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Court of Appeal to have full complement of judges by 2020

Thursday, December 13, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Court of Appeal should have its full complement of 13 judges by 2020, up from the seven currently serving.

The was disclosed by President, Justice Dennis Morrison, during the official opening of the expanded Court of Appeal building, located on King Street, downtown Kingston yesterday.

“The Judicial Services Commission just yesterday (Tuesday) completed the process of identifying three additional Judges of Appeal, and these judges will be recommended to His Excellency the Governor-General for appointment as early as is convenient in 2019,” he said.

Justice Morrison added that “the plan is, during the course of 2019, steps will be taken to recruit a further three Judges of Appeal with a view to bringing the court up to its full complement of 13 judges – that is the President and 12 Judges of Appeal – by the beginning of 2020”.

Judges serving the Court of Appeal are charged with the responsibility of hearing appeals and applications from decisions of the Supreme Court, the Resident Magistrate's courts as well as those from administrative tribunals.

Justice Morrison expressed gratitude to Chief Justice Bryan Sykes for his willingness to facilitate the arrangements.

“This is, in a sense, an ambitious plan. It calls for the virtual doubling of the court's judicial capacity over the course of one short year,” he noted.

Morrison pointed out that additional judges will bring with them the need for increased support staff in the form of judicial clerks, secretaries and registry staff.

“We believe with the help and support of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance and the wider Government of Jamaica network, it will be possible for us to achieve these goals,” he said, adding that the aim is to ensure the timely delivery of justice to all.

In April, Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck, signed an $846-million contract to expand the Court of Appeal building, which will see the addition of three new courtrooms, 13 judges' chambers and two lounges.

The building formerly housed the Administrator General's Department, which has been relocated to the former Oceana Hotel building on Ocean Boulevard, downtown Kingston.

Jamaica received €4 million in budgetary support through the European Union's 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Programme during fiscal year 2017/18, which facilitated increased budgetary allocation to the Ministry to fund the project.

The contract was awarded to YP Seaton and Associates.

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