More Cases Being Completed in the Courts

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, addresses Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, on September 26.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, is reporting improvement in the completion of cases brought before the nation’s courts since the start of this year.
  • He said statistics indicate that for the first six months of 2018, an average of 90 of every 100 cases that came in during the period were completed. This is an improvement from data over the past two years, which showed 50 out of every 100 cases being completed.
  • Addressing a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on Wednesday, September 26, the Minister said the goal is to dispose of 130 to 140 for every 100 cases that come in, in order to impact the backlog of cases before the courts.

Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, is reporting improvement in the completion of cases brought before the nation’s courts since the start of this year.

He said statistics indicate that for the first six months of 2018, an average of 90 of every 100 cases that came in during the period were completed. This is an improvement from data over the past two years, which showed 50 out of every 100 cases being completed.

Addressing a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on September 26, the Minister said the goal is to exceed the targeted number of cases in order to reduce the back log.

He further noted that the justice sector is far advanced in its projection to clear up more than 30,000 backlogged cases by 2020, having disposed of one-third of that number since 2016.

“We are now down to under 20,000. The goal is that by 2020, those cases should be out of the system,” Mr. Chuck said.

He said the Chief Justice is having regular consultations with all stakeholders, with emphasis being on the reduction of unused time in the courts.

Mr. Chuck added that the Ministry is also working with Justices of the Peace and community organisations to have more disputes resolved in communities and to reduce incidents of conflicts that end up in the courts, through restorative justice and mediation procedures.

“Mediation is very effective. Up to 40 per cent of cases that go to mediation are actually settled. We really hope that the 40 per cent can move to 60 or 70 per cent,” he said.

The Minister said the hope is for more than 75 per cent of matters in civil courts to be settled through mediation.

“There are thousands of these cases in the courts that remain unsettled. This is not a proper kind of delivery of justice,” he said, adding that more litigants (of the prosecution and defence counsel) in criminal cases, should exercise effective case management and utilise plea bargaining to help reduce the backlog.

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