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JUSTICE Minister Delroy Chuck is moving to have justice centres established in each parish to provide training for justices of the peace (JPs) in the areas of restorative justice, mediation and child diversion.
The objective is to better enable the JPs to peacefully resolve conflicts outside of the court system and promote harmony in communities.
Chuck was speaking with JIS News following a meeting with custodes at his Constant Spring Road office in St Andrew on Thursday.
He said the justice centres will also serve as office spaces for the custodes, who represent the governor general at the parish level. They will be provided with secretaries.
“We thought it very necessary…. so that the work of the justice ministry can be properly carried out,” Chuck said.
Data provided by the ministry showed that as of December 19, 2016, there were just under 1,500 applications for JPs. Custodes will be conducting interviews.
The ministry wants to appoint an additional 3,000 JPs across the island in order to better serve the citizenry.
“A number of citizens in the rural areas and in the inner city indicate that they don’t know a JP or how to find one. At the end of the day, we’re depending on the civic-minded in these areas to offer themselves,” Chuck said.
“Not every applicant applying will be a justice of the peace. We have to make sure that they are persons of unquestionable integrity, good character, and who will not only volunteer but are community-minded persons,” he noted further.
During the meeting with the custodes, a number of issues were discussed, including increasing the jurisdiction for JPs, protecting the integrity of the office, as well as additional meetings to be held with JPs across the island.
Source: Jamaica Observer