Friday | February 27, 2015

New legal aid clinic coming - Mark Golding

Published:Friday | February 15, 2013
A section of the dilapidated building which houses the Montego Bay Legal Aid Clinic on Orange Street in Montego Bay St James. - File

Justice Minister Mark Golding says he is in advanced talks with a public agency in St James to lease a property for the relocation of the Montego Bay Legal Aid Clinic.

"The facility will house the legal aid clinic and a registry for the Supreme Court, where lawyers and litigants can file their cases instead of coming into Kingston," Golding told The Gleaner yesterday.

"The legal aid clinic should be in place by March 1, but further discussions with the chief justice will determine the timing for the establishment of the registry," the minister added.

The Civil Registry of the Supreme Court facilitates the filing of writs and claims exceeding $250,000.

According to the minister, the relocation effort stems from a meeting with the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry which has been lobbying for the establishment of a judicial complex in the western region.

In a recent article, The Gleaner highlighted the dilapidated state of the current clinic, which is located at Orange Street, and its unsuitability to meet the purpose for which it was intended.

Golding's announcement comes against the background that the Government owns more than 4,000 square feet of office space at the Bay West Shopping Centre, in Montego Bay, which has been unoccupied since 1990 despite a monthly maintenance cost of $150,000.

mark.titus@gleanerjm.com