JIS News

The preliminary report on the Jamaican justice system is to be presented for further public dialogue at the National Justice Reform Summit, which will be held at the Jamaica Conference Centre on May 10 and 11.
The report, which was the outcome of the research and consultation phase of the Justice System Reform Project, contains findings from extensive research on the state of the justice system, and makes recommendations for its reform to meet the needs of the nation in the 21st century.
Speaking at today’s (May 9) JIS Think Tank, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Carol Palmer, said that the report “proposes a 10-year time horizon for the implementation of…substantial reforms, which will [eliminate the need] to do this extensive detailed exercise, again.”
Within the preliminary document, recommendations are made for improvements in the physical conditions of courthouses, the use of technology, the accessibility of legal information as well as the re-engineering of legal structures to facilitate more collaboration among stakeholders, in order to achieve higher efficiency within the island’s courts.
Mrs. Palmer pointed out that during the research and consultation phase, seven commissioned research topics were completed, 15 issue papers were submitted by stakeholders across the justice sector, as well as 40 written submissions from members of the public on a range of issues.
Additionally, “21 public consultations were held reaching hundreds of members of the public in all parishes,” she informed, noting further that attention was given to the youth perspective, with the interviewing of some 200 young persons, who have encountered the justice system or are at risk of doing so.
In the meantime, she told JIS News that the two-day Summit will provide a forum for public input relating to the proposals of the report, before it is refined.Subsequently, it will be presented to the transformation team comprising the Chief Justice, representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Finance and Planning, and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).
“That team will finalize what will be placed before the Cabinet for a decision on what will comprise the modernisation plan for Jamaica’s justice system,” Mrs. Palmer stated, adding that “the justice system will be subject to continuous rigour as we move forward, to ensure that it is always current and relevant to the needs of the state.”

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