Scores of persons are expected to benefit from a range of justice services at the first Justice Fair to be held for the financial year in St. Catherine next week.
Free legal advice and consultation will be provided by a number of public-sector entities at the event to be held in the Greendale community on Wednesday, July 19. The fair will run from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Executive Director of the Legal Aid Council, Hugh Faulkner, told JIS Newsthat the Justice Fair seeks to pull together several branches of justice-related services for communities with limited access.
“Each entity will have a booth to allow citizens to approach and get information. Some of them have matters relating to housing, administration of properties and civil matters. All of these agencies will be available to the public to provide information, guidance and assistance,” he said.
Agencies partnering on the initiative include Dispute Resolution Foundation, Victim Support Division, Restorative Justice, Criminal and Civil Justice Administration, the Registrar General’s Department, Office of Utilities Regulation, Trafficking in Persons Unit, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP).
The Consumer Affairs Commission, Administrator General’s Department, Jamaica Intellectual Property Office and the Office of the Children’s Advocate will be available to the public.
Additionally, the Office of the Children Registry, National Housing Trust, Office of the Public Defender, Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) and the Police Community and Safety Branch are also expected at the fair.
Four justice fairs are held each year.
“In most communities that we have been, there is usually a steady stream of persons from start until we close,” Mr. Faulkner said.
The justice fairs are conducted by the Legal Aid Council, through support from the community services component of the Citizen Security and Justice Programme III (CSJP).
The Legal Aid Council, meanwhile, continues to provide legal services to communities at stops across the island through its Mobile Justice Unit. The Unit was rolled out in January and has since reported significant uptake of its services.
The Mobile Unit has so far made stops at the De La Vega Community Centre in St. Catherine; the Effortville Primary School in Clarendon; and the Civic Centre in Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay, St. James, since July.
The Unit will be at Canaan Heights in Clarendon on July 18; in Barbican, St. Andrew, on July 25; and in Greater Brown’s Town, Kingston, on July 31.
On July 20, the Council will also be hosting a Legal Aid Fair with the Cornwall Bar Association in St. James.