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Story Highlights

  • The CMS will be replaced by the Court Administration Division and be integrated fully into the Court system.
  • The new Board will comprise members of the judiciary, representatives of the bar association, court users, and an expert in the field of commerce, finance or administration.
  • The new model follows a comprehensive review of the CMS, which found that there were a number of weaknesses in the current system.

The Court Management Services (CMS) will be replaced by the Court Administrative Division (CAD) as the independent body responsible for providing efficient and effective administrative and management services to Jamaican courts.

Outlining the details of the new system in the Upper House on March 14, Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, said the model has been approved by Cabinet and will be introduced over two years.

He advised that the administrative aspects of the system are slated to be introduced in the 2014/2015 fiscal year, “assuming the required budgetary allocations are made and the legislative aspects are drafted”.

The CAD, which will be fully integrated within the Court system, will develop its annual budget in consultation with the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

Mr. Golding informed that an advisory Board of the CAD will be created to advise the Chief Justice on matters relating to the management and operation of the Court system.

The Board will comprise of members of the judiciary, representatives of the bar association, court users, and an expert in the field of commerce, finance or administration.

The Justice Minister informed that sub-committees of the advisory board may also be created to provide focussed advice in key areas, such as finance, audit, physical plant and equipment, and information and communications technology.

“Ad hoc committees may also be appointed, as needed,” Mr. Golding remarked.

The new arrangements will also see the creation of three new legal posts: executive legal officer to the Chief Justice; Chief Resident magistrate; and Executive Legal Officer to the Chief Resident Magistrate.

Mr. Golding said the proposed changes will add significant value to the work and effectiveness of the judiciary; re-enforce judicial independence, which is a fundamental underpinning of Jamaica’s system of democratic governance under the rule of law; and enhance the quality of justice being administered to the Jamaican people.

The new model follows a comprehensive review of the CMS, which found that there were a number of weaknesses in the current system. The review was carried with technical assistance and funding from the Canadian Department of Justice.

The CMS was established under the Justice Ministry in 2010 to provide the judiciary and the overall Court system with adequate administrative support for the discharge of their functions.

Voicing her support, Opposition Senator, Malahoo-Forte said the proposed changes, will add significant value to the effectiveness of the judiciary.