JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Certificates have been awarded to 57 Justices of the Peace (JPs) who successfully completed the Specialized Training for the Court of Petty Sessions, which covered a wide range of court procedures
  • The additional training of the JPs was recommended by the Justice System Reform Task Force (JSRTF), which reviewed the justice system in 2006.
  • Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, who addressed the ceremony, said the participation of the JPs signals their commitment to serve the citizens of Jamaica, while supporting the maintenance of order and peace in their spheres of influence

Certificates have been awarded to 57 Justices of the Peace (JPs) who successfully completed the Specialized Training for the Court of Petty Sessions, which covered a wide range of court procedures.

The additional training of the JPs was recommended by the Justice System Reform Task Force (JSRTF), which reviewed the justice system in 2006.

The certificates were handed out during a ceremony held at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in New Kingston, on April 2.

Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, who addressed the ceremony, said the participation of the JPs signals their commitment to serve the citizens of Jamaica, while supporting the maintenance of order and peace in their spheres of influence.

“This training has equipped you with the requisite knowledge and aptitude to undertake the various situations that you will be faced with and to judiciously apply your knowledge in a responsible manner,” he said.

Senator Golding noted that the Ministry is currently in reform mode, which has seen various elements of the justice landscape being revamped for greater efficiency and service orientation towards the public.

He explained that the Court of Petty Sessions play an important role in the delivery of justice and the aim of the Ministry is to increase its capacity and thereby help to alleviate some of the burdens borne by the Resident Magistrate’s Court.

“The Ministry, as part of its strategic plan for the years 2015 to 2018, will seek to expand the judicial role of JPs and today is indicative of what is in the pipeline for the future,” Senator Golding said.

He pointed out that there are plans to expand the jurisdiction of the Court of Petty Sessions to include uncontested traffic offences; matters under the Rent Restriction Act where the consent of landlords and tenants are involved; and small civil claims and minor cases of praedial larceny.

The Minister added that the ticketing regime to be introduced under the amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act, in relation to small quantities of ganja and smoking of ganja, will also utilise the Court of Petty Sessions in those cases where the tickets are not paid with the 30-day period prescribed by law.

“These developments have now given rise to more Justices of the Peace being trained to serve in the Courts of the Petty Sessions. This is designed to augment the knowledge of Justices to create a cadre who have been adequately furnished with the skills and competencies that are needed to do this,” Senator Golding said.

Meanwhile, the Minister extended congratulations to the JPs who participated in the training.

“As graduates of this training, you will now be given the opportunity to put into practice the principles of justice and law that you have been exposed to. All the while you are expected to adhere to the protocols governing courtroom activities and the adjudication process, which must be based on fairness and timely adherence to procedure,” Senator Golding said.