- Citizens in the western end of the island will no longer have to travel to Kingston to access key justice-related services.
- Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, on Tuesday (July 7), officially opened offices at 42B Union Street in Montego Bay, which house three key departments of the Ministry.
- Senator Golding charged citizens, who will be accessing the services, to protect the facilities provided.
Citizens in the western end of the island will no longer have to travel to Kingston to access key justice-related services.
Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, on Tuesday (July 7), officially opened offices at 42B Union Street in Montego Bay, which house three key departments of the Ministry.
These are the Supreme Court Western Regional Registry, Montego Bay Legal Aid Clinic, and the Western Administrator General’s Department.
Minister Golding, in his address at the opening ceremony, said the setting up of the offices in western Jamaica, will ensure more efficient and effective delivery of the services provided.
The move, he said, forms part of measures by the Government to make justice accessible to all Jamaicans regardless of their location or socio-economic situation.
He noted that the establishment of the Western Civil Registry for the Supreme Court is one of the 24 priority items listed in the Ministry’s 2015 to 2018 strategic business plan.
The registry, he informed, will allow for the filing of civil cases in the Supreme Court to include a wide range of matters from real estate to divorce proceedings.
“It will be much more convenient for litigants in this part of the world to do so and it will save time and money, as they will no longer have to be sending documents themselves to town agents in Kingston or to take documents to Kingston themselves in order to file them with the Supreme Court,” he noted.
He said the offices being provided for the Montego Bay Legal Aid Clinic, will ensure that clients can receive legal advice in an atmosphere of dignity.
The opening of the Administrator General’s Department, he noted, “is a very significant thing,” as it will provide services to beneficiaries of intestate estates in western Jamaica.
Senator Golding charged citizens, who will be accessing the services, to protect the facilities provided.
“I wish to charge the citizens of the great city of Montego Bay to collectively take responsibility for the care and maintenance of these premises. The situation facing the country…in terms of the public finances is a challenging one and we are getting through it. We must exercise responsibility as citizens not to waste resources and part of not wasting resources is ensuring that we care (the facilities) and treat them as proper citizens would,” he pointed out.
The offices were established at a cost of $5 million on premises owned by the National Housing Trust (NHT).
Senator Golding said as part of the arrangement with the NHT, the Ministry was allowed to recoup from the rent, some of the funds expended in setting up the offices.