Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Appeal Court President says outstanding transcripts causing backlog

Published:Friday | September 29, 2017 | 9:43 AM

President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Dennis Morrison, is raising concern that the transcripts for almost 700 civil and criminal cases are still outstanding, months after the appeals have been heard.

Speaking at the opening of the Michaelmas session of the Court of Appeal on Monday, Justice Morrison lamented that the transcripts for 346 civil appeals and 342 criminal appeals have not been completed.

The President of the Court of Appeal said these cases are counted as part of the court backlog, even though in reality judges cannot deliver a ruling until the transcripts are made available to them.

The country's top appeals judge pointed out that while there are mechanisms to deliver rulings in civil appeals, it becomes a rights issue for criminal appeals given that there is a constitutional obligation to deliver justice in reasonable time.

Justice Morrison said the chief justice and the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice have been notified and are supposed to be addressing the issue.

Meanwhile, the President of the Court of Appeal said a Court User's Committee is being established as an interactive and responsive mechanism to suggest improvements to the Court.

He said members of the Jamaican Bar are being asked to be a part of the Committee.