Jamaica News: Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, says expansion of the Court of Appeal building on King Street in downtown Kingston is progressing smoothly and is on track for completion before the start of the new court term, which begins in September.
“I think we are still on target. The major deliverables to come would be the elevators and they should be delivered by August 25. It should take less than a week to install them,” Mr. Chuck said.
The Minister was speaking with journalists following a tour of the building on August 9.
“I am hoping that in the second week of September before the start of the Court of Appeal term, that we can have a formal opening of the two top floors. The bottom floor may take a few more weeks. We are going to have three courts on the second floor and (additional) judges’ chambers,” he said.
The Minister was accompanied on the tour by Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Carol Palmer. The EU is providing funding for the project.
Mr. Chuck pointed out that with the additional space, more judges can be appointed.
In April, the Minister signed an $846 million contract to undertake the project, which will see the addition of three new courtrooms, 13 judges’ chambers and two lounges.
The building, now owned by the Ministry of Justice, formerly housed the Administrator General’s Department, which has been relocated to the former Oceana Hotel building on Ocean Boulevard, downtown.
For her part, Ambassador Wasilewska said that she is impressed with the work being done.
“We have been coming every month to see the progress and I have to say, my hats off to the contractor and all the staff working here,” she said.
“I am quite confident that when I come back from Europe in a month’s time, the court should be ready for opening. It’s a big part of our support to the justice sector and it will make a huge difference to efficiency and working conditions of the Court of Appeal,” she said.
Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Hilary Phillips, said the expansion work will “make a substantial difference to us in terms of the work that we have to do.”
“We have been monitoring and observing the progress daily and I would like to congratulate the contractor as well as his team,” she said.
Jamaica received €4 million in budgetary support through the EU’s 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Programme during fiscal year 2017/18. This allowed for increased budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Justice to fund the project.
The contract was awarded to Y.P. Seaton & Associates.
Source: JIS News