Fri | Nov 17, 2017

Restoring trust tops judge's agenda

Published:Wednesday | September 16, 2015 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin

Restoring the trust and confidence of Jamaican citizens, in addition to creating educational opportunities for members of the judiciary, are matters newly appointed Court of Appeal judge Marva McDonald Bishop has urged her colleagues to bear in mind as they serve the public.

Bishop was on Monday sworn in as a judge of the Court of Appeal. Joining her as judges in the appeals court were Justice Paulette Williams and Justice Frank Williams.

Addressing the gathering at the ceremony for the swearing in of judges, held at King's House, St Andrew, Bishop noted that swift action must be taken in ensuring that effective and efficient service is given to the public.

"I want us to recognise that these are challenging times that we have been called upon to serve the nation. The society is evolving; the people of this country expect us to respond kindly, efficiently, competently and effectively to resolve their disputes with the highest quality, upholding dignity and integrity," she told the gathering.

"There are so many challenges facing the justice system, the most important being restoring the confidence of the public we serve in the judiciary and the justice system. A troublesome issue continues to be the recurring delay of the dispensation of justice and we have to continuously find ways and means to solve this problem," the judge charged.

She added, "We recognise now more than ever before that much more is expected of us. It's imperative that the public's confidence is maintained and restored, and if the nation is to be spared mayhem, we have to find a solution and find it fast."

In the meantime, Chief Justice Zaila McCalla indicated that it will be imperative that persons who serve in the judiciary adapt to the evolving times and be innovative in finding ways to enhance the productivity of the justice system.

"Judges were specifically taken on to assist with the vast number of divorce cases that come to the Supreme Court on a daily basis. With this said, all judges who are now serving must realise that they are serving at a critical point in the history of our country," the chief justice said.

"We must use technology to improve the delivery of service, which we have been doing. There is a need also to educate ourselves and keep abreast of what is happening as the cases are becoming heavier with each passing day. The initiatives implemented to enhance and modernise the justice system must be taken seriously and approached vigorously," McCalla charged.

Persons sworn in as puisne judges were Audre Lindo, Cresencia Brown Beckford, Marcia Dunbar Green, Georgiana Fraser, Sonia Bertram Linton and Dale Palmer. Persons appointed to the Masters-in-Chambers Court were Carolyn Tie and Yvonne Brown.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com