JIS News

Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Senator A.J. Nicholson has said that a Code of Ethics for the conduct and governance of Justices of the Peace (JPs) would be produced by the Ministry early in 2006.
“Next year, things are going to be different because the Code of Ethics is almost here. The plan is that by the first quarter of next year, the code should be in the hands of the Lay Magistrates Association of Jamaica and in that code there are certain things that we are going to take out and put into the law and the law is going to be widened to create certain offences. What the Code of Ethics is going to say is that if you do not serve and serve properly, your commission is going to be revoked,” he told 21 JPs who received training certificates at a function held at Hotel Versalles in May Pen on December 14.
The training course was held to educate the JPs about their roles and responsibilities with regard to the justice system. Senator Nicholson pointed out that the code of ethics is expected to be launched nationally in 2006.
In a wide-ranging address, the Minister reminded the JPs of some of the issues that they needed to deal with concerning the care and protection of children, particularly in cases of carnal abuse and incest.
“Although provision has been made in legislation concerning these important areas, assistance and support from JPs in the prevention of such abuse, and in the care and protection of those young victims who have been abused can be of immense benefit to the efforts that are made in the justice system,” he said.
The training was carried out by the Justice Training Institute through a decentralized process where local Resident Magistrate, Andrea Thomas conducted the 5 week course.
According to Resident Magistrate Thomas, JPs were reminded that they were an integral part of the justice system and it was essential that they protected and maintained the integrity of the system.
She explained that the JPs were also trained in matters concerning their roles and responsibilities in the witnessing and attesting of certain documents; conduct in court in relation to petty session matters; matters relating to spirit licensing sessions; procedures for opening and closing court, the conduct of cases, and the admission of evidence; as well as matters outside of court.