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Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, said he has directed the Attorney General to prepare a submission for Cabinet that will seek to put the role, function and authority of Custodes within a statutary framework.
Mr. Golding, who was addressing a ceremony held yesterday (May 7) in Lucea to install medical doctor, David Stair, as Custos of Hanover, said the aim is to put a modern legislation in place to properly recognise the post of Custos.
He said that if approved by Cabinet, the necessary drafting instructions will be issued, “so that we can bring that legislation to Parliament. I believe it is something that we need to do to bring clarity and authority to the position of Custos.”
As it regards Justices of the Peace (JP), the Prime Minister said that the position must be modernised, noting that there are plans to increase the jurisdiction of the JPs, and a system is in place to train them to perform the extended duties.
“Certain things that used to have to go to the Resident Magistrate Court, we are now going to have Justices of the Peace, properly trained, conducting those matters,” the Prime Minister stated.
He congratulated Custos Stair on his appointment and commended him for his significant record of service to the parish.
Meanwhile, the 54-year-old medical doctor, in his inaugural address, called for a united effort to rid society of its ills, noting that, “we appear as a people to be loosing the enduring magic of the simple things, which used to guide our lives along wholesome paths”.
“I see grown men and women, who have lost direction, because they have forgotten from whence they came. I see children alienated and directionless, I see a communication and civic apparatus, which glorifies mediocrity, romanticises brutishness and rewards selfishness, all of which goes against the culture of our people in Jamaica which I grew up in,” he stated.
He urged Jamaicans to “step up to the plate and say enough is enough, indiscipline and lawlessness must stop now; we must speak with one voice.”
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Dr. Patrick Allen, presided over the installation ceremony, presenting the Custos with the Grand Commission and the Magistrates Roll for the parish, after he took the Oat of Office.