Gov’t Looking to Expand Jurisdiction of Justices Of The Peace

Photo: Sharon Earle Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Carol Palmer, delivers the keynote address at the installation ceremony for 26 new Justices of the Peace for the parish of St. James, held on December 3, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall.

Story Highlights

  • Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Carol Palmer, says the Government is to introduce measures to expand the jurisdiction of Justices of the Peace (JPs).
  • This move will make it legal for JPs to carry out their duties beyond the borders of their parish of appointment.
  • The Permanent Secretary noted that the JPs will also benefit from additional training to further equip them to carry out their duties, which includes serving as a justice in the Court of Petty Sessions and attending the Children’s Courts and Drug Court.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Carol Palmer, says the Government is to introduce measures to expand the jurisdiction of Justices of the Peace (JPs).

This move will make it legal for JPs to carry out their duties beyond the borders of their parish of appointment.

“We (the Ministry of Justice) are also going to be introducing measures to have JPs become JPs of Jamaica and reduce some of these restrictions because (currently) you are limited to your parish,” Mrs. Palmer said.

She was delivering the keynote address at the installation ceremony for 26 new JPs for St. James held on December 3 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall.

The Permanent Secretary noted that the JPs will also benefit from additional training to further equip them to carry out their duties, which includes serving as a justice in the Court of Petty Sessions and attending the Children’s Courts and Drug Court.

They will also consider applications for bail, attend police stations, explain and sign documents, sit on licensing panels and give counsel and advice.

Mrs. Palmer stressed that JPs must be persons of integrity, who are leaders in their communities and are not afraid to carry out their duties.

She expressed concern about the number of JPs being decommissioned and complaints from Custodes that JPs were not meeting their court schedules.

“I want to emphasise the need for integrity in this service as a Justice of the Peace; not 90 per cent, not 95 per cent, not 99 per cent… it’s either you have integrity or you don’t. It’s a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes,” she stated.

In his remarks, Custos of St. James, Hon. Ewen Corrodus, told the JPs that their roles went beyond signing documents and issuing recommendations.

“You are trained and equipped and ready to play a more active role in the justice system and in the development of your community and your country,” he stated.

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