More than two hundred individuals have commenced training to become Justices of the Peace (JPs). The mandatory qualification training began in September and will continue until the end of October. It is the largest number of persons to be trained to secure a JP commission over such short period of time.
The numbers are attributed to an aggressive drive by the Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck, for more persons of integrity to become Justices of the Peace. Persons are being trained from the parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew, Clarendon St. Ann and St. James.
The Justice Training Institute (JTI) coordinates the training, which is carried out by retired and serving judges and attorneys-at-law. “The qualification process is an important step in the journey towards becoming a JP. However, this does not automatically mean that these individuals will become JPs,” said Mrs. Campbell-Bascoe, Director/Principal of JTI.
Aspirants who wish to serve as JPs are required to have 18 mandatory contact hours of training and an additional three hours for visits to lockups to equip them with the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes to fulfill their roles and functions as Justices of the Peace. The areas of training include the Justice of the Peace Appointment and Code of Conduct; the Official Seals Act and Regulations; the Bail Act and Regulations; Authentication and Attestation of Documents; Writing Recommendations; and Identification Parades.
An important aspect of the work of JPs is to visit lockups. “Justices of the Peace are required to visit lockups to ensure that detainees’ fundamental Human Rights are observed and respected. During the visit, the remand book, detainees’ medical cards, and also the conditions of the cells are inspected by the Justice of the Peace,” she said.
By Dyhann Buddoo-Fletcher