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UN grants J’can judges access to pioneering resource

Published:Monday | June 3, 2019 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

Jamaica’s justice system is now equipped with an interactive online platform that gives judges immediate access to basic human rights law, and according to the United Nations’ (UN) Senior Human Rights Adviser George Abualzulof, it is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

“This is the first course of its kind. For the first time, it combines international, regional and national law and it’s accessible online, which is a good opportunity for it to be transmitted to other countries in the region,” Abualzulof said.

“The ultimate goal of these resources is to strengthen human rights protection and to try to strengthen the domestic procedures to be all based on human rights,” he added.

He described the online platform as “marking a milestone in the development of professional training capacity in the administration of justice”, noting that the UN started supporting the dissemination of international human rights law in 2015 with a training seminar for Parish Court judges.

Current views

Chief Justice Bryan Sykes said that the platform, which was launched in April, will help to bring the nation’s courts up to be speed with current views on human-rights law.

“The online training platform on international human rights provides the opportunity to be aware of current and new ways of thinking about human rights and how it applies in different circumstances. It also gives us the opportunity to be aware of what is happening in other parts of the world on this very important issue,” Sykes said.

The online training platform offers modular training with an emphasis on international human rights; human rights of persons deprived of liberty; rights to a fair trial; and international human rights law.

It is sponsored by UN Jamaica and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in collaboration with the Judicial Education Institute and the Court Management Services.