Sun | Jan 24, 2021

Justice institutions benefit from more than $2 billion improvements

Published:Wednesday | January 9, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck

More than $2 billion has been spent on the construction, rehabilitation, and refurbishment of justice institutions as the justice-system reform picks up pace, the Ministry of Justice has revealed.

More than $1.12 billion was spent on the refurbishment of courts across the island, accounting for over 50 per cent of the funds. Among the major court-refurbishment projects was the expansion of the Court of Appeal, at a cost of $846 million, which featured three additional courtrooms and 14 judges' chambers, as well as upgraded meeting facilities and offices.

In addition, standby generators were installed in 10 courts, including the St Catherine Parish Court, the St Elizabeth Parish Court, and the St Ann Parish Court. The generators will significantly improve the efficiency of courts as power outages will no longer halt court proceedings.

The move to establish a multi-door justice system was also bolstered as approximately

$62 million was spent on infrastructural works necessary for the establishment of parish justice centres in Westmoreland, Trelawny, and St Mary. The establishment of these centres has been pivotal in the provision of alternative dispute resolution services, increasing access to justice for the people of Jamaica.

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck described the works as an "ongoing quest of the Ministry of Justice to upgrade and develop the country's court facilities so that they can be beacons of hope and excellence in the delivery of quality and timely justice to our people".

He outlined further plans for the development of justice institutions, which include the construction of regional judicial complexes and parish complexes over the next two to five fiscal years.