JTI Provides Training For Personnel In Court System


The Justice Training Institute (JTI) carried out a number of training programmes for several categories of personnel in the island’s court system during the 2002/03 period.
According to the 2002/03 Court Report tabled in the House of Representatives last week, judges from the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal participated in seminars and workshops, which were integral to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) institutional strengthening of the island’s Justice Sector Project.
These workshops focused on the operation of the commercial courts, including restitution and the defence of change of position, commercial court training, and commercial operations.
Meanwhile, a continuous training programme in computer applications was designed to enhance the capability of justice sector personnel to adapt to the new technology, and equipping them to use it to improve their service quality.
Twenty-seven judges from the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal enhanced their skills in micro-computer applications. In addition, staff members from the Resident Magistrate’s Court and the Supreme Court also received training in supervisory management, as part of the on-going process of improving the quality of service to the public.
Justices of the Peace, who are at the lower end of the formal justice system, also received training with workshops held in the parishes of Portland, Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Mary, St. Thomas, St. Elizabeth, St. James, Trelawny, Hanover, and St. Catherine. One highlight of the training programme, the Report noted, was the two-day money laundering training programme held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston, where some 58 participants, headed by Chief Justice Lensley Wolfe, were involved.
In June 2003, about 20 students graduated from the Ministry’s Court Reporting School. The court reporting training programme was established to meet the growing demand for court reporters in the island’s courts, and the graduates are expected to fill vacant positions in the system to ease the case backlog caused by unavailable transcripts. The training programme, which lasted for 20 weeks, was aimed at ensuring that all trainees reached the qualifying speed of 180 words per minute.
The JTI was established in July 1997 to address the training needs of the justice system, and designs, conducts, develops, and organizes training programmes for personnel employed in the public and private sectors.
The Report also noted that there was a “sustained effort” in the rehabilitation of the country’s network of courthouses under the Court Improvement Programme, during the review period.
In 2002, some $120 million was spent on a wide range of repair work on these buildings. The work included electrical repairs, complete and partial roofing, refurbishing of furniture, and the improvement of security at the holding areas.
Structural improvements were also done. Courthouses which benefited from the improvement work were the Corporate Area Criminal Court, the St. Mary Resident Magistrate’s Court, the St. Thomas Resident Magistrate’s Court and its out station in Yallahs; the St. James Resident Magistrate’s Court as well as the Western Region Gun Court, situated on the premises of the St. James Resident Magistrate’s Court. Improvements were also made to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court building.
Significant improvements were also carried out at the St. Elizabeth Resident Magistrate’s Court, where additional space was secured. The new facility provides in excess of 1,000 square feet of space, which was renovated and furnished at a cost of some $750,000, the Report said.
The major rehabilitation work at the main courthouse, which is in its final stages, is estimated to cost an additional $2.1 million. Meanwhile, some 120 fire extinguishers were installed in all courthouses. In February 2003, the Ramble courthouse in Hanover was reopened, bringing the number of functioning courts in that parish to four. Plans are in progress to construct a Family Court in Hanover and to relocate the Manchester Resident Magistrate’s Court outside of the town of Mandeville.

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