Jamaica News: Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, is appealing for members of the public to make use of the various justice services offered by the Ministry and its agencies.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Ministry’s Integrated Justice Fair on Thursday (Oct. 24), at the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre, St. Andrew.
The event, held in collaboration with the European Union (EU), brought together more than 17 government entities to provide on-the-spot information and advice to citizens.
Mr. Chuck said that the fair was part of the Ministry’s public education campaign as it seeks to take justice to the people, in keeping with the goal of creating a first class justice system.
“I am encouraging everyone… to use this opportunity to be empowered with useful information. Ask as many questions as you can because the personnel at the Ministry and related entities are here to serve,” he said.
“Ask about legal aid and how you can obtain the service; Expungement, if you qualify for it; wills and how they can be drafted,” he noted.
He further highlighted the work of the Restorative Justice Centres, and urged persons to take advantage of the services offered to work out their differences and resolve conflicts without resorting to violence.
“There’s no need for gun or knife attacks to settle simple arguments. There are several Restorative Justice Centres in the Corporate Area – August Town, Olympic Gardens, Trench Town, Denham Town and Tivoli Gardens to name a few,” he said.
He informed that the Ministry will soon be providing additional information regarding Child Diversion.
“We are having several ongoing sensitisation sessions that will outline the plans and programmes to be implemented towards how we deal with child offenders.
“They will not be subjected to the harsh and strict regime of the formal penal system, but will be put on a path of recovery and rehabilitation. A lot more will be forthcoming on the initiative,” he said.
Minister Chuck noted that as part of measures to increase access to justice the Ministry is undertaking infrastructure upgrading at the Court of Appeal; expanding the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP); opening another justice centre; and providing additional mobile justice units.
“With these initiatives, especially the mobile justice unit, justice services will be in your community,” he said.
Custos of St. Andrew, Dr. Patricia Dunwell, who also addressed the session, welcomed the staging of the fair in raising public awareness about justice services.
“Awareness is of paramount importance and the Justice Ministry would like every citizen across Jamaica to be aware of the numerous organisations and groups that work together in order for us to have a more just society,” she noted.
DPP, Paula Llewellyn, who brought greetings, encouraged members of the public to educate themselves about the available services and to know their rights.
“It is we who serve you, so you have to know what the services are in the justice system that you can access so that you can hold us accountable,” she said.
Source: JIS News