Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Push for JPs to Serve Islandwide

Published:Monday | September 12, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck (sixth left, front row); Senior St James Parish Judge, Sandria Wong Small (sixth right) and President of the St James Lay Magistrates Association, Claudette Bryan (seventh left) with the new St James Justices of the Peace who were sworn in at a ceremony at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on September 8. x

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck says the Government is moving to put in place legislation to allow justices of the peace (JPs) to perform duties islandwide.

Addressing an installation ceremony for 35 new JPs for the parish of St James on September 8 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, the minister said similar legislation will also be coming to decommission those who breach the code of conduct.

The minister implored the new JPs to remember their core values and abide by the code of conduct.

"I cannot emphasise enough that our justices of the peace must act professionally and honestly, so that no one can question their actions," he said.

Chuck reminded them that the tasks ahead will be hard, and they should remember that they must be carried out voluntarily.

"I want to congratulate and express appreciation for making yourselves available to serve the people of St James and Jamaica. You are joining a very noble vocation ... do not let anybody force you to do anything that is wrong," Chuck implored.

MINISTRY ON A MISSION

The minister pointed out that there is still a shortage of JPs to adequately serve the island and efforts are being made to increase the number.

"I have urged the custodes to look for persons with unblemished character and invite them to become JPs. I have been encouraging the pastors, the teachers, honest and upright community leaders and business people to offer themselves to become justices of the peace," Chuck added.

He said the ministry is on a mission to train more persons, mostly JPs, to become stronger community leaders who are able to mediate and restore order across the island.

Claudette Bryan, president of the St James chapter of the Lay Magistrates' Association of Jamaica, urged the newly commissioned JPs to take their responsibilities seriously. Bryan told the appointees that they have taken on an important task.

"I charge this group of ladies and gentlemen, who are being commissioned, not to take this position lightly. You are now part of a distinguished office dating back to the 13th century," she said.

Bryan told the new JPs that through the training received, they have been empowered to offer dedicated and committed service to their country.

"This will certainly empower you to serve your communities and your country in a more meaningful and effective way," she said.

Bryan encouraged the JPs to continue to seek out additional training in an effort to broaden their knowledge of the justice system and the role they are being asked to play.