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JIS News

Jamaican-born Sylvia Hudson is one of nine new Justices of the Peace (JP) appointed recently to the Ontario Court of Justice by the province’s Attorney General Michael Bryant.
Ms. Hudson, who was a police officer in Jamaica prior to migrating to Canada in 1977, previously served as Vice-Chair of Outreach and Community Information for the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services.
She was also a member of the Social Benefits Tribunal and a member of the Toronto Police Services Board where she served as Vice-Chair of the Race Relations Committee.
A daughter of the parish of Portland, Ms. Hudson grew up in Port Antonio and Buff Bay, and holds a Bachelor of Social Work/Public Administration degree and a Certificate in Management and Community Studies from Ryerson University in Toronto.
Speaking to JIS News, Ms. Hudson said she was honoured to be appointed a JP, and lauded the Canadian government for recognizing the worth of visible minorities and the vital role they play in Canada’s judicial system.
She said that for the next two weeks, she will be attending justice of the peace school and then will “sit with a senior judge for six to 12 months after that.”
Asked about her duties, Ms. Hudson said, among other things, she will be signing search warrants, presiding over bail hearings and traffic offences, and conducting weddings. “This is a life-time job”, she added, “as you are a JP until 70 years of age or unless I do something for them to throw me off the bench.”
In a release, Attorney General Bryant noted that Justices of the Peace are an integral and important part of the province’s justice system.
“These appointments demonstrate the quality of the lay bench and will help us meet our goal of ensuring that Ontario’s courts have the resources necessary to operate efficiently and effectively,” he said.
Since October 2003, Attorney General Bryant has appointed 113 Justices of the Peace to the Ontario Court of Justice.