More Judges and Improvements to Courts this Year

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson In this file photo, Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen (right), swears in Mrs. Lorna Shelly-Williams as a Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court, during a ceremony held at King’s House on January 5, 2016. Two other Puisne Judges, two acting Puisne Judges and two Masters-in-Chambers were also sworn in.

Story Highlights

  • Increasing the number of judges and upgrading of critical infrastructure are among the areas of focus this year as Government continues to put measures in place to improve the justice system.
  • Justice reform is a part of Government’s strategic priority, aimed at strengthening the rule of law and ensuring timely justice outcomes.

Increasing the number of judges and upgrading of critical infrastructure are among the areas of focus this year as Government continues to put measures in place to improve the justice system.

“We want to meet the full capacity of judges,” said Director of the Justice Reform Implementation Unit (JRIU) in the Ministry of Justice, Althea McBean, in a recent interview on the JIS television programme ‘Issues and Answers’.

“There should be 40 Supreme Court judges and there is capacity for 70 Parish Court judges,” she pointed out.

She explained that these posts are not consistently filled as judges retire and some leave from the lower court to go to the higher court.

As it relates to infrastructure, Ms. McBean said the number of criminal courts at the Supreme Court will be increased, and the Court of Appeal will be extended, with a new division added to the existing structure.

She noted further that technologies have been enhanced in the court system “and we are now looking at improving the processes”.

The Director explained that the measures will be undertaken under the Justice Reform Programme, which is aimed at modernising the justice system, to have matters disposed of in a fair and timely manner, to ensure that there is greater access to justice, and that there is trust and confidence in the system.

Justice reform is a part of Government’s strategic priority, aimed at strengthening the rule of law and ensuring timely justice outcomes.

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