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JIS News

Residents of western Jamaica will benefit from a public education forum to be hosted by the Legal Aid Council, this Saturday (October 8), at the Montego Bay Civic Centre, in Sam Sharpe Square.
Executive Director of the Legal Aid Council, Attorney-at-law, Glen Cruikshank, told JIS News that the response to the legal aid facility has been overwhelming for some time. He added, however, that it was still the responsibility of the Council, “to inform the general public of its existence and of the assistance that persons can get under the duty counsel scheme, once they are arrested or taken into custody at a police station”.
The seminar, he said, would comprise an overview of the legal aid scheme, and presenters would speak on topics, including the duty counsel; first appearances in court; bail application; the functions of the police on the duty counsel programme; identification parades; and questions and answers at police stations.
Members of the public will also have an opportunity to question presenters on various issues pertaining to legal aid, he added.
The general public is invited to attend, along with attorneys-at-law, law students, Justices of the Peace and court administrators. “It’s not confined to attorneys alone, because the idea is to spread the word about legal aid, so that all can be aware of it, and those who are not would be able to get first hand information,” Mr. Cruikshank noted.
Attorneys-at-law Winston Douglas and Lambert Brown will be among the presenters, including Deputy Commissioner of Police, Charles Scarlett.
Mr. Scarlett will address the role of the police under the duty counsel programme.
Chairperson of the Legal Aid Council, Hilary Phillips, Q.C., and Chairman of the Montego Bay Legal Aid Clinic Ltd., Ambassador Frank Pringle will also be in attendance.
Mr. Cruikshank pointed out that the Legal Aid Council would continue to address the public on legal aid matters. “We will be holding town meetings from time to time to bring people together and to alert them, inform them and educate them as to their rights under the Legal Aid Act,” he said.