The Honourable House is asked to note that Cabinet has approved the tabling of the Chief Justice’s Statistics Reports for the Parish Courts of Jamaica for the period January – June 2018.
Members will note that for the first time, annual Reports were prepared for the Supreme Court and Parish Courts for 2017. These Reports were posted on the website of the Supreme Court and tabled in this Honourable House, in order to increase transparency in the operations, accountability and performance of the Courts.
Improvements in Administration of Cases
A. At the Parish Court level, the Case Information Statistical System (CISS) has been extended to the Civil and Family Divisions as well as the Coroner’s Court and Special Coroner’s Court.
B. Work has commenced to collect similar data for Tax and Traffic Court matters and Reports are now being prepared to include these additional business lines.
C. Quarterly Reports are now routinely prepared and are also posted to the Supreme Court website.
D. The Statistical System is now being utilized by Courts to effectively manage the cases before them, automate the Court processes, commence electronic scheduling and to track and reduce the backlog in the Courts.
E. Case Progression Officers assigned throughout the Parish Courts also utilize the electronic data to promote the readiness of criminal cases for court, thus contributing to an improvement in trial readiness and trial date certainty and improving the case clearance and case disposal rates.
The Backlog in the Courts continues to be a major concern.
However MS, it is important to show that progress has been made, and is being made in the Parish Courts.
F. The Reports will show that there has been significant improvement in the case disposal rates of the Courts. The disposal rate is the proportion of new cases filed within a particular period versus cases which have been disposed of within that same period. The improvements in the case disposal rates have also been a catalyst for improving the case clearance rates across the Parish Courts.