JIS News

Some 80 Justices of the Peace (JPs) have completed a training course, as part of the new approach being employed by the Justice Training Institute (JTI). Audrey Sewell, Director of the Justice Training Institute (JTI), told JIS News that part of the new approach is that it should be “compulsory for all Justices of the Peace to be trained, prior to being commissioned.”
The JPs were trained in Kingston and St. Andrew by Justice Sharon Ayton George and a team of experts, and in St. Ann by retired Court of Appeal President, Justice Paul Harrison.
According to Mrs. Sewell, other training sessions are currently taking place in Trelawny, St. Thomas, St. James, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, St. Mary and Portland.
The Director explained that the new approach was more extensive and the training curriculum had been expanded to include areas such as human rights education, mediation and restorative justice, court procedures, signing of documents, laws, and their roles and responsibilities, among others.
Other topics covered in the training sessions included identification parades, caution statements, witnessing of documents and the possible criminal liabilities that will follow if they mislead or go outside of their jurisdictions.
Justice Ayton George, Co-ordinator of the Kingston and St. Andrew training session explained that with the new approach being utilized by the JTI, the content of the training had been widened to ensure that it was more beneficial to communities. “Hopefully, it will mean that persons in the wider community will have that much better access to justice,” she told JIS News.
“In giving the JPs an overview of the law, we have looked at things such as legal aid, child care and protection, [areas] I think will concern persons in the community and because persons usually go to the JPs for advice, they are able to sign-post people to the appropriate agency or persons to deal with some of their matters,” Justice Ayton George added.
According to the Co-ordinator, the training session was “well attended with extremely keen participants spanning all levels of society.”

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