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Attorney General and Minister of Justice Senator the Hon. Dorothy Lightbourne Q.C., has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to the transformation of Jamaica’s justice system.
“We are continuing to focus our energy and expertise on a number of projects, programmes and legislations that will positively affect the lives of Jamaicans,” she said.
Miss Lighbourne was speaking at the Annual Joint Devotion and Church Service, at Swallowfield Chapel in Kingston, on Tuesday (January 19).
Among the programmes on which the Minister said focus would be placed include the Justice Undertakings for Social Reform (JUST) and the Restorative Justice project.
“We must not forget hope, when we seek to carry out the operations of the Ministries, in guiding our target and deadlines. Never allow despair to overcome your spirit, but rather let us put our shoulders to the wheel,” Senator Lightbourne urged.
National Security Minister, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, who also spoke, stressed the need for collaboration and co-operation among individuals at all levels of the society to curb crime and violence, and instill peace across the nation.
Describing 2009 as “eventful”, Senator Nelson noted that the nation faced numerous challenges during the year, while lamenting that 2010 has started in almost a similar vein.
“But through it all, we in the Ministry and, certainly, the Ministry of Justice, can give thanks to almighty God for the accomplishments that have been realised through the dedication and determination of our committed members of staff,” Senator Nelson said.
He added that the Ministry recognises that the nation’s collective longing for a reduction or cessation of wanton acts perpetrated by the evil and the unlawful, have reverberated throughout our land.”And these longings and calls are justifiable, because we all long for the day when the peace of God prevails throughout our land,” he stated.
Senator Nelson paid tribute to members of the security forces who died in the pursuit of their “sacred mandate” to enforce the law and maintain order during 2009. He also lamented the death of two police officers, in the line of duty, since the start of 2010.
He highlighted the inter-dependence between the Ministries of National security, and Justice, arguing that the nation was dependent on the efforts of both Ministries in maintaining law and order in the society.
He said that, in the face of the gravest threats of the lawless, the Ministries were able to strengthen and maintain the survival of the nation, through the use of economic, military and political exercises, as well as the exercise of diplomacy.
“We were able to use diplomacy to rally allies, and isolate the range of threats that confronted our people, marshall scarce resources to facilitate co-operation, maintain, effectively, our armed forces, implement civil defence and emergency preparedness measures, including anti-terrorism legislations, ensure the resilience of critical infrastructure, use intelligence to defeat and detect and avoid threats and use our counter intelligence resources to protect the nation from internal threats,” he explained.
He said that security and justice were the pillars on which all great democracies exist.
To this end, Senator Nelson asserted that the success of both Ministries over the next 12 months in confronting crime and violence, will depend greatly on stakeholders “holding each other’s hands” and moving forward to make Jamaica an instrument of peace.

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