Jamaica News: Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, is encouraging Justices of the Peace (JPs) to assist in protecting the country’s recent economic gains, by standing against wrongdoing.
Delivering the keynote address at the commissioning of 171 new JPs for St. Catherine on February 6 at the Portmore Seventh-day Adventist Church, the minister said that while several expansions have been taking place in tourism and other areas of the economy, they can be obstructed if criminals are able to influence community life, and frighten investors.
“If we are not prepared to stand up for what is right, then evil and wrongdoing will triumph,” Mr. Chuck said.
He emphasised that for Jamaica to experience more crime reduction and more jobs, greater stance must be taken against “wrongdoing of all kinds”.
The Minister said illicit activities in the parish and the island can be reduced and eliminated with the help of JPs collectively working with the police, and exposing wrongdoers.
He told the JPs that they have joined a “noble” office, and they are expected to maintain integrity, as they were chosen by the Custos, Hon. Rev. Jeffrey McKenzie, because they are of good character, and the interviewers found them to be persons who will discharge their duties with honesty.
A Justice of the Peace (JP) is a person who seeks to promote and protect the rights of individuals, and helps to give justice to persons at the community level. The Ministry of Justice provides supervision for the various processes involved in the appointment of persons to the office and ensures that records are accurately maintained.
The office of a Justice of the Peace is a voluntary one; therefore, a JP must not charge or accept any reward for services performed in this capacity. They are not usually required to have a formal legal education in order to qualify for the office. However, every JP is expected to complete a period of training before he/she is commissioned into office.
Any citizen or organisation can recommend that an individual be appointed a JP. The recommendation must be made to the Custos of the parish in which the individual resides. Having received this recommendation, the Custos will then instruct that enquiries be made into the background of the person so recommended. This is a precautionary measure to ensure that the individual under consideration is suitable for the position of a JP.
Every parish has an Advisory Committee that deliberates and selects persons deemed to be qualified to become a JP. It is made up of the Custos, the Senior Parish Judge and the Superintendent of Police.
Source: JIS News