Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Ministry of Justice to do comprehensive review of current, outdated lawsth century being evaluated

Published:Thursday | May 4, 2017 | 5:00 AMEdmond Campbell

The Legal Reform Unit of the Ministry of Justice is pledging to deploy nearly 50 per cent of its human resources to carry out a comprehensive review of Jamaica's laws, including those dating back to the 19th century.

Maurice Bailey, director of legal reform in the Ministry of Justice, told journalists at a post-Sectoral Debate press conference at the ministry's Constant Spring Road offices that regulations would form part of the review.

He said that the justice ministry would be writing to all other ministries to get their help in providing all regulations and laws under their portfolio.

Bailey said that this would allow his unit to prepare an inventory of the statutes and monetary penalties for submission to Cabinet.

"One of the aims is not simply to update the fines, but also to make sure that those that are flagged for reform can also be dealt with in a comprehensive way. The idea is that going forward, there will be an omnibus mechanism that can be used to classify these fines and to ensure that they are kept up to date," he said.

Bailey also sought to dispel any notion that no work had been done on laws with fines that are out of step with reality.

He said that the Legal Reform Unit has updated a number of statutes over time. "It is not that everything has been left languishing, but we [must] do this kind of comprehensive review of the inventory," he added.

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck put his colleague lawmakers on notice on Tuesday that the Parliament would have to sit three times a week to update the laws of Jamaica.