Justice Minister Says Issues Affecting the Courts Can Now Be Clinically Examined

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, addresses the House of Representatives today (April 3).

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, says the Government is now in a position to undertake a clinical examination of issues plaguing the Courts.
  • He noted that the reports will allow for the Administration to understand where intervention is required, and the level of intervention that is needed.
  • “The Government of Jamaica, and in particular the Ministry, renews the commitment to provide the necessary resources to the court system. While this is being done, however, all stakeholders in the justice sector can commit to maximising the existing resources and to work together to achieve the objective of the timely delivery of justice for all,” he said.

Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, says the Government is now in a position to undertake a clinical examination of issues plaguing the Courts.

Mr. Chuck made the comment after tabling the 2017 annual statistical reports for the Supreme Court and the Parish Courts in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 3.

He noted that the reports will allow for the Administration to understand where intervention is required, and the level of intervention that is needed.

“The Government of Jamaica, and in particular the Ministry, renews the commitment to provide the necessary resources to the court system. While this is being done, however, all stakeholders in the justice sector can commit to maximising the existing resources and to work together to achieve the objective of the timely delivery of justice for all,” he said.

The reports tabled provide information on the number of cases in the courts, the disposal rates, distribution of cases among the courts, disaggregation of the types of matters in the courts, rates for trial readiness and completion, performance rates, case load, and the length of time it takes for matters to be completed in the various courts.

For his part, Opposition Spokesperson on Finance, Mark Golding, welcomed the tabling of the reports, noting that the Chief Justice, Bryan Sykes, will find it useful in his efforts to bring higher levels of efficiency to the justice system.

According to the report, among the impeding factors causing the inordinate delays within the courts are the high incidence of adjournments, uncertainty as it relates to trial and hearing dates and requisitions.

In addition, the report generated reveals that in 2017, 12,604 new Supreme Court matters were started across the six divisions (High Court Civil, Probate, Matrimonial, Commercial, Home Circuit and Gun Court).

Mr. Chuck also pointed out that the major finding of the study was that, on average, the disposal or clearance rate of cases is 49.70 per cent, adding that “this rate ranges from 24.18 per cent in the High Court to 97.86 per cent in the Gun Court”.

The annual reports have been published for 2017 on the Supreme Court website at www.supremecourt.gov.jm.

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