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JM | Jul 4, 2022

Justice Ministry vows ‘consequences’ if JPs found in breach after Rushane Barnett video leak

/ Our Today

administrator
Head office of the Ministry of Justice. (Photo: moj.gov.jm)

The Ministry of Justice has declared that there will be “consequences” if an investigation determines that there was any breach of law or the code of conduct for justices of the peace (JPs) during a recent medical examination of Clarendon massacre accused Rushane Barnett.

Questions have been raised in the public after a video of the examination surfaced on social media last week, showing four JPs – including a medical doctor – questioning Barnett. The video has led to condemnation from Barnett’s attorney as well as the Lay Magistrates Association of Jamaica.

In a statement this afternoon, the justice minstry said: “JPs have an obligation to perform voluntary community-based activities as the Custos may require which includes visits to prisons to ensure the rights of persons in custody are protected and dignity respected in prisons/lock-ups.”

Rushane Barnett

The minstry noted, however, that it had taken note, “with great concern”, of the video being circulated on social media.

“The matter will be fully investigated under the auspice of the relevant Custos Rotulorum, and if the investigation shows breaches of the Justices of the Peace Act (2018) and any JPs Code of Conduct there will be consequences,” the ministry stated.

“Checking on the wellbeing of accused/detained persons is an appropriate role and duty of specified
JPs who form part of a visitation lock-up/prison committee established for justices of the peace. Any
engagement of activities, however, to include videotaping is most inappropriate, and should not be
done. In addition, it is inappropriate for JPs to be present during a medical examination.

“JPs continue to be persons of integrity who are remanded to provide voluntary support and service to
the public so as to uphold rights and justice.”

READ: Lay magistrates body raps JPs over involvement in video of Clarendon massacre suspect’s medical examination

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