Gov’t Committed to Reform of Justice System


Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, informed the House of Representatives said that the government was committed to improving the administration of justice for the benefit of all Jamaicans.
“We are serious about giving the people the effective justice system to which they have a right. This will reduce the anguish of our inner-city residents, who suffer most when the system does not function as it should,” she said in her contribution to the 2007/08 Budget debate yesterday (May 2) in Gordon House.
She informed that the National Task Force, which is reviewing the justice system, will next week hold a national consultation with stakeholders and members of the public at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
“At that national consultation, the concerns and recommendations of Jamaicans from all walks of life will be laid out before the final development of the blueprint for the modernization of the Jamaican justice system is presented,” said the Prime Minister.
As part of the process to reform the justice system, improvements will be made to courthouses, with $1.35 billion allocated for the rehabilitation and construction of eight courthouses in various parishes this fiscal year.
The Prime Minister noted that the technology infrastructure of the courts has been enhanced, with the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions benefiting under this initiative.
“New software will revolutionize efficiency of our court system,” said Mrs. Simpson Miller.
Turning to constitutional reform, the Prime Minister noted that Cabinet has given approval for a Green Paper on constitutional reform issues to be laid before Parliament.
“That reform process must involve the level of Parliamentary support that our Constitution requires. It also necessitates approval by the electorate through a referendum,” said Mrs. Simpson Miller.
“It is high time that we brought our constitution up to date and rooted in the official act of our own Parliament, and with the express approval of the Jamaican electorate. Under my watch, we must meet this test of national maturity,” she stated.

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