Chuck issues warning to JPs
Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck has urged justices of the peace (JPs) to stay clear of corrupt practices, warning that they could be decommissioned and publicly exposed.
Addressing a Ministry of Justice-sponsored community sensitisation session at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St James, on Thursday, Chuck said the ministry was aware that there are a few JPs giving the lay magistrates profession a bad name, and every effort would be made to cull them from the system.
"I want to make myself very clear on this matter. Any justice of the peace who acts inappropriately will be decommissioned. We can't have
justices of the peace signing and recommending people that they don't know. That is contrary to what you had pledged to do," he told the gathering.
The minister said he was encouraging all well-intentioned JPs to speak out against those who are bent on tarnishing the image of lay magistrates, so they can be removed immediately from their duties.
WE WANT NOBLE PEOPLE
"We want people of unquestionable character. We want our pastors, our teachers, our community leaders to get into the system and serve as justices of the peace. It is a noble (service) that should be (undertaken) by noble men and women," he said.
Chuck pointed out that the current complement of 6,000 JPs islandwide needs to be increased and he encouraged more people to apply to their parish custodes for consideration.
"It is a voluntary position that comes with a lot of demands, but it is also something that can be fulfilling. It's really an invaluable service to your communities and your country, and something I would encourage people to consider," the minister said.
"We need people who we can rely on, and when they vouch for someone, we can take their word for it. That is a huge responsibility and that is why we have to ensure we have the right persons in place," he emphasised.