Effective Justice System Critical to Economic and Social Development – Minister Nicholson

Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Senator A.J. Nicholson, has said that the reform of the justice system in Jamaica is within the broad context of the nation’s quest for economic and social development.
Senator Nicholson, who was making a statement in the Upper House yesterday (March 22) on the status of justice reform in Jamaica, said that “we are cognizant of the fact that no economic or social model will sufficiently advance the prospects of the people of Jamaica if it fails to reflect a deep and profound understanding of the need for a strong, effective and efficient justice system.”
“I will go further to advance that this understanding cannot merely be implied, but rather that our model of economic and social development must be predicated on certain foundation of good governance, which cannot be achieved in an environment of weak judicial structures, systems and institutions,” informed Senator Nicholson.
He pointed out that it has been universally accepted that there was an “inextricable link between an effective and efficient justice system and economic development.”
The Jamaican Justice System Reform Programme began in October 2006 with an initial two-week mission by the Canadian Bar Association, which has been engaged to carry out the reform project.
In the meantime the Government of Jamaica will be spending in excess of $1.35 billion to rehabilitate and construct a number of courthouses across the country. Expansion of the Supreme Court in Kingston is set for completion in October at a cost of $110 million, while work on the Santa Cruz courthouse is scheduled for completion in May, at a cost of $10 million.
The Minister informed that construction is set to begin on the Balaclava courthouse next month for completion in eight months, at a cost of $43 million. The government has also allocated $50 million for the construction of the Lucea Family Court, while the National Commercial Bank is spending $240 million on the construction of the Port Antonio courthouse.
“The designs will give full consideration for access to the physically challenged, security for victims, officers of the court, the jury and witnesses.
Provision is also being made for victim services,” informed Senator Nicholson.

JIS Social