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Details of a plan of action for the reform of the Constitution are to be given by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Senator A.J. Nicholson, in the Senate on Friday (January 19).
This follows a submission made by Senator Nicholson to the Cabinet yesterday (January 15), outlining the plan of action for the reform of the Constitution and the system of the administration of justice, which is to be implemented in the calendar year 2007.
Minister of Information and Development, Donald Buchanan, who made the disclosure at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, explained that, “the focus of this plan of action, first of all, is initiating the process of addressing the fundamental reform of our Constitution, based on the recommendations of the Joint Select Committee on constitutional and electoral reform, contained in its 1995 report to Parliament”.
“Secondly, the plan would have introduced, the substituting of the appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), for the judicial committee of the Privy Council as Jamaica’s final court of appeal,” the Minister said.
Mr. Buchanan explained that the third element of the plan was the reform of the system of administration of justice, based on the recommendations of a Task Force that is due to present its report by June.
“So, this is somewhat anticipatory in terms of the reform of the system of administration of justice in Jamaica. But the submission is being put forward at this time, as there are going to be financial considerations for the implementation of this plan of action. Therefore, what the Minister of Justice is doing, is presenting this programme, so that it will be taken fully into account when the Cabinet considers the fiscal budget for the year 2007/08,” the Minister said.
More than $87 million was earmarked in the 2006/07 budget to conduct a comprehensive review of the island’s justice system, to include the development of plans for the transformation of the Justice Ministry and its related institutions.