Current Affairs

Current Affairs



Minister promises improved conditions at Black River RM Court
Observer Reporter
Tuesday, January 15, 2002

JUSTICE minister, A J Nicholson has promised improvements for the Black River Resident Magistrate's Court as a matter of priority.

Nicholson, who noted that conditions under which magistrates and staff were working "cannot remain as is", was on a tour of the facility last week as part of an on-site assessment of main courthouses in that section of the island.

The justice minister, while commending the staff at the Black River RM court for their dedication, said that a more suitable working environment had to be found for them, adding that improved conditions could have a more positive impact on the service delivery to the public, as well as on productivity level.

Resident Magistrate Marlene Malahoo, who accompanied Minister Nicholson on the tour, pointed out that the workload at the Black River RM court had increased over the recent past, due to the build up in the number of cases filed. However, she noted, the dedication and commitment of the staff has ensured that there has been no significant backlog in that court, so far.

Nicholson also looked at the conditions of the Santa Cruz and Savanna-la-Mar RM court, as well as the Family Courts in Westmoreland, and used the opportunity to introduce the newly-appointed permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Carol Palmer, to the staff and resident magistrates.

And Nicholson, speaking to lay magistrates in Santa Cruz, supported the proposal for a permanent office for the custos and secretariat of the St Elizabeth Lay Magistrates Association.

Almost $55,000 has been secured so far to this project, according to Wilfred Nembhard, who represented Custos Alfred Farquharson, during the tour.

The minister also pledged to continue the improvement work on courthouses across Jamaica.