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  • The Court of Appeal, downtown Kingston, is to be expanded to accommodate additional courtrooms.
  • Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, said the project will see the addition of three new courtrooms, 13 judges' chambers and two lounges within the next four months.
  • “In four months’ time, we will be meeting down at King Street to hand over the Courts to the President of the Court of Appeal. We intend for you to have these courts working by September. This is a very important project. The Court of Appeal in Jamaica is our highest court, and we need it to deliver and complete the cases in an expeditious manner,” he said.

The Court of Appeal, downtown Kingston, is to be expanded to accommodate additional courtrooms.

Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, said the project will see the addition of three new courtrooms, 13 judges’ chambers and two lounges within the next four months.

“In four months’ time, we will be meeting down at King Street to hand over the Courts to the President of the Court of Appeal. We intend for you to have these courts working by September. This is a very important project. The Court of Appeal in Jamaica is our highest court, and we need it to deliver and complete the cases in an expeditious manner,” he said.

Minister Chuck was speaking at the signing ceremony for the $846-million contract to facilitate the works at the Ministry’s Constant Spring Road offices in St. Andrew on Tuesday (April 17).

He informed that six additional judges are to be appointed this fiscal year in order to reduce the backlog of over 1,400 cases.

“Over the past couple of years, the backlog of cases in the Court of Appeal has been increasing due to the sheer (lack) of manpower. Seven judges just cannot manage the bulk of cases, which are coming to the Court of Appeal. Within two years, by 2020, it is my great hope that backlog will not be an issue in the Court of Appeal… . We want to ensure that the facilities are there and that the opportunity is there, so that the cases can be dealt with,” he said.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Carol Palmer, said the improvement works to be undertaken will serve to strengthen the delivery of justice.

“The Ministry sees the infrastructure works that are being done to improve the built environment of justice institutions as an indispensible part of the overall objective to increase access to justice services, support the timely dispensation of justice and to create a sound court infrastructure,” she noted.

The contract, to be undertaken over eight months, will entail expansion of the Public Building West, which, in addition to the Court of Appeal, also houses the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The project, to be undertaken by Y.P. Seaton and Associates Company Limited, will also include renovation of the registry and the circulation tower, elevator shaft and stairwell.