A strategic plan for courts is being designed as part of efforts to strengthen and modernise the country’s justice system.
Speaking at a training seminar for Justices of the Peace (JPs), at the Jamaica Conference Centre on November 3, Chief Justice, Hon. Bryan Sykes, informed that the plan will be completed for the 2019/20 financial year.
“This (the strategy) is tied to a budget as to what resources we need in order to deliver the outcomes, so that is essentially what the plan is about. We are using the current data that we have and using also the international standards as our aspirational markers for efficiency,” he explained.
He added that the plan is part of a larger mandate of delivering essential legal services to all Jamaicans, while ensuring the efficient use of resources within the system.
The training seminar, which was organised by the Ministry of Justice, was attended by over 1,000 JPs from Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine.
Issues related to their professional conduct, as well as recent topical issues that have put the conduct of the body under the public microscope, were discussed at the event.
In addition, issues concerning downtown Kingston’s development was also addressed the by the Urban Development Corporation
Meanwhile, the Chief Justice mentioned the development of a case management system, which is to become operational next year. He said the system will ensure more reliable record-keeping
“For us to get where we need to be, we need to have accurate, complete and readily available case files and records, and they must be easily accessible because we lose a lot of time searching for files under a paper-based system,” the Chief Justice said.
Mr. Sykes also informed that customer service booths have been set up in the Parish Courts, which, he said, will be used to assess the quantitative and qualitative performance of services.
He also noted that significant investment has also been made in improving the human resources within the system, with the training of several Supreme Court Judges, Senior Parish Court Judges, Directors of Court Management Services, court administrators, Registrars and senior staff in leadership and management.