Jus­tice min­istry work­ing to ease back­log of cases

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT -

IT IS ex­pected that Ja­maicans should be­gin to see sig­nif­i­cant re­sults in terms of turn­around times, ac­cess to jus­tice for marginalised groups such as the poor and men­tally ill, and fewer chil­dren fac­ing for­mal prose­cu­tion in the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem, fol­low­ing a con­tract sign­ing be­tween the Min­istry of Jus­tice, Tankweld Fabri­ca­tion Lim­ited and to Keith Ryan and Com­pany Lim­ited.

Tankweld is to un­der­take the in­stal­la­tion of ‘Z pro­file lou­vre blades at the Supreme Court on King Street in down­town Kingston at a cost of $21.44 mil­lion. Keith Ryan and Com­pany was con­tracted for the pro­cure­ment of high­den­sity fil­ing sys­tems for the Min­istry of Jus­tice’s head of­fice at a cost of $21.87 mil­lion.

Jus­tice Min­is­ter Del­roy Chuck be­moaned the fact the there has been a lack in management over the years which con­tin­ues to con­trib­ute to the back­log of cases, among other gaps in the sys­tem.

“This is where we are putting in all the courts sta­tis­ti­cal and data management, so we know how all the cases are flow­ing and we know how many times the cases would have come to court. So now, we get a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the case flow within the Parish Courts, the Supreme Court and the Court of Ap­peal,” he told jour­nal­ists at a press con­fer­ence and con­tract sign­ing at the min­istry’s of­fices in St An­drew last week.

“When this is done, we can get a bet­ter idea of how to re­spond in terms of ad­di­tional judges, prose­cu­tors and ad­di­tional per­son­nel be­cause, at the present time, one of the main fail­ures of the court sys­tem is the lack of management of the cases and how they move through the courts,” Chuck con­tin­ued.


He added that “all of this will be help­ing us with the back­log re­duc­tion, and with the back­log re­duc­tion, there can be no doubt that we are go­ing to have to in­crease [the num­ber of] Court of Ap­peal judges, [have the] full com­ple­ment of Supreme Court judges and even more Parish Court judges.”

Chuck in­di­cated that there con­tin­ues to be a huge gap be­tween where the min­istry is and where they want to be, but pointed out that they are work­ing hard to en­hance the sys­tem.

“We are in touch with the court sys­tem and all the stake­hold­ers as to how many more per­son­nel they need, cer­tainly for the next fis­cal year, so that the court­houses them­selves can per­form at a higher pace and that per­sons us­ing the courts can feel that their cases are be­ing dealt with ex­pe­di­tiously,” the min­is­ter said.

“I’ve looked at a num­ber of ar­eas where we can have ad­di­tional courts. We now have four Drug Courts [and] we are ex­pect­ing to put in an­other one in Mandeville,” the min­is­ter stated.


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