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JIS News

The Ministry of Justice will meet with stakeholders in the justice system next month, to consider the submissions on the draft Victims’ Charter, in addition to the views that came out of the recent public consultations on the matter.
Attorney-at-Law and Advisor on Justice Reform in the Ministry, Canute Brown, told JIS News that the presentations made by each group would be recorded and “then at a retreat . in the middle of November, when we’ll have all the major stakeholders assembling, we’ll have a discussion of all the views that have been received in these consultations”.
Mr. Brown, who spoke to JIS News at the final consultation, held last Thursday (Oct. 19) at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville, said that the retreat could also discuss written submissions from entities such as the Independent Council for Human Rights.
He informed that, “upon completion of that examination, we will have to put together a submission for the consideration of Cabinet, and that submission will go to the Minister, and if he sees it fit, he will take the matter to Cabinet”.
“We are hoping to conclude these matters by the latest November 30 and coming the new year, we should have a Charter that has been . developed by the Citizens of Jamaica,” Mr. Brown told JIS News.
The island wide consultations, which started on July 18, are geared towards developing a Victims’ Charter, with the primary objective of making victims and their rights more central to the justice process.
During the consultations, the public was asked to consider five main points: who is a victim and what rights should a victim of a crime be entitled to? Should victims of crimes participate in the sentencing of criminals and parole hearings? Should the courts be empowered to order or award compensation or other forms of relief to the victim(s) of crimes? Should there be a code of conduct for persons, who are engaged in law enforcement, adjudication of cases and caregivers? And should the charter be enshrined in law?