The Ministry of Justice will be working to expand the operations of Justices of the Peace (JPs) islandwide, with a new seal design.
Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, who was speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, today (October 21), said the change in the seal design reflects the change in operations of JPs, based on location.
“In the past, you were a JP of a parish. Now, even though you are commissioned in the parish you can perform JP services right across Jamaica. Save and except as a Lay Magistrate, you perform the Lay Magistrate’s service only in the parish where you have adherence to the particular Custos,” he said.
For her part, Director of Public Law, Restorative and Preventative Justice in the Justice Ministry, Julia Moncrieffe Wiggan, said since January of this year, the Ministry began making amendments to all Justice of the Peace Regulations to introduce new seals.
“With the expansion of the Jurisdiction of the role of the Justice of the Peace, the new seal design will not have the parish but it will have the title Jamaica on the seal itself. Over the next five years, we will be working towards this with a view to conclude by March 2026,” she said.
The old seal design that has the parish will be valid and continues to be valid. Currently, there are more than 9,000 JPs islandwide.
Meanwhile, Minister Chuck is urging persons to desist from creating and using their own seals, as they will be decommissioned if found guilty.
“If we get good persuasive evidence about persons creating and using seals, then those persons are taken before a disciplinary committee and if the committee finds them guilty, then they can be decommissioned,” the Minister said.
“Only recently, I got a letter about a JP who made a seal and was using it. Now that JP was decommissioned. He has appealed and I responded by saying, once the disciplinary committee finds you guilty of creating a seal and using it, then you have committed an offence under the JP Act, which results in decommissioning,” Mr. Chuck explained.