Jamaica Rolls Out Final Phase of Justice Reform Program

(TELESUR) – The final phase in Jamaica’s three-fold justice reform program is being implemented across the Caribbean nation to improve the legal and justice system for all.

Under the Justice Undertakings and Social Transformation (JUST) Program, Jamaicans will have equal access to gender-responsive justice services, information and advice.

Civil society representatives, women’s rights organizations and legal professionals will also have the opportunity to participate in the initiative and improve the life and wellbeing of incarcerated Jamaicans.

With the support and financial assistance from Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Canada’s Department of Justice (Justice Canada), the United Nations Development Programme, Jamaica’s Ministry of Justice is revolutionizing judicial institutions and practices for the betterment of society and the safety of its people.

According to the UNDP, the JUST project is “designed to contribute to the progressive strengthening of the justice system in Jamaica through technical legal assistance, capacity building, and institutional strengthening support to strengthen justice sector institutions in Jamaica.”

Blueprints for the major societal renovation began in 2011 and the plan can be separated into two major parts: reforming the judicial practices and individuals behind the institutions and preparing the space for future social development which will involve citizens and society from the most “impoverished and marginalized sectors.”

The goals are as follows:

  1. Reprioritize the focus and expand the capacity of core sector institutions in order to manage and implement their duties.
  2. Support Jamaica’s Ministry of Justice to create a technical and results-based management environment while establishing Justice Reform Implementation Unit (JRIU).
  3. Present equal opportunities for women, men, girls and boys to access judicial information, legal services and advice and encourage involvement in the justice reform process.

Canada’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, Laurie Peters, tol Jamaica Information Service, ““You will be seeing and hearing, over the coming weeks and months, other elements … all focused on delivering a citizen-centric programme.”

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