poor peo­ple. I am no ex­pert in the field of law and jus­tice, but what is ob­vi­ous is that Ja­maicans have lit­tle or no faith in the jus­tice sys­tem, and cases like these are part of the rea­son.

The is­sues of class, money, and con­nec­tions have been on the tip of most Ja­maicans’ tongues. The jus­tice sys­tem is not seen as fair and im­par­tial. If peo­ple do not per­ceive the Pa­trick Pow­ell, who has been freed of mur­der­ing Kha­jeel Mais.

ju­di­cial sys­tem to be fair, it loses its le­git­i­macy. The poor man should be able to get the same stan­dard as jus­tice as the rich man. Un­til this is achieved, the coun­try is fail­ing its peo­ple. GARTH THOMP­SON tho­mot2@hot­mail.com

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