Tue | Jul 23, 2024

‘The service provided to our people is atrocious’

Chuck calls for greater efficiency from public, private entities

Published:Saturday | June 15, 2024 | 12:09 AMAsha Wilks/Staff Reporter
Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck.
Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck.

Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck has criticised the services being offered by entities within both the private and public sectors as being “poor” and “weak”.

Speaking on Thursday at the St Matthew’s Anglican Church in St Elizabeth at the ministry’s ‘Justice Fi All A Wi’ social justice tour, Chuck stated that if the delivery of services across the country was not remedied, Jamaica could not advance towards becoming a first-world nation.

“We have a problem with delivery of services. The Jamaican people are not well served. At every level of our society the services provided to our people is atrocious,” Chuck said.

Continuing, he stated, “Economic growth is about the production of goods and services. We’re not providing enough goods and the service we provide we’re not doing so adequately and efficiently.

“People waste so much time to get service,” he added, pointing to restaurants, banks and public transportation -- where quick service is desired -- as examples where slow service is offered.

This critique came after he voiced the ministry’s intention of ensuring that all Jamaicans are informed about the range of justice services available.

Chuck said the justice ministry would show the Jamaican people that “first class” services could be provided.

“We are going to be the model to tell other ministries, other private sector people, ‘you can do better’, improve your service and help Jamaica to become a first-world country,” he added.

The minister further pointed out that the ministry was also working with, and empowering justices of the peace to be more effective providers of justice services and information to be better able to assist citizens.

“Every single Jamaican should feel that if they want justice, if they want to settle their disputes … there are methods available to settle them,” he said, naming restorative justice, mediation and victims services as a few options.

“We are in this mission … to take these services to explain it to the citizens of Jamaica because we want it to be known in every nook and cranny,” he continued, noting that the information has already been explained to nearly 400 schools out of its target of 1,000.

“Never been better”

He further shared his interest of targeting the churches islandwide to get them involved in learning the information that they could help to disseminate to others.

Chuck remarked that the legal system has “never been better in our history”, highlighting reduction in backlog in the courts, the increase of judges in the Court of Appeal from seven to 13, those within the Supreme Court from 30 to 42, and those in the parish courts from 50 to 71.

He also commended St Elizabeth for being number one in the reduction of case backlog, with a likelihood that cases would be resolved within a 12-month period.

“Ninety per cent of the cases across the country are now being resolved within 12 months. The parish courts are doing a fantastic job to ensure that people have their dispute resolved speedily and that’s how it should be,” he added.

Chuck said the goal of the ministry is for most cases to be resolved within nine months.

He encouraged citizens to make use of justice centres instead of the courts to see whether alternative justice services could be a better fit for their case. He pointed out that 80 per cent of cases that go through these services end up satisfactorily handled and resolved.

“Jamaica deserves to [be] a more peaceful place so that we can in fact improve the quality of life of our people,” he said.

asha.wilks@gleanerjm.com

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