The Full Story
The Judiciary of Jamaica has established the Commission of the Senior Judges of the Parish Courts to strengthen the leadership and management of the Parish Courts. The Commission, consisting of Senior Judges, will provide leadership to transform the lower courts into institutions of excellence through continuous improved results in the provision of sound, timely judgments and efficient legal services to Jamaicans.
Speaking at the virtual launch of the Commission on Sunday, March 21, 2021, Chief Justice the Honourable Mr. Justice Bryan Sykes, OJ, CD said the Commission will help to align the plans and goals of the Parish Courts with the overall Strategic Plan of the Judiciary, which was unveiled in January last year.
“The Commission will also develop and oversee the implementation of best practices in all areas of the Parish Courts and develop strategies to address weaknesses in operations and make recommendations to the Chief Justice and the Chief Judge of the Parish Courts regarding the administration of justice,” he said.
Chief Justice Sykes added: “In effect, it [Commission] is providing an incubator for future generation of court leaders within the Parish Court system and beyond since many of the judges of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal began their judicial career in these courts. It is vital then that we have an environment in which leadership talent can be identified, nurtured and developed for future service within the Judiciary.”
Chief Justice of Singapore
The Honourable the Chief Justice of Singapore Sundaresh Menon, who was the keynote speaker at the launch, said the Commission is a significant milestone in the transformation journey of the Jamaican court system.
Chief Justice Menon said judicial leadership is important to sustaining the journey towards court excellence, adding that “it is essential that the Judiciary takes the lead in driving policy that directly affects our ability to ensure the fair and efficient administration of justice.”
He added: “Let me congratulate Chief Justice Sykes and his team on the development of the Strategic Plan. The plan sets out a clear vision for the transformation of the court system; one that is truly by, for and of the Judiciary. It carefully explains how that vision will be achieved in concrete and practical terms. That if I may say, is an outstanding example of judicial leadership at an organizational level.”
Each Senior Parish Court Judge will be required to submit a monthly progress report on the operational plan of the court that he or she manages to the Strategic Planning Unit of the Court Administration Division for review and analysis.
The members of the Commission will also ensure that there is a clear customer service programme being pursued in the courts to improve customer satisfaction. It will also implement programmes to bolster staff motivation.