Kingston, Jamaica (McKoy’s News) – US State Dept Knocks Jamaica’s Dysfunctional Justice System: The US Department of State says that Jamaica’s most serious human right issues include an “overburdened, under-resourced, and dysfunctional judicial system, which obstructed access to justice for victims of crime and their families and facilitated widespread corruption and impunity”.
There was also an increased number of fatalities at the hands of the security forces, many of which were suspected to be carried out unlawfully and the majority of which appeared to occur during planned security force operations rather than random events.
Jamaica’s Dysfunctional Justice System: The findings were included in the State Department’s annual Human Rights Practices report. The recently released report, which is similar to that of last year’s, stated that other human rights issues in Jamaica include inadequate prison and jail conditions; violence against and sexual abuse of children; and violence and discrimination against women, and against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
The State Department said the Government’s efforts resulted in charging a much larger number of police officers with abuses than the previous year.
But the report said a lack of willing witnesses and inefficiencies in the judiciary “continued to plague the justice system”, adding that trials continued to languish. In regards to corruption, it noted that the law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, but the government did not implement and enforce the law effectively, and officials reportedly engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.
“Because of the government’s weak efforts to prosecute officials’ alleged corrupt practices, corruption remained a significant systemic problem of public concern,” the report said.
It also highlighted that the media and civil society organisations continued to criticise the director of public prosecutions for being slow and at times reluctant to prosecute corruption cases.
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