Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck is urging justices of the peace to utilise conflict resolution services established by his ministry in carrying out their duties.
The minister was speaking at the launch of the Manchester JP Association at the Church Teachers’ College in Mandeville on Sunday (January 29).
In his address, the minister said several services have been put in place to facilitate mediation among citizens.
“Citizens should not have to go to the court houses to get justice, you (JPs) should refer citizens to various departments and services established by the ministry to deal with conflict resolution.”
He noted that justices of the peace should utilise and inform the public of these services.
“When citizens come to you to say they have a problem and need your help, you as the JP must make that call to the restorative justice department to get a facilitator to assist in resolving the problem,” he said.
The minister also noted that these services are not being utilised and so he encouraged the JPs to assist in utilising them.
“The ministry of justice will assist you in ensuring that alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are available in every nook and cranny, ever corner and crevice of the parish. So, we will be depending on you to highlight all the justice mechanisms so that every single citizen can get justice,” Chuck said.
Launch of the Manchester JP Association
“It is quite clear that this JP association is well organised, that you are really exemplifying everything that I conceived that it should be, and we hope that it will be a trend setter for other parish association,” the minister said.
Chuck also noted that the association is the organization to which justices of the peace in Manchester belong.
“Most importantly, as patented this evening I expect this JP association to not only be the body to which all JPs in the parish will belong but on an annual basis you’ll have something like this, where you reward the volunteers (JPs) for the work that they do in their communities,” he said.
The minister said the parish association must be the body that is the voice and beacon of not only the JP association but a civil society and everything that is good in Manchester.
“You in Manchester represent the best, you represent the best of the citizens who have come forward and volunteer to help your fellow citizens. Expect, you the association, that this year and the years ahead will make a difference and I want you to make the difference here in Manchester,” Chuck informed the JPs.
He further stated that custodes are being strategically organised right across the parish, “there will be nine zones that will work with each police station zones”.
Chuck urged the justices of the peace to work diligently in assisting to create peace in the country.
“You must do what your name says, you do justice, and you assist in bringing peace in your communities. So, it is very important that you work with the police, with your communities to ensure that there is justice and there is peace.”
Said Chuck: “As the leading citizens of this parish I expect you to be the think tanks. Start using your imagination, start using your brain to see what you can do to make the parish not only a better parish but the best parish in the island.”