The Legal Aid Council (LAC) Mobile Justice Units will be visiting the parishes of St. Mary, St. Elizabeth and St. Catherine over the next two days to provide free legal service to the public.
On Tuesday (June 9), the units will be at the Justice Centre in St. Mary, while on Wednesday (June 10), they will roll into Maggoty Square in St. Elizabeth and the Oasis Plaza in Spanish Town, St. Catherine.
Executive Director of the LAC, Hugh Faulkner, told JIS News that the units will be at the designated areas from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day.
“For persons who have family members with criminal matters or detained under the Emergency Powers State of Emergency Act, they can come to the unit and we will take their application and assign attorneys,” he advised.
He explained that “for the States of Emergency (SOEs), persons should remember that any objection we file is filed to a tribunal, not to the parish court or the circuit courts. So for persons who do need assistance, we tell them to come in. For persons who have been charged for breaches of the Disaster Risk Management Act and they need help, they can also come to the unit”.
Mr. Faulkner told JIS News that the LAC is working to provide a schedule of the community visits to be done across the island.
“As we regularise our service, we will publish the schedule. We are seeking to have [visits on] specific days of the month, so that people will know beforehand, when they can go to the justice units,” he said.
Mr. Faulkner said names and contact information will be taken of persons who could not be accommodated during the time frame of the visits and they will be advised about the next community call by the justice unit.
Meanwhile, persons seeking the service of the units are being encouraged to take along the appropriate documentation on the matters they wish to have addressed.
Attorney-at-Law and Legal Consultant, Mishka Anderson, said that without the necessary documents, persons may not be able to get the help they need.
“[We have seen where] persons who had issues with wills didn’t bring the copy of the will with them, [and] persons who wanted a divorce didn’t carry their marriage certificate,” she pointed out.
Persons should also be prepared to follow the established safety protocol by wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and being receptive to sanitisation activities.