Speech

Madam Speaker,

I am grateful for the opportunity to report on the achievements of the Ministry of Justice in this my sixth consecutive year as Minister of Justice. I am equally proud to appear in this Honourable House  on behalf of the Constituents of North East St Andrew, serving as their Member of Parliament for 23 plus years.

Mr Prime Minister, I extend heartfelt gratitude to you for your continued confidence in my ability to captain the reform efforts within the Justice Sector.

To my hardworking team at the Justice Ministry, I extend whole-hearted appreciation. I would like to specially thank Mrs Sancia Bennett Templer, who served as Permanent Secretary for two productive years. I also take this opportunity to officially welcome Mrs Grace Ann Stewart McFarlane into her new post as Acting Permanent Secretary after serving as a bastion of expertise in the Ministry for over four years. I am grateful for a team that has displayed composure and innovation in a difficult period for our nation. As a result of your work, Jamaicans continued to receive sterling justice services even in one of the most difficult periods experienced by modern society. I can only add that the best is yet to come.

I also thank the Chief Justice, Hon. Mr Justice Bryan Sykes, other members of the judiciary, and the staff of the Court Administration Division for their commitment to the improvement of the Justice Sector. I am confident that our continued partnership takes us gradually and closer to realising our shared goal of elevating our justice system to the best in the Caribbean, and one of the best in the World. The Judiciary and the Court system have my full support as we work together to create a firstclass justice system.

Special thanks to:
• President of the Court of Appeal, The Honourable Mr Justice Patrick Brooks, and to The Honourable Dennis Morrison who retired as President in December 2020;
• Appeal Judges and the Court of Appeal staff;
• Attorney General, Mrs Marlene Malahoo-Forte;
• Solicitor General, Mrs Marlene Aldred and the staff of the Attorney General’s Chambers;
• Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms Paula Llewellyn and her staff; and
• Director, Court Administration Division, Mrs Tricia Cameron-Anglin and her staff for their sterling contribution to the advancement of the work of the Courts and the Justice System.
Special thanks also to the various affiliated agencies and departments of the Justice Ministry including:
• Administrator-General, Mrs Lona Brown and her staff for protecting the interests of minors, creditors and beneficiaries of estates;
• Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Miss Judith Grant and her staff; and
• The Acting Director of Legal Reform, Ms Nadine Wilkins, and her staff, for contributing to the development of a robust legislative framework. In the same vein, I express thanks to Mr Maurice Bailey, former Director of that Department, who, after a tenure marked by professional acuity and commitment, proceeded on retirement leave.

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