JIS News

A new courthouse is to be constructed in Bryan’s Bay, Port Antonio, to replace the existing structure, which was badly damaged during a fire last July.
The facility will be built at a cost of $247 million, through a partnership between the National Commercial Bank and the Ministry of Justice.
In his remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony held on August 24, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Senator A.J. Nicholson, said the Ministry was proud to be associated with the venture, which was “a partnership in development and institutional capacity building”.
He pointed out, that the real beneficiaries of the partnership would be the people of Portland.
Mr. Nicholson said the structure to be erected would require constant and studied care and maintenance, “if it was to occupy a place of primacy in the developmental tapestry that was envisaged for Port Antonio”.
The construction of the new courthouse represents phase one of a development programme being undertaken by NCB in Port Antonio, with phase two being the rehabilitation and conversion of the old courthouse into the Port Antonio branch of the bank and a museum.Construction is expected to commence in September, and should be completed over a 12-month period.
When completed, the two storey building will house separate sections for petty sessions, resident magistrate and circuit courts respectively, in addition to being energy efficient and designed to facilitate physically challenged persons.
Space will also be provided for offices for the custos of the parish and the president of the Lay Magistrates Association.
Also addressing the ceremony was Chief Justice Lensley Wolfe, who said the initiative was a significant one in the development of the country’s justice system.
For his part, NCB chairman, Michael Lee-Chin said the occasion signaled the start of a partnership, which will redound to the benefit of the bank and the people of Portland.
He congratulated the management of the bank for making the project a reality and gave the assurance that everything would be done to ensure a long and fruitful relationship between NCB and the people of the parish.