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Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Carol Palmer, has called on Justices of the Peace (JPs), to take full advantage of training that is currently being offered by the Ministry.
Delivering the main address at the recent Annual General Meeting of the St. Elizabeth chapter of the Lay Magistrates Association, held in Santa Cruz, she said that justice would be better served when the JPs fully understand their role.
“More civil cases will be tried by Justices of the Peace, and this means that the training that we are offering must be taken up, so that the cases will be dealt with properly. The court is a creature of statutes, and if you are going to serve in them, you will have to avail yourself of the training. If you do not take advantage of it, you will not be able to legitimately sit in the court to do these matters,” the Permanent Secretary said.
Mrs. Palmer pointed out that the Ministry has made more court rooms and staff available, in the effort to reduce the backlog of cases and to have speedy trials of matters appearing before the High Court.
“The High Court has over 400 cases to be tried during the current term. We have provided additional facilities at the Conference Centre, using the Caucus rooms, for the transfer of three civil courts from the Supreme Court building. This has been done so that more court rooms can be available to do criminal matters,” she outlined.
“Cabinet has approved an increase in support staff and prosecutors. All this will help in dispensing more cases, while other strategies are used to reduce crime,” Mrs. Palmer added.