Chief Justice Urges Timely Disposal of Cases as Home Circuit Easter Session Opens

Photo: Douglas Mcintosh Chief Justice, Hon. Brian Sykes (third right), and Custos Rotulorum for St. Andrew, Hon. Patricia Dunwell (second left), are escorted by Commanding Officer for the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Kingston Central Division, Superintendent Robert Gordon , in inspecting the guard of honour formed by the police in front of the Supreme Court on King Street, downtown Kingston. Occasion was the opening ceremony for the Home Circuit Court’s Easter Term on Wednesday (April 4).

Story Highlights

  • Chief Justice, Hon. Brian Sykes, is urging greater stakeholder collaboration and effort in ensuring the timely disposal of court cases, and reduction in the backlog of matters for trial.
  • Mr. Sykes said judges, attorneys, clerks and the police have a responsibility to ensure that the judicial system operates as efficiently and effectively as possible.
  • Mr. Sykes indicated that as part of measures to assist personnel with matters such as case scheduling, training sessions are being programmed for this year.

Chief Justice, Hon. Brian Sykes, is urging greater stakeholder collaboration and effort in ensuring the timely disposal of court cases, and reduction in the backlog of matters for trial.

He made the call during Wednesday’s (April 4) opening of the Easter Term of the Home Circuit Court in Kingston, for which 958 cases are listed.

Mr. Sykes said judges, attorneys, clerks and the police have a responsibility to ensure that the judicial system operates as efficiently and effectively as possible.

He said this includes ensuring that court proceedings commence on time; that cases are properly prepared for trial, and that there is timely scheduling of matters to avoid deferments; and that persons in custody are brought to court on time on the days when their matters are scheduled.

Mr. Sykes indicated that as part of measures to assist personnel with matters such as case scheduling, training sessions are being programmed for this year.

He said it is anticipated that these will get under way by September, once the requisite resources and support are in place, and urged the relevant personnel to avail themselves of these opportunities.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Paula Llewelyn, in providing a breakdown of the cases for the Easter Term, which runs until July 31, indicated that 886 of the 958 matters were carried over from the Hilary Session, 26 are new committals, with another 46 listed for sentencing.

Of the 886 traversed matters, 476 are for various offences, including murder and attempted murder, manslaughter, wounding with intent, burglary, forgery/fraud, and bigamy. The remaining 410 matters are for a number of sexual offences.

The 26 new cases include murder, robbery with aggravation, possession of identity information as well as sexual offences.

Prior to his address, Mr. Sykes, along with the Custodes of Kingston and St. Andrew, Hon. Steadman Fuller and Hon. Patricia Dunwell, respectively, were given the General Salute by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), which paraded in front of the Supreme Court on King Street in downtown Kingston.

The officials also inspected the guard of honour formed by the police.

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