JPS Role in the Administration of Justice Underscored


Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne, has underscored the important role that Justices of the Peace (JP) play in the administration of justice in the country, thereby ensuring the orderly functioning of the society.
Delivering the main address at the swearing in ceremony of 26 new JPs for Portland at the Ken Wright Pier in Port Antonio on November 14, Senator Lighbourne said that JPs have long played a vital role in community activities, from certifying documents and witnessing affidavits to signing wills, and search warrants requested by the police.
Noting that JPs are entrusted to take on responsibilities within the legal system in the communities in which they live and work, she said they are usually the first non-confrontational contact the average law abiding citizen has with an officer of the state.
In congratulating the JPs on their appointment, she exhorted them always to remember the oath of office which they took, adding that their conduct should be dignified and exemplary both privately as well as in executing their official duties.
She urged the appointees to carry out their duties with honesty and make every effort to apprise themselves on the background of the persons for whom they would vouch.
Senator Lightbourne reminded the justices that their commission is to provide service without monetary rewards, but added that the Justice Reform Task Force has recommended that re-imbursements be made for travel and lunch expenses. Further, that consideration be given to providing them with free stationery and postage.
In the meantime, she said the role of JPs will be strengthened to enable them to preside over more serious cases, thereby reducing some of the overloads in the Resident Magistrate’s Courts. The new appointees, who were sworn in by Custos of Portland, Roy Thompson, bring to 206 the number of JPs serving the parish.

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