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Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall, will be working with the Justice Training Institute, to conduct a series of training seminars for the island’s custodies and justices of the peace (JPs).
Professor Hall, who speaking at a civic meeting at the Bread of Life Ministry in Linstead, St. Catherine yesterday (May 18), said that the workshops were to educate them about the Justice Modernisation Programme, which is a five-year justice reform programme being undertaken by the Ministry of Justice.
It is aimed at increasing the lay magistrates’ awareness of the needs of citizens and to help them play an important role in conflict resolution, especially among young people.
“JPs can now then become catalysts for the development of justice across the country with the assistance of the Ministry of Justice,” Professor Hall stated.
He pointed out that not all offences should result in litigation, noting that some offences could be settled by mediation. “And, so a great deal of effort will be placed on the role of the justices, the custos and other lay magistrates, in settling disputes through mediation,” he added.
According to the Governor-General, there were plans by the Ministry of Justice to present a National Policy Framework so as to equip JPs with the “know how” to educate residents about the impact of violence on investment in the development initiates in their communities.
“JPs will also be urged to assume a greater educational role in their communities, to help citizens to understand the ramifications of new laws, as well as to encourage citizens to protect, rather than destroy, public institutions,” he said.
Linstead was the final stop by the Governor-General and his wife, Her Excellency the Most Hon. Rheima Hall on their island wide tour, to familiarize themselves with different aspects of the country and to meet with custodes, justices of the peace and other civic leaders.
Following the ceremony, the Governor-General and his wife visited the Dinthill Technical High School, where students, teachers and administrative staff gathered at the school’s auditorium to welcome him. Later, he signed the school’s guest book and toured the library and livestock farm. The Governor-General also toured the facilities at Trade Winds Citrus Limited, where he tasted the recently launched Tru Juice otaheite apple juice, made from locally grown apples.