Tuesday 7 July, 2020

Judiciary commended for exceeding case clearance rates

Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck (left); and Executive Director of National Integrity Action (NIA), Professor Trevor Munroe, are in discussion at a Legal Aid Council (LAC) sensitisation session held recently in Kingston

Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck (left); and Executive Director of National Integrity Action (NIA), Professor Trevor Munroe, are in discussion at a Legal Aid Council (LAC) sensitisation session held recently in Kingston

Executive Director of National Integrity Action (NIA), Professor Trevor Munroe, has commended the island’s judiciary for exceeding local and international case clearance rates.

Supreme Court statistics for 2019 indicate that Jamaica’s parish courts have a case clearance rate of 101.6 per cent.

Three of the top-performing parishes are St Mary, with a clearance rate of 125.6 per cent; St Catherine, at 111.5 per cent; and Portland, at 109 per cent.

Professor Munroe said the high clearance rate is a sign of “solid progress” being made by Jamaica’s justice system towards becoming the best judiciary in the Caribbean in three years - and one of the best in the world in six years.

“For every 100 cases coming in, we are clearing out more in that year than received. We are well ahead of the target set by the National Development Plan and by the Judiciary Strategic Plan for March of this year. In fact, we are three years ahead of target as 11 of the 13 parish courts met or exceeded the international standard in case clearance rate,” he noted.

Professor Munroe was speaking at the National Conference on Technology in the justice sector, held recently at the AC Marriott hotel in New Kingston.

The three-day event, under the theme ‘Road Map to e-Justice: Enhancing Efficiency, Effectiveness and Access to Justice’, was focused on charting the development of a strategic framework for the digitalisation of Jamaica’s justice system.

Professor Munroe said the conference came at an opportune time as the government charts the way towards a user-centred future.

He noted that with continued strategic moves, such as increasing the use of technology, the gains of the justice sector will be improved on and the weaknesses overcome.

He said that the NIA is committed to working with the justice sector to build capacity “in order to achieve the transformation that we wish”.

Professor Munroe said that the NIA has collaborated with the Ministry of Justice to host sensitisation seminars to benefit hundreds of justices of the peace (JPs); provide training in restorative justice, case law management, and alternative dispute resolution methods; enhance the capacity of public prosecutors and investigators; and strengthen the leadership of court staff across the island.

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