Claimants awaiting awards in court cases over lengthy periods will soon be able to benefit from interim payments from defendants.
This is being made possible through the drafting of legislation, which will give Supreme Court judges the authority to make Orders for interim payments in such circumstances as specified by the court.
Announcing that Cabinet had issued drafting instructions, Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, told journalists at on April 4 Jamaica House press briefing, at the Office of the Prime Minister, that previously, judges had been making Orders for interim payments, but the authority of the judges was challenged in the courts.
“The Supreme Court ruled that there was no statutory power in Jamaica to order a defendant to make an interim payment. The Court also suggested that the law be amended to allow for interim payments to litigants whose cases may drag on for years without a resolution,” the Minister said.
Senator Falconer explained that Orders would be made in cases where the litigants have strong cases and are likely to succeed.
The Judicature (Civil Procedure Code) Law was previously amended in 1997 to give judges of the Supreme Court the jurisdiction to make an Order granting interim payment, but the law was repealed in 2003 by the Judicature (Civil Procedure Code) Law (Repeal) Act of 2003, thereby removing that provision.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Senior Reporter