Chuck: 40% reduction in criminal case backlog

Thursday, May 23, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck, is reporting that there has been a consistent reduction of the criminal case backlog over the past three to four years.

“On December 31, 2016, there was a backlog of 30,667 criminal cases in the parish courts. As at the end of Fiscal Year 2018/2019, some 12,399 of these cases had been cleared. This represents a 40 per cent reduction in the backlog,” Chuck pointed out.

He was making his contribution to the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 21.

Chuck noted that the Government is committed to supporting the chief justice's vision and will stay the course so that, in the words of the chief justice, Jamaica will have the best court system in the Caribbean in three years and one of the best in the world in six years.

“I applaud the leadership of the Chief Justice, who has shown, by example, that these defined standards are achievable. In particular, he has indicated that all probates and divorces will be completed within four months of filing, and at the end of 2019, there will be no outstanding matter,” he said.

“He has also promised that all outstanding judgements by his colleagues will be completed by the end of 2019, and I expect this promise to be kept,” the minister added.

Chuck cited the 309-page Judgement of the Constitutional Court in the recently delivered National Identification System (NIDS) constitutional ruling, which was done within six months.

“Still, there are too many matters in the Courts dragging on for five years and more, and some in excess of 10 years. A first-class justice system requires that all matters be completed in under five years, and we must give the court system the support it needs to ensure the speedy dispensation of justice within three years in the Supreme Court, and two years in the parish courts as soon as possible,” the Minister said.


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