Sat | Mar 17, 2018

Letter of the Day | Justice for all

Published:Friday | October 28, 2016 | 12:00 AM


I would like to applaud the minister of Justice and the Government on the improvements they have set out to achieve in the ministry. The announcements the justice minister made in The Gleaner recently are long overdue; however, it's good that the Government has decided to make a start.

I am a bit disappointed, however, that the minister only spoke about technological improvements and transformation. While this is important and necessary, I believe the people of Jamaica are demanding change in policies and procedures that will reduce corruption and level the playing field with regard to justice. This is the issue that needs to be addressed immediately.

Our justice system has become inaccessible to millions of poor people. We must ensure everyone has access to equal justice. Thomas Jefferson wrote that "the most sacred of the duties of a government is to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens".

After the verdict of the recently concluded Khajeel Mais case has left the public with a sense of injustice the family, and the public have felt a sense of injustice and insecurity, especially poor people. I am no expert in the field of law and justice, but what is obvious is that Jamaicans have little or no faith in the justice system, and cases like these are part of the reason.

The issues of class, money, and connections have been on the tip of most Jamaicans' tongues. The justice system is not seen as fair and impartial. If people do not perceive the judicial system to be fair, it loses its legitimacy. The poor man should be able to get the same standard as justice as the rich man. Until this is achieved, the country is failing its people.