JIS News

Resident Magistrate in Clarendon, Andrea Thomas, has called on Justices of the Peace (JPs) to ensure that integrity is the hallmark of their activities.
“You have to recognize that when you, as an individual, does something that is illegal or contrary to your mandate, you’re not only affecting yourself, but you’re affecting the entire society and therefore it should be with that in mind, that we should conduct ourselves in such a way to ensure that the system is protected,” she emphasized.
Judge Thomas was speaking yesterday (September 28), at the annual general meeting of the Clarendon chapter of the Lay Magistrates Association, held at the St. Gabriel’s Anglican Church in May Pen.
“Justices of the Peace, you are an integral part of a very important sector of the society, that is the justice system, and a lot of us might think that the financial sector, the health sector, and the other sectors are more important, but these sectors must function within an atmosphere of justice and peace for them to be effective.therefore consider yourselves to be very important people in a very important system, in a society where we want to see development and progress,” the Resident Magistrate told the JPs.
She stressed that it was the justice system that must address the problem of crime and violence, the main social problem that affected the nation, and pointed out that other sectors of society were dependent on the Justice system to function properly.
“Although you are Justices of the Peace functioning in the petty sessions court, the lowest in the hierarchy of the court, as the saying goes, a chain is as strong as its weakest link, therefore, if the lowest court is not functioning effectively, then we will have a ripple effect throughout the entire system, so it is important that we carry out our mandate with justice, fearlessness, unbiased and without corruption,” she emphasized.
Custos of Clarendon, R. James deRoux, also encouraged the JPs to display integrity in their undertakings.”Make yourselves to stand above the crowd as persons to be looked up to as role models.We must be persons of integrity and good order,” he said.
National President of the Lay Magistrates Association, Carlton Stephen, told the meeting that the Code of Ethics governing a JP’s conduct was in its final stages of preparation.
“The Code of Ethics is with the Ministry of Justice.it has to go through legal and other kinds of scrutiny because of the kind of document that it is going to be. Remember there are some of us who do not behave as we should. At this time there is a Committee comprised of Custodes, High Court Judges, Resident Magistrates and other persons to provide moral and legal scrutiny and the Ministry is not going to put something out, in conjunction with the Custodes, that can be challenged by anyone after it is published,” he said.
For Clarendon, Faye Morgan was returned as President of the Association; Myrtle Roye, First Vice President; Gaston Thomas, Second Vice President; Shirley Willis, Secretary; Doreen Evans, Assistant Secretary; Pauline Fearon, Treasurer; and Winsome V. Gregory, Public Relations Officer.