Supreme Court to Accommodate More Criminal Cases

Photo: Mark Bell Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck (centre), addresses a sensitisation session on justice services at the Ministry’s Constant Spring offices in St. Andrew on September 20. He is flanked by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Carol Palmer (right); and Centre Manager, Trench Town Restorative Justice Centre, Vuraldo Barnett.

Story Highlights

  • Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, says that the number of criminal courts at the Supreme Court, downtown Kingston, will be increased from four to seven.
  • Minister Chuck said the addition of the three courtrooms will address the backlog of criminal cases.
  • “At the moment, cases that are ready to be tried can’t be tried because there are only four courts. When we have (more courtrooms) then we will be able to move quickly with the backlog,” - Minister Chuck

Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, says that the number of criminal courts at the Supreme Court, downtown Kingston, will be increased from four to seven.

He made the disclosure at a sensitisation session on justice services held on September 20 at the Ministry’s Constant Spring Road offices in St. Andrew.

“We are retrofitting three courts in the Supreme Court to be used for criminal trials. They were formerly civil courts… those three civil courts will be retrofitted so you have jury, a dock for the prisoner and a witness box,” he informed.

The refurbishing work is slated for completion by the end of the year.

Minister Chuck said the addition of the three courtrooms will address the backlog of criminal cases.

“At the moment, cases that are ready to be tried can’t be tried because there are only four courts. When we have (more courtrooms) then we will be able to move quickly with the backlog,” he noted.

The sensitisation sessions, which commenced September 1 and continue until the end of the year, aim to raise awareness among key stakeholders about the various services provided by the Ministry.

Targeted are custodes, justices of the peace, school administrators, teachers, business owners and members of the clergy.

As part of the sessions, 1,000 community persons will be trained per month in the areas of restorative justice, child diversion, victim support, legal aid, human trafficking, child abuse and domestic violence.

So far, more than 300 persons from Kingston, St. James and St. Ann have been trained.

 

The sensitisation sessions are being carried out through the Canadian Government-funded Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) programme.

The initiative seeks to strengthen the justice system through the provision of new technologies, tools and processes that will reduce case backlogs, improve case management, and help make the resolution of cases more efficient.

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