Construction and rehabilitation of courts, as well as an increase in personnel, are among measures being undertaken by the Ministry of Justice this fiscal year, in order to improve access to justice by Jamaicans.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, informed that two additional courthouses will be built in Montego Bay to accommodate civil cases as well as possibly provide for a continuous circuit.
“We are going to start restructuring downstairs of the Supreme Court at the Civil Registry, (as) before the end of this year, we intend to have three additional courts,” he noted further.
The Minister was speaking at a public education fair held recently at the Supreme Court in Kingston.
He informed that discussions have started to increase the number of personnel working in the court system.
“The Chief Justice, the Minister of Finance and the Public Service and I have met to look at the present establishment, and I have indicated to the Ministry of Finance that we need more clerks, we need more prosecutors and we need more personnel, so that the courts can function,” he said.
He noted that the Ministry has already started to increase the number of prosecutors and, “hopefully, in the next fiscal year, there can be a continued increase,so that the Ministry will be able to prosecute cases in a timely manner”.
Minister Chuck said the essence of a modern democracy has to be threefold.
“The executive must function properly, the legislature must be able to pass the necessary laws, and the judiciary must be able to interpret and apply the law in order to ensure that the people of Jamaica really get justice,” he said.
“Justice should not only be accessible but should be delivered in an efficient, effective and reasonable time, as justice delayed is justice denied,” he said.