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Story Highlights

  • Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, has given an undertaking to increase the complement of staff serving the court system.
  • Acknowledging the need for more judges, prosecutors and support staff, particularly at the Supreme Court, Mr. Chuck expressed the hope that this will be addressed by the impending public-sector reform, which would facilitate the reassignment of persons interested in serving the justice system from some of the Ministry’s other departments and agencies.
  • Meanwhile, the Minister reiterated plans to expand the number of courtrooms dedicated to trying criminal cases at the Supreme Court to 12, up from the current six.

Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, has given an undertaking to increase the complement of staff serving the court system.

He gave this assurance during the presentation of 15 computers to the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston on November 1, after touring the facility with Chief Justice, Hon. Zaila McCalla, who raised concerns about challenges being experienced within the system as a result of staff shortage.

Acknowledging the need for more judges, prosecutors and support staff, particularly at the Supreme Court, Mr. Chuck expressed the hope that this will be addressed by the impending public-sector reform, which would facilitate the reassignment of persons interested in serving the justice system from some of the Ministry’s other departments and agencies.

Mr. Chuck indicated that the Ministry is also seeking to increase the complement of Court of Appeal Judges to 12, and that arrangements are being finalised to expand the number of judges chambers and courtrooms.

He said the Ministry is “ready to reconfigure” the Court of Appeal to enable this undertaking.

Meanwhile, the Minister reiterated plans to expand the number of courtrooms dedicated to trying criminal cases at the Supreme Court to 12, up from the current six.

Journalists accompanying the Minister on the tour were shown three of the courtrooms where preparations for this transition, inclusive of the installation of audiovisual equipment, have been completed.

This was carried out with support from the Canadian Government-funded Justice Undertaking for Social Transformation (JUST) Programme.

In her remarks, Mrs. McCalla welcomed Mr. Chuck’s resolve to tackle some of the challenges affecting the justice system.She said that his tour of the Supreme Court’s facilities was “an indication of your interest in addressing those matters quite urgently”.

The 15 new computers, along with a high-density server, data backup and storage and firewall protection devices, form part of a $19.2-million provision allocated under the JUST Programme.

They will serve to significantly boost the new jury-management system at the Supreme Court.

The handover was done by Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Sylvain Fabí.