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Wilkinson lashes government over failings in justice system

Published:Monday | January 7, 2013 | 1:35 PM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

President of the Bar Association of Jamaica Ian Wilkinson this morning gave a stinging criticism of the Government, over the continued failings which have beset the justice system.

Wilkinson charged that the State has failed citizens in giving them the best access to justice.

He was addressing today’s opening of the Hilary Session of the Home Circuit Court which has 595 cases down for trial.

Wilkinson said that the justice system has been used as a political football and no seriousness has been shown to improve the system.

Pointing out that less than one per cent of the National Budget goes to justice, the bar association president said the real issue is not a lack of resources but a lack of mental capacity to handle the situation.

Speaking with our news centre, Wilkinson said clear plans need to be outlined by the government to clean up the backlog of cases.

He said there are immediate steps which can be taken to improve the justice system that require no expenditure.

Meanwhile, Justice Carol Beswick, who also spoke at this morning’s opening of the Hilary Session of the Home Circuit Court, said starting this month meetings are to be held to develop ways aimed at clearing the backlog of cases.

Of the cases down for trial in the Home Circuit Court this term, 346 are for murder, 67 cases of rapes and 48 cases of carnal abuse.

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