JIS News

The commitment by the Canadian Government to provide Can$18 million to strengthen Jamaica’s judicial system, through the Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) programme, has been welcomed by Justice Minister and Attorney General, Senator the Hon. Dorothy Lightbourne.
On April 21, Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, and his Canadian counterpart, the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), at Jamaica House, which will see Canada providing funding support, over four years, for the judicial reformation process.
Speaking to journalists following the ceremony, Senator Lightbourne said underpinning the JUST programme, through financing, would consolidate the impact it is expected to have on reformation of the justice system.
“What this programme is going to do, is to facilitate capacity building, which means it will help us to put in Managers, Directors of sections (of the service), and the research section, in order to strengthen the Justice Ministry, and our laws. So, for example, the Justice Ministry will have persons to direct policy. Additionally, there will be the collection of data to see whether the programme is working, as well as looking at our laws, reviewing them, and getting rid of those that are ancient and archaic. It is an exciting programme,” the Minister said.
Senator Lightbourne said the JUST programme is also expected to contribute to improving the security and protection of the citizenry, by working towards reducing crime, reiterating Prime Minister Golding’s position that a strong justice system would yield economic benefits.
The Minister advised that aspects of the JUST programme had actually commenced prior to the signing of the MoU, “in terms of the vision paper, which was laid in Parliament. It is a four-year vision, with an agenda and a timetable, we intend to keep.”
“I have a three-man Advisory Council… which meets on a regular basis, and advises me generally,” the Attorney-General informed.