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Jamaican Justice System Reform Project

Background

The Government of Jamaica has assigned a high priority to improving the justice system as part of the public sector modernization programme and through the Ministry of Justice and the Public Sector Modernization Division of the Cabinet Office, spearheads a vigorous initiative to modernize our justice system. The Jamaican Justice System Reform Project (JJSR) was established by the Government of Jamaica to undertake a comprehensive review into the state of the justice system and to develop strategies and mechanisms to facilitate its modernization. The aim of the project is to create a justice system which is more efficient, accessible, accountable, fair and able to deliver timely results in a cost-effective manner.

Why is the Justice system being transformed?

The cries within the society for justice serve as an indication that the justice system which is integral to our democracy is being challenged to achieve the essential fairness and balance between individuals and groups within the society. The Jamaican justice system is at times unequal, expensive, uncertain, slow and complicated and therefore MUST be reorganized to better serve the country

What has been done to date?

A comprehensive review of the Jamaican Justice System was conducted by the Canadian Bar Association October 2006 and July 2007. The following documents were produced:

  1. The Jamaican Justice System Reform Task Force Final Report
  2. Court Administration Report
  3. Canadian Bar Association Final report (Modernization Plan)

A series of island-wide consultations were carried out in order to garner citizens’ views on the state of the justice system and to identify areas for reform. Findings from these consultations have informed the compilation of the Justice System Reform Task Force Report which has been submitted and is now being implemented

Work has commenced or finalised on:

  • the transformation of the MOJ into a Policy focused Ministry;
  • Establishment of a Justice Modernization Division within the ministry to drive implementation of the modernization plan.
  • the establishment of the Court Management Services entity to facilitate more efficient operations of the Court system
  • Modernization of the Director of Public Prosecutions' (DPP) office;
  • Implementation of the case management system; Justice Enforcement Management System (JEMS) to be replicated across all courts;
  • Development of a policy on Restorative Justice
  • Establishment of a Legal Service Division;
  • Strengthening of staffing positions in the legal Reform Department;
  • Increasing staffing positions in the Supreme Court Registry;
  • Drafting Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Court Management Services and the Ministry of Justice;
  • Initiation of an implementation agenda