JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Justice is looking to appoint 3,000 additional justices of the peace (JPs), bringing the cadre to approximately 10,000 across the island.
  • Portfolio Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, is urging community leaders such as teachers and pastors to come forward and volunteer their service.
  • Mr. Chuck said that persons who put themselves forward to serve as JPs must display impeccable character.

The Ministry of Justice is looking to appoint 3,000 additional justices of the peace (JPs), bringing the cadre to approximately 10,000 across the island.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, is urging community leaders such as teachers and pastors to come forward and volunteer their service.

He noted that parish court judges and several retired judges have offered to train the JPs.

“I will be meeting with the custodes to let them know that we have the trainers. We also have trainers from the Justice Training Institute, who are willing to go in all the parishes,” said Mr. Chuck.

He was speaking in an interview with JIS News at a sensitisation session, held on December 1, at the Buff Bay United Church in Portland.

The Justice Minister informed that from sessions held in other parishes, some 200 persons have indicated interest in becoming JPs.

He noted, however, that he would like to see more of the 7,000 JPs, on roll, play a more active part in community leadership as his Ministry strives to ensure a “better Jamaica”.

Mr. Chuck said that persons who put themselves forward to serve as JPs must display impeccable character.

“If the custos is not satisfied that this person can be a JP, then the custos might say that they will not accept the application. So the person must demonstrate that they are going to be upstanding persons to put them into a training programme,” he noted.

Turning to other matters, Minister Chuck said he intends to satisfy requests made for more judicial clerks, secretaries and computers for the courts.

The provision of additional personnel and equipment is part of efforts to speed up the disposal of cases and ease the backlog in the system.

The sensitisation session included a presentation on human-trafficking prevention and detection conducted by Head of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Carl Berry.

He noted that since the launch of the unit in 2005, Jamaica has rescued 69 victims of human trafficking and was this year upgraded from the Tier Two Watch List to a Tier Two ranking in the fight against Trafficking in Persons.

The sensitisation session in Portland, and another held at the Boscobel United Church in St. Mary on that day, wrapped up the series for the year.

The training, which got under way in September, is aimed at raising awareness among key stakeholders about the various services offered by the Ministry.