Govt. Addressing Problems in the Justice System – PM


Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding says the government is continuing to do all it can, within the limitation of resources, to address the problems in the justice system, through a number of initiatives that are ongoing, or are to come on stream.
Mr. Golding outlined the measures in his contribution to the 2010/11 Budget Debate in the House, today (April 20), noting that the justice system is an integral part of crime-fighting.
“We are expanding the case management programme and training more judges, public and private attorneys and court staff in case management practices.we have installed real-time court transcription in the Supreme Court and Appeal Court. We are endeavouring to extend this to all Circuit Courts,” he informed.
The operationalisation of the Court Management Agency is imminent, with the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer, now before the Chief Justice for approval, the Prime Minister said.
In addition, 40 classified posts are being transferred from the Ministry of Justice, and office space has been secured on Tower Street to have the Court Management Agency in operation shortly.
Meanwhile, Mr. Golding noted that provision has been made for 12 additional prosecutors in the Director of Public Prosecutions office, eight of whom are already in place. “We are establishing parish Boards to be chaired by the Custos in each parish, to review and monitor the passage of cases through the courts, help clear obstacles where they appear and serve as an early warning mechanism where undue pressure is building up,” he added.
Community Justice Tribunals, chaired by Justices of the Peace, are being set up to serve as community-level dispute resolution mechanisms, to reduce the volume of cases entering the formal court system. This should aid with the backlog, which Mr. Golding said continues to grow, as last year, 234,000 cases from the previous year were carried over, and 243,000 new cases were filed. Of these, 195,000 were disposed of.
Additionally, a Child Justice Diversion Programme is to be introduced this year, to provide for appropriate forms of behavioural management intervention in specified cases, instead of putting child offenders before the criminal courts.

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