JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Twenty-nine computers, acquired under the Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) programme were formally handed over to Justice Minister, Hon. Mark Golding, on November 13, for deployment in the court system.
  • Canadian High Commissioner, Robert Ready, handed over the equipment to Mr. Golding, at the Supreme Court, North Complex, downtown Kingston.
  • JUST is a CAN$20 million project, being undertaken in collaboration with the Canadian Government, which aims to strengthen the country’s justice system through improvement in the service delivery and management capacity of justice sector institutions.

Twenty-nine computers, acquired under the Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) programme were formally handed over to Justice Minister, Hon. Mark Golding, on November 13, for deployment in the court system.

Canadian High Commissioner, Robert Ready, handed over the equipment to Mr. Golding, at the Supreme Court, North Complex, downtown Kingston.

JUST is a CAN$20 million project, being undertaken in collaboration with the Canadian Government, which aims to strengthen the country’s justice system through improvement in the service delivery and management capacity of justice sector institutions; boosting the capacity of ministries, departments, and agencies to coordinate and streamline the process of developing legislation; and enhancing  the capacity of citizens and civil organisations to participate in justice reform and promote public order.

Minister Golding, in his remarks at the presentation function, held in one of the new courtrooms at the Supreme Court, hailed the JUST programme, noting that it will improve the sense of justice for Jamaicans.

“We have, like many countries…problems of delay,  laws that are out of date and need to be reformed, among many other things, but we have (a partnership under JUST) that is tackling some of the critical elements that need to be reformed,” he said.

“We will be seeing outcomes such as cases flowing through the system more expeditiously and outcomes from the justice system that continue to be consistent with notions of justice, which underlie our society and the rule of law generally,” he noted.

He informed that the computer equipment will be deployed according to the wishes of the Chief Justice and the judiciary.

For his part, High Commissioner Ready, said a comprehensive programme of reform is being undertaking under JUST, to ensure efficiency within the justice system.

He noted that his Government is committed to partnering with the Jamaican Government in the reform process.

“What we are doing here today in the form of handing over computer hardware is really one of many elements that are going on under the JUST programme,” he said, pointing to intangible elements such as providing procedural manuals for prosecutors, establishing rules of conduct for judges, and strengthening law reform capacity.

“It is a system-wide process of justice reform that is driven by Jamaica’s priorities that is supported by Canadian’s financial contributions… we are starting to see some positive outcomes and we look forward to continuing through to this programme of reform,” he said.

In expressing gratitude, Principal Executive Officer, Court Management Services (CMS), Carol Hughes, said the much-needed gifts “will go a far way in filling the gaps that we have”.

The Department of Justice of Canada is responsible for the implementation of the technical legal assistance component of the JUST programme, under an administrative arrangement with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD).

To date, the Department of Justice team has worked with its Jamaican partners and DFATD on areas such as: structure and capacity of the Ministry of Justice; procedural manual for prosecutors; human resources management tools for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions; strengthening of the law reform capacity; training and capacity building on case management and case flow management in the courts; and a strategic governance model for the CMS.

Ongoing work includes: the development of a proposal for centralization of legal services under the Attorney General’s Chambers; the development of a comprehensive plan for court reform in respect of all major priority areas; and the training of prosecutors in various core competencies.