The Ministry of Justice is to acquire two additional mobile legal aid clinics as part of plans to further increase citizens’ access to legal and judicial services.
The Units will increase the current fleet to three, and will facilitate the dispensing of free legal information on issues such as expungement of criminal records, wills, land titles, criminal matters, and child custody and maintenance.
The announcement was made by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck at the launch of a new Customer Service Centre for the Corporate Area Parish Court, Civil Division, located on Sutton Street in downtown Kingston, on May 17.
The Legal Aid Mobile Unit is part of the Government’s strategic priority to honour the rule of law and provide timely justice outcomes. The Unit, which began operations in January 2017, provides free consultation and advice, and completes court assignments for clients with criminal matters.
Mr. Chuck said the two additional buses, will result in more persons in communities across Jamaica benefiting from the service.
“We’re going to have at least three mobile units to go out into every nook and cranny, once they are asked to come, so that they [the citizens] can get information about law, about how they access justice and other legal services,” he added.
He said the service from the mobile clinics will complement the Justice Centres which are now in operation in five parishes.
“Already, we have opened five in St. Ann, Portland, St. Mary, Trelawny and Westmoreland, and before the end of this fiscal year…I want to open at least four more, and certainly in good time. We want 14 active Justice Centres, where people can access information about law, justice and other information they require,” Mr. Chuck said.
The new Customer Service centre was established through a contribution from the Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) programme, a Canadian-funded project that partnered with the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Justice, with the goal of strengthening and reforming the justice sector.