Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
Chief Justice Zaila McCalla announced yesterday that in order to monitor cases and assist in reducing the backlog of cases, a Justice Enforcement Management System is now in place to track the progress of civil and criminal cases in the court system.
The system, which is accessible on a website, allows judges, defence lawyers and prosecutors to track the progress of cases through the system.
McCalla made the disclosure yesterday after she opened the Michaelmas session of the Home Circuit Court, which was marked with a colourful ceremony in Justice Square, downtown Kingston.
She spoke of the concerns the litigants had about the long delay in processing their divorce petitions. She said during the legal vacation in August, the judges processed approximately 1,300 such cases. She said also that the ultimate objective is to reduce the cases on the mention list and the number of times persons had to attend court before the cases were tried.
Incomplete cases files
McCalla further said one of the problems the justice system faces was that the cases files were not completed before they were put into the system. She called on all stakeholders, as well as the citizens, to play their part in improving the justice system.
Ian Wilkinson, president of the Jamaican Bar Association, said the the Government needed to move faster to make the justice system more efficient.
Meanwhile, Lisa Palmer-Hamilton, senior deputy director of public prosecutions, said the department will be launching its protocol on disclosure this year, and once it is uploaded to the website it would make the office more accountable to the public.
Attorney-at-law Valerie Neita-Robertson pledged support on behalf of the private Bar to work towards a more efficient justice system.
The term, which ends in December, has more than 560 cases for trial, of which more than 400 are murder cases. More than 500 of those cases were traversed from the previous term.