Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Video-record testimony to dissuade flip-flopping

Published:Tuesday | October 25, 2016 | 12:00 AM


The lead story, 'Record them', on the front page of The Gleaner (October 24, 2016) is an interesting one that brings into sharp focus the need for us to prioritise in the justice and national security system.

For far too long, we have been hearing stories of how, for whatever reason, witnesses have been flip-flopping in court where their testimony really matters. We need to have that issue corrected once and for all.

I believe that the Government can start out by purchasing the interview suite mentioned in the report for St James and Kingston and St Andrew to begin with. Simultaneously, they should introduce large flat-screen television in court, so that the videos can be shown.

Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck has been pushing for cases to be handled quickly by the court. Well, Mr Chuck, here is a way in which your administration can facilitate the process. Make it your priority to, over the life of your administration, establish even two of these suites, which will no doubt speed up the process.

As the article mentioned, there would have to be some amendments to certain acts and probably new legislation would have to be passed. Why not begin the process of consultation with the stakeholders to see what best can work in the Jamaican context?

Our minister of justice and minister of national security must find the motivation to get things like these off the ground.