Mandeville Weekly News

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE WARNED

Posted by SR (riley) on Oct 05 2016 at 6:43 PM
Mandeville Weekly News >>

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Ms. Carol Palmer, said that legislation is coming to punish Justices of the Peace (JPs) who breach the code of conduct governing the office.Ms. Palmer said the Ministry continues to receive reports that JPs are charging for their services and is reminding persons that the services provided by JPs are voluntary.  “People are not supposed to pay you for anything at all, if you cannot do these functions, then you need to submit your commission to the Custos for decommissioning,” she said.

“Being a Justice of the Peace is a civic responsibility and it is not for making money.  If you are doing that now, don’t let the amendment to the law catch you because you are going to be in trouble.  So if you are doing wrong things, check yourself, because we are coming,” she warned.Ms. Palmer noted further that some JPs have been allowing their family members to use their stamp to certify documents, a practice which is a serious breach and must stop immediately.  “If you read the regulations, the seals are vested to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice. I am about to do another audit, as I need to know where we are,” she pointed out.

The Permanent Secretary said that under the amendments, JPs will be able to perform their duties islandwide, noting that efforts are being made to recruit additional JPs to bring the ratio closer to the accepted norm of one JP to 100 citizens.  The current ratio is about one JP to 500 citizens.Ms. Palmer informed that the Ministry is on an islandwide crusade to seek reputable citizens to become part of positive social programmes, including becoming a JP.  “We are going parish by parish to share with our citizens and our reputable leaders in the society some of the things we are doing and then to invite you to enlist for some of the skill-building we will be doing in each parish,” she said.Ms. Palmer also urged the JPs to ramp up their activities to include weekly visits to lockups.

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