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More than $7 billion needed to reform justice system – gov't

Published:Wednesday | May 3, 2017 | 1:35 PM
Justice Minister Delroy Chuck.

The government says it needs more than $7 billion to reform the country's justice system.

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck says this figure does not include the cost for infrastructural works and institutional capacity building.

Jamaica's justice system is choked by a backlog of an estimated 400,000 cases but gets just about two per cent of the annual national budget.

Compounded by a shortage of judges, the delay in settling cases span as many as five years.

Chuck says the target is to reduce the backlog by 10 per cent this year, as well as to set up 14 parish justice centres (PJCs) by March 31 next year.

Additionally, he says alternative dispute resolution will be implemented in about one thousand schools across the country and more justices of the peace will be recruited to reduce the pressure on the court system.