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Golding says big changes coming to court system

Published:Tuesday | September 18, 2012 | 5:38 PM

The Minister of Justice, Mark Golding is seeking to assure that within the next eight months there will be significant changes in the judicial system that will ease the backlog of cases.

Yesterday, at the opening of the Michaelmas session of the Home Circuit Court, the President of the Jamaican Bar Association raised concerns about the number of murder cases on the court list.

Supreme Court Judge Lloyd Hibbert also expressed disapproval that a murder case against a policeman has been on the Home Circuit Court list for almost six years.

Golding said while these are not new problems, he says he has set himself an agenda that will hopefully remove some of these cases from the system.

Golding said he is also considering eliminating the system of trial by jury in relation to sexual offenses and some minor indictable offenses.

He said there is precedence for this in some Commonwealth jurisdictions.

According to him, part of the wider plan is to amend the law to encourage more guilty pleas.