Speech to Community Leaders

September 5, 2016





Speech to Community Leaders

Justice Sensitization Session

September 1, 2016 

Today’s event marks a major step forward in creating a national movement of decent and upright people to take back Jamaica and to return discipline and respect for the rule of law to the country.

  • The Justice Reform programme that is being implemented by the Ministry of Justice is a flagship programme designed to result in a seismic shift in the judicial landscape in Jamaica.
  • The transformation of the Justice System is a significant priority of this government as we seek to reposition the justice sector from the periphery to the centre of governmental operations. We believe that the achievement of prosperity and sustainable development for Jamaica is inextricably linked to a Justice System that is efficient, effective and that enjoys the trust and confidence of the people of Jamaica.
  • There is unquestioned commitment to see the reform through to its completion and I believe that I can safely say that this commitment is shared by the two major political parties in Jamaica.
  • Since the inception of the Justice Reform Programme a decade ago more than we have focussed on activities to
  • rehabilitate, renovate and build new institutions in the Justice System including our courts.
  • strengthen the institutional capacity of the Justice System, and
  • improve the capacity of civil organization and representatives of the legal professions to participate in the justice reform process.
  • We are grateful for the significant investments that our international partners have made in the Jamaica programme. The Canadian Government has demonstrated their commitment to the programme with funding amounting to 20M Canadian Dollars for the Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) programme. I must point out that this is in addition to prior funding support from the Canadians.
  • Since 2014, the European Union has been a good partner in the justice transformation programme investing in areas that will improve administrative processes and implement Case Management System in the justice system and rehabilitate select Court houses through the Justice Security Accountability and Transparency (JSAT) Programme. The EU investment for this five-year programme is approximately 4.1M euros.
  • There is an additional programme of support through what is called the European Development Fund (EDF). The 11th EDF has committed 24M euros to the Justice Sector in Jamaica.
  • We have an unfinished agenda but we are encouraged by the progress that we have made thus far.
  • Today, we are sending a signal to the Jamaican people and in particular to all law abiding and decent citizens of this country to join us in the work that we are doing to safeguard  the future of our country as we move towards a just, safe and secure Jamaica.
  • We intend to achieve the results that we desire. The Justice Team of which you are a part must put on our running shoes. After a decade of reform we should be taking the homestretch for home. We have invested not just money but also the hopes and dreams of every decent law abiding citizen in this country who dreams of a better Jamaica.