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Ten laptop computers, valued at US$8,500, were presented to the Ministry of Justice by the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) on Tuesday (January 18).

The presentation was made to Justice Minister and Attorney General, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne, by PSOJ President, Joseph M. Matalon, at the Ministry, New Kingston.

The laptops are expected to significantly enhance the administrative and technological capabilities of the Supreme Court, where they will be distributed. They are expected to augment the court’s reporting proceedings, already been boosted with the incorporating of computer technology to facilitate timely and accurate recording of evidence and preparation of transcripts.

Computer wholesale firm and PSOJ member, Intcomex Jamaica, was instrumental in the acquisition of the laptops.

Speaking at the handing over, Mr. Matalon said the decision to procure the equipment resonated with a suggestion from Deputy Registrar at the Commercial Court division, Jamilia Davis, who sits on the PSOJ’s Justice Reform Committee.

“She made the suggestion to us that a very worthwhile contribution that we could make to the improvement of the justice system, was by way of providing these computers, in order to allow for a greater number of court reporters to have access to the technology,” the PSOJ President disclosed.

Mr. Matalon said the organization discussed the matter with its members, and Intcomex agreed to provide the computers, while commending the firm for “stepping up to the plate”.

In welcoming the PSOJ’s gesture, Senator Lightbourne said the computers will be pivotal in advancing the Supreme Court’s real time court reporting system.

Noting that all of the High Court’s rooms have the necessary infrastructure to facilitate installation of the requisite technology to this end, the Justice Minister underscored the benefits of real time court reporting.

“It speeds up the cases, it speeds up the appeals often, when someone is convicted and they appeal, the appeal cannot be heard until there is a transcript of the evidence and it takes the shorthand writers a very long time to go through the whole evidence and produce the transcripts…up to a year,” Senator Lightbourne explained.

“Now, we can send a case to the Court of Appeal, after it is completed, within two to three weeks, which is fantastic, and it makes all the difference,” she added.

Senator Lightbourne said the Ministry is desirous of making provisions for all judges to have computers which, she contended, should address the problem of the backlog of cases.

Ms. Davis advised that the new computers are earmarked for deployment to court reporters at the Supreme Court.

CONTACT: DOUGLAS McINTOSH