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Fourteen new Justices of the Peace (JPs) were sworn in to serve St. Mary during a ceremony held at the Port Maria Civic Centre on August 16. This brings to 280, the number of JPs serving the parish.
The function, which was presided over by Custos of St. Mary, Hon. A.A. Bobby Pottinger, was attended by a wide cross section of persons, including family members of the JPs, members of the St. Mary Lay Magistrates’ Association and representatives of several government and non-governmental organizations in the parish.
Congratulating the new JPs, Mr. Pottinger exhorted them to ensure that they conducted themselves in a manner deserving of the office to which they have been called to serve at all times. Adding that the service they provided, would go a far way in aiding the process of community development in St. Mary.
Giving the main address, prominent St. Mary Attorney-at-law, William McCalla lauded the JPs for the services they provide in the country, and reminded the appointees to fully appreciate the seriousness of the responsibilities with which they have been entrusted.
He pointed out that the new JPs have become a part of the administration of justice in the country by virtue of their appointment, and explained that JPs were generally regarded as being the first rung of that system, as they presided over court trials involving various offences committed by members of their communities.
Mr. McCalla urged the JPs to be impartial and responsible in discharging their duties, as by doing so, they would continue to earn the highest respect of the citizens of St. Mary.
Also addressing the function was Huntley Martin, President of the St. Mary Lay Magistrates’ Association, who invited the new JPs to become members of the organization.