The Government has set aside a total of $58 million for the Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) programme in the Ministry of Justice.
As outlined in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives, the project seeks to: improve service delivery and management capacity of justice sector institutions; improve capacity of Ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to co-ordinate and streamline the process of developing legislation; and improve capacity of citizens and civil society organisations to participate in justice reform and promote public order.
For this year, the money will be used for: developing and implementing strategic plans, policies and procedure guidelines to reform and modernise the justice sector; provide support to MDAs to align expected results, outputs and outcomes to all justice sector projects with the Justice Reform Policy; conduct meetings/interviews with critical staff and stakeholders; make logistical arrangements for consultations/meetings with prosecutors and other officials to refine standards of professional conduct; and provide technical assistance to support the development of an organisational structure for the courts.
Physical achievements up to date include: establishment of the Justice Reform Implementation Unit; consultants contracted to review the role and functions of Justices of the Peace in Jamaica; and decriminalisation of minor offences; consultant selected to develop communication strategy; and draft Standards of professional conduct for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions developed.
The project, which is being funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), is slated to end in March 2016.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter