JPs Commended for Performance in Justice System


Attorney General and Minister of Justice, A. J. Nicholson, has commended Justices of the Peace (JPs) for the role they were playing in the country’s justice system, and exhorted them to use their influence to restore Jamaica to being a caring and respectful nation. Giving the main address at the re-dedication of the Gayle Court House in St. Mary on November 5, Mr. Nicholson said JPs were at the root of the justice system, therefore they had a responsibility to restore the values that made the Jamaican society the excellent example it was in the past.
The Minister said he was confident that the crime rate in the country would be reduced significantly if the society became more caring and respectful of individuals and institutions, adding that by the nature of their work, in terms of their daily interaction with the citizens of their communities, JPs were in the best position to instil the principles of good values and attitudes in the society.
He noted that figures from the Ministry of Justice had shown that there was need for such a campaign in the effort to return Jamaica to a crime free society, citing a 78.5 per cent increase in petty session court cases in St. Mary in 2002, when compared with the figure for 2001.
Mr. Nicholson praised the JPs in St. Mary for the high rate at which they have been disposing of cases, and pointed out that the disposal rate in the petty session courts in the parish was above the national rate in both 2001 and 2002.
Turning to the rehabilitation of the courthouse, the Minister said this represented the progress being made by the Ministry of Justice in its Court Improvement Programme outside of the Kingston metropolitan area.
Mr. Nicholson said it was important that the facility remained open, and in a condition which provided comfort to all who meted out justice, as well as persons who sought justice for themselves.
He stressed the importance of preserving the building and protecting it from vandals, adding that responsibility for its upkeep did not lie solely with the Ministry of Justice, but also with the people of the community which it serves.
The courthouse, which was built in 1937, was rehabilitated at a cost of $3.4 million.

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