Thu | Jul 18, 2019

Go after JPs who operate contrary to oath - Chuck

Published:Wednesday | December 19, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck is mooting the use of sting operations and private investigators to identify and rid the judicial system of justices of the peace (JP) who are operating contrary to their oath of office.

Chuck was responding to a Sunday Gleaner article about JPs in St James who were found providing recommendations for individuals they did not know, while speaking at the commissioning of 36 new justices for St Andrew on Sunday.

"Joining as a justice of the peace should have no material benefit, the satisfaction you should get is the fact that you are helping others, the feeling that you are contributing to the development of your neighbourhood, your community and your country," Chuck asserted.

"I want persons to volunteer, persons of unblemished character and persons of unquestionable integrity, because only then can we provide the service and ensure that people live up to the qualities expected."

Today (Sunday), it was so sad to see in The Gleaner that justices of the peace, two or three of them, were in Montego Bay literally using their office and the seal for material gain," Chuck continued. "I say if you don't know the person, seeing him for the first time, it is wrong, egregious for you to identify him or make recommendations about him because then you will undermine yourself and the profession of which you are a part.

"So I am begging you, as I beg across the nation, please, be careful in helping others," the minister admonished the new JPs.

According to the article, the JPs in question, who operate from the Transport Authority post in the Montego Bay Transportation Centre, are not soliciting payment for their services, but will readily accept a contribution, if offered.

Chuck pointed to the recent incident where a Manchester-based JP recommended a man, who was wanted for rape in two parishes, for a job in the hotel industry and who now faces charges of sexually assaulting two tourists, shortly after being employed. "There is no way that JP could have known him, because he was wanted for rape in Manchester and St Elizabeth ... ," said Chuck.