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OPPOSITION CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE OPERATIONALISING OF ADDITIONAL POSTS AT THE OFFICE OF THE DPP

OPPOSITION CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE OPERATIONALISING OF ADDITIONAL POSTS AT THE OFFICE OF THE DPP

Kingston, Jamaica,  September  19, 2017: The Opposition People’s National Party is calling on the Government to immediately operationalise the seventeen (17) additional posts which were approved as of April 1, 2017 to increase the number of prosecutors and support staff in the Office of the Director of the Public Prosecutors.

“The expansion of the trial list for the Michaelmas Term in the Home Circuit Court to 861 cases indicates that things are not improving, despite the sustained efforts that have been made across Administrations to implement the agreed reforms of the Justice System,” said Opposition Spokesperson Senator Mark Golding. “The additional prosecutors are required to help turn the tide”.

He continued – “As indicated in the speech made by the Leader of the Opposition on Sunday, substantially more court time must be made available for the disposal of serious criminal cases, in order to reduce the growing backlog in the system. The out-of-control murder rate, together with the very inadequate disposal of serious criminal cases in the court system, are a dangerous combination. It re-enforces impunity among criminals, and is deepening the sense of fear and hopelessness across the society.”

Senator Golding also pointed out – “Over the years, Jamaica typically disposes of less than 20% of cases on the Circuit Court trial lists, largely because system lacks capacity to cope with the volume.  Given the current worrying trend, efforts to bring additional courts into operation must be prioritised and expedited. However, additional courts, even if provided, cannot function without judges, prosecutors and court staff to operate them, and this is underscored by the recent pleas of both the DPP and the Chief Justice.”