Justice Ministry Rolls Out New Seal Design for JPs

Balancing Rights and Responsibilities

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March 23, 2021

Justice Ministry Rolls Out New Seal Design for JPs

The Ministry of Justice has begun rolling out new seals to Justices of the Peace with ‘Jamaica’ engraved instead of parish names.

This follows the passage of the Justice of the Peace Act, 2018 which has widened the jurisdiction of JPs to carry out their functions across all parishes, instead of only the parish in which they reside or work, as was previously the case.

However, the widening of jurisdiction does not extend to judicial functions, such as serving as a Justice in the Lay Magistrates Court or when considering applications for bail.

Since January 2021, the Ministry has commenced the issuing of new seals to recently commissioned JPs.  The replacement of old seals issued prior to that month will be done in phases and should be completed by March 31, 2026. Therefore, seals that bear the parish name will remain valid until that date.

To facilitate changes to the seals, the Justices of the Peace (Official Seals) Regulations, 2004 was also amended. 

Under the Justices of the Peace Act, 2018, each appointed JP is assigned an official seal to execute the functions of the office.

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Please see attached for Illustrated seal mock-ups.