Sat | Sep 18, 2021

Letter of the day: Cornwall improvements hopefully just the beginning

Published:Friday | September 25, 2015 | 12:00 AM


Kindly permit me space in your newspaper to say thanks on behalf of the Cornwall Bar Association to the Minister of Justice, Mark Golding; Chief Justice Zaila McCalla, and Court Management Services for responding so positively to the Cornwall Bar Association's request to effect certain well- needed changes to improve the administration of justice in the county of Cornwall.

I speak of the establishment of the Civil Registry of the Supreme Court in Montego Bay, St James; the establishment of a branch of the Administrator General's office in Montego Bay, St James; the refurbishing of the Family Courts in St James and Westmoreland - both of which were cramped for space; the expansion of the court office in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, with a newly refurbished air conditioned section; and the creation of a third courtroom in Savanna-la-Mar, which is now being undertaken.

This third courtroom in Savanna-la-Mar is greatly needed, especially when the Circuit Court is sitting and when the coroner comes to the parish for the Coroner's Court. It will no doubt also facilitate sessions of the Court of Appeal in this parish in the future.



We appreciate all the improvements to the Family Courts, however, the Cornwall Bar Association sees these positive developments as temporary fixes. The long-term solution lies, in the case of Westmore-land, in the building of a permanent Family Court on a site that has already been identified, and in the case of St James, in the building of a judicial complex that will house not only the Family Court and the Resident Magistrate Courts, but most important, a branch of the Supreme Court so that Montego Bay can truly be called a city and the people within the county of Cornwall can have greater access to justice.

Both the minister of justice and the chief justice, we know, share our vision; and we look forward to working with them to effect these well-needed changes and improvements in the near future.

Michael B. P. Erskine

Immediate Past President

Cornwall Bar Association