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Next Public Defender should have a history of human rights - lobbyist

Published:Monday | April 21, 2014 | 12:26 PM

Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Human rights lobbyist Lloyd D’Aguilar says the next head of the Office of the Public Defender should be someone with a history of human rights.




He says the government should move away from appointing retired judges and ex-lawyers, but instead individuals who have demonstrated a zeal to protect the rights of Jamaicans.



According to him, this was one of the critical qualities which was lacking at the Office under the leadership of Earl Witter.



Witter, who was sworn into office on September 13, 2006, retired on April 4.



Acting public defender has disclosed that in the last six years, the Office of the Public Defender has closed less than 40 per cent of the cases reported by Jamaicans seeking justice.



Mukulu revealed that 5,376 cases were opened for the period 2007 to 2013, but only 1,937 were closed.



Mukulu says Witter has to accept responsibility for the failures given that he was in charge.



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