Thu | Sep 24, 2020

Justice sector to be boosted with £1 million MOU between Jamaica and UK

Published:Tuesday | August 11, 2020 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck (left), signs a memorandum of understanding with David Osborne, country representative at the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development on August 11, 2020. Also pictured ( from left) are Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn and British High Commissioner to Jamaica Asif Ahmad – Kenyon Hemans photo

Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer

Efforts to unify Jamaica’s prosecutorial services across the public sector is to be boosted with the provision of £1 million from the United Kingdom's Department for International Development.

The department and the Government signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) this afternoon, with Justice Minister Delroy Chuck stating that the agreement will help to modernise Jamaica’s justice sector.

The MOU, which will run until March 31, 2023, is a continuation of a previous agreement on prosecutorial services and support for efficiency at the Ministry of Justice, the island’s courts, and the Court Administration Division.

Chuck said the signing is timely, given the long-held perception and unfortunate reality that corruption in high and low places need to be urgently addressed.

“It is an open secret that corruption threatens to erode the very fabric of our society. I have no doubt that all well-thinking Jamaicans are in one accord regarding that sentiment,” said Chuck.

He noted that going after corrupt officials is not an easy task, pointing out that financial resource is a key component.

“That is why today’s agreement, valued at £1 million with funding from the Serious Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Programme, is intended to play a pivotal role in strengthening Jamaica’s anti-corruption framework by building the capacity of select institutions to improve accountability and transparency,” said Chuck.

Asif Ahmad, the British High commissioner to Jamaica, lauded the agreement, with similar sentiments from Jamaica’s Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn.

“This now takes us to a new three-year cycle committing one million pounds, which, when last checked, was just shy of $J200 million,” Ahmad said.

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