Retired President of Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Seymour Panton to Chair Compensation Committee

 Cabinet has appointed the Hon. Justice Seymour Panton as Chair of the Compensation Committee to investigate all claims brought by aggrieved persons and to determine the compensation payable to injured persons and to the personal representatives of deceased persons in respect of the events of May 2010. The appointment of the retired President of the Court of Appeal is in keeping with the recommendation of the Commission of Enquiry Report for a retired judge or senior Attorney-at-Law with expertise and experience in the assessment of compensation for personal injuries and death to chair the Committee. The decision of the Government to establish the Compensation Committee means that it will not rely on the defence of the expiry of the limitation period as stipulated in Jamaican law.

Justice Seymour Panton is a prominent Caribbean jurist who has been appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as Judge of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. He served as President of the Court of Appeal of Jamaica as well as other judicial positions in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. He is also a member of the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal.

The two remaining members of the Committee will be named presently to allow for its work to begin by the end of October. Cabinet has instructed that the Compensation Committee concludes its work within nine months of its appointment as was recommended in the Commission of Enquiry Report.

The Ad Hoc Committee of Cabinet submitted reports to the Cabinet which provided information on the progress of the Ministries of Justice and National Security in implementing fourteen of the fifteen recommendations.

It is expected that the final report of the Ad Hoc Committee will be made before the end of October, which will form the basis for statements from the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of National Security to the Parliament.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness established the Ad Hoc Committee in June to examine and review the recommendations of the Commission of Enquiry and to advise the Cabinet on the way forward.


By: Mrs. Sandra Graham