Mon | Oct 15, 2018

Justice ministry to amend outdated fines

Published:Thursday | February 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMBrian Walker/Staff Reporter
Delroy Chuck

Jamaicans in conflict with the law will no longer benefit from outdated fines as close to 700 pieces of legislation will be amended by the end of the 2018-2019 financial year to include stiffer penalties, according to Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck.

"Certainly, by about June of this year, those (statutes) in the Ministry of Justice will be coming to Parliament for the penalties to be adjusted, and we expect that during this fiscal year, if not all, virtually all will be dealt with," said Chuck.

The minister had promised to fast-track the process to review the laws last April after the maximum fine of $100 was imposed on reputed leader of the Clansman gang, Tesha Miller. He had pleaded guilty to making a false declaration to immigration officials at the Norman Manley International Airport.

Chuck told The Gleaner that the ministry's Legal Reform Unit has developed a matrix for different penalties in all ministries, and there will be consultation.

He continued: "The reviews have gone extremely well. All of the statutes, nearly 700 of them, will be sent to the different ministries for them to have a consistent penalty right across the board."

Opposition Spokesperson on Justice Donna Scott-Motley, noted that she supported the Government's move to update the fines, but she also wanted archaic legislation to be repealed.

She explained, "We have a number of laws on our books, which are no longer applicable, but as long as they remain on our books, they can be enforced."

brian.walker@gleanerjm.com