KINGSTON — Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, has urged Justices of the Peace (JPs) to participate in the Ministry's various training programmes, tailored towards enhancing dispute resolution skills and processes.
Speaking at a recent restorative justice national stakeholders' sensitisation forum at the Morant Bay Parish Church in St. Thomas, Mr. Chuck said the training forms part of the series of programmes being undertaken by the Ministry, including a focus on victim support, in its move to advance the concept of restorative justice.
Restorative justice is defined as the process whereby all parties with a stake in a particular offence, come together to collectively resolve how to treat with it in the aftermath of the incident’s occurrence.
Mr. Chuck said the Ministry's efforts are aimed at empowering the JPs with the knowledge of the principles, programmes, and policies of restorative justice, “so that you can take charge of a situation, and know what is to be done."
"So, what the Ministry of Justice will be rolling out, as long as you are prepared to work with us, is a way how you can assist in resolving disputes and disagreements, and in stopping criminal activity that result from these disagreements. So, when we talk about restorative justice, victim support, dispute resolution, we are urging all the JPs to engage in them,” the Minister said.
"If you equip yourself with that knowledge of dispute resolution, which we are hoping will eventually come to every parish, and every community, where persons can be trained in dispute resolution, then you can see how you can assist the districts, the communities, the parishes, and Jamaica,” Mr. Chuck added.
He pointed out that not every dispute has to end up in the court, and that if the disputing parties can settle their differences, using a JP as a mediator, then "it's a win-win situation."
"Dispute Resolution is one area that I believe we are going to urge you to buy into, because if the wrongdoer can admit that he was wrong, and the victim can forgive, both parties can come back together. I am urging JPs… make yourselves available to take some training in dispute resolution,” Mr. Chuck urged.
By Douglas Mcintosh, JIS Reporter