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Six justice centres will be established across the island to coordinate alternative dispute resolution activities and enable easier access to justice services by members of the public.

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, made the disclosure as he delivered the Throne Speech to open the 2019/2020 session of Parliament in Gordon House on Thursday (February 14).

“With the completion of these justice centres, the Ministry (of Justice) would also have fulfilled one of the binding obligations under the 11th European Development Fund to have child diversion facilities fully operational as at March 2020,” he said.

The Governor-General, in reporting on other imperatives in the area of justice, said that the Government “will continue to rehabilitate and make new investments in critical physical court infrastructure and new technologies to increase efficiency”.

“This year, the St. Catherine Family Court (in Spanish Town) will be completed to reduce the large caseload of family court matters in the parish. Architectural designs are being completed to support the construction of a regional judicial complex, a regional supreme court, high court and family court in western Jamaica to address infrastructural gaps,” he noted.

He said the Government will implement an electronic case management system across the justice sector to ensure the timely disposal of cases and complete the installation of video and audio technology in 78 courtrooms across 19 courts to facilitate electronic recording of evidence.

Highlighting achievements in justice over the past year, he cited opening of the new Court of Appeal building in downtown Kingston, along with several reforms to improve the delivery of justice across the country.