New Justice Facility Equipped to Serve Public

By: Marie T. Henry

It was a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when members of the Ministry of Justice, their specially invited guests and well-wishers, gathered at its new home to dedicate and commission it into service to the nation.

A frontal view of new justice complex dedicated on Wednesday, June 15.

Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck, while speaking at the Dedication Ceremony held Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at its new Constant Spring Road office, said that it was a fantastic facility which would give the justice sector full support in carrying out its mandate. 

“This Ministry will ensure that justice is delivered not only in a timely manner but satisfactorily to all Jamaicans,” the Minister added. 

Chief Justice Zaila McCalla, in bringing her greetings, called the new justice complex the result of sound decision and good judgement.

The relocation of the Ministry of Justice was one of the first crises that faced the new government when it took up office on February 25.  This was the sentiment expressed by both Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Permanent Secretary Carol Palmer.

The offices at the NCB (South) Tower became unsuitable and was ordered closed by Public Health officials.

Prime Minister Holness, while giving the main address, said that his administration must be a “government of real achievements”. He said that time must be spent on ‘real things’ that will drive economic growth; citing that the government must look carefully on how it can find additional resources to invest in the justice system.

However, he reiterated that the renovation of this justice facility was solely a private endeavour and therefore was done at no cost to the government. The European Commission and the Canadian Government must be credited for the continued support to the Justice Ministry. On that basis, Minister Chuck stated that the initiatives sponsored by foreign donors must experience result; it must be a worthwhile investment.

The Minister commended the developer, Mr. Winston Lee, for having totally transformed the buildings which were previously designed as a shopping mall. He also acknowledged the important role played by the Permanent Secretary who worked tirelessly and propagated the phrase “let’s get it (job) done”. She was also commended for the motivation she offered to staff members who worked in less than ideal conditions during the construction phase.

Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck addressed gathering at the Dedication Ceremony.
Captured is Carol Palmer, Permanent Secretary and Chairperson for the ceremony.

Among the features of the new justice offices is a welfare centre for members of staff, which includes a lunch room, a wellness facility and aftercare service. The main building is fitted with an elevator, to give full access to members of the public who are physically challenged. There are also alternate power source; fire suppressant capability; and potable water supply. A facility much better equipped, than previous location, to carry out the functions of the Ministry with ease and convenience both for the staff and the public.

Additionally, the Minister has pledged to tour court facilities across the island to apprise himself of their challenges and the way forward.  The tour will start June 16, 2016.

“If we can transform the justice system like we transformed this building [new justice complex]...justice will be well served,” ended Chuck.