Sat | Dec 3, 2016

Don't make judges sitting ducks

Published:Friday | January 30, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:
It was with concern that I read the story, 'Judges livid - only politicians to retain automatic right to police bodyguards' (January 28, 2015). The Government's decision to rescind judges' automatic entitlement to close-protection officers ostensibly results in it becoming the exception rather than the rule for judges to have access to bodyguards.

Doubts linger about whether the new 'threat assessment' model will function effectively. If it does not, the consequences could be extremely grave. It is difficult to accept such a risk, given the country's ongoing battle with crime and insecurity.

Although the number of murders dropped last year, the United Nations still reports that Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates in the world.

There are approximately 40 Supreme Court judges in Jamaica. Society looks to them to uphold the rule of law, to counter corruption, and to ensure that cases are decided fairly and in accordance with the established jurisprudence.

While we may not always agree with the decisions that judges make, we must endeavour to guarantee that they are safe to carry out their duties in an impartial and balanced manner, without fear or threat of reprisal.

SHANE MARTINEZ

shane@martinezlaw.ca

Toronto, Canada