The General Legal Council (GLC) is seeking to set up a compensation fund to assist complainants, who have been defrauded by attorneys.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz speaking during Wednesday’s (December 1) Post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, who made the announcement at on December 1 post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, said that the move resulted from the seriousness of complaints received and the losses sustained by clients as a result of the defaults of attorneys.
He noted also that hundreds of practising attorneys have been delinquent in paying practicing certificate fees.
Minister Vaz said that the GLC has made representation to Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Hon. Dorothy Lightbourne on the establishment of the fund, which it will regulate and administer.
The GCL is the governing body for the legal profession. It has a number of committees including a disciplinary committee that hears grouses against attorneys-at-law.
The body dealt with 517 complaints in 2010, including 374 that were pending at the start of the year. Of the total, 154 were disposed of with 363 pending. Sanctions were imposed on 35 attorneys.
Persons can access information about the Council, its disciplinary committee and judgments, at its website at www.generallegalcouncil.org. The site also provides information about the Legal Profession Act and Regulations, which prescribes the rules governing the admission of persons to the legal profession and the practice of law in Jamaica.
The Minister of Justice provided Cabinet with the 2009/2010 annual report of the GLC, which will be tabled in Parliament at a later date.