Letters to the Editor

Chuck's broad-brush corruption allegations unfair, but not unfounded

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

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Dear Editor,

I refer to the unfortunate statements attributed to the Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck, where he painted the entire divorce unit of the Supreme Court with a broad brush, thereby creating the impression that all the employees of that unit were corrupt and perpetrating fraud in facilitating a convenient process for people desirous of filing divorces.

During an interview on Independent Talk on Power 106 FM on September 22, Chuck said: “This, to my mind, is just a scandal of the highest order. The whole divorce section has been corrupt.”

Chuck was reckless and unfair in making such a general statement which encapsulated even the decent, committed and hard-working employees of integrity who strive to ensure the proper functioning of the unit. A broad-brushing of the innocent serves to further demotivate those in the public service already facing many insurmountable challenges and unresolved issues.

It is clear that the incessant delays bedevilling the processes of the Supreme Court engender the corruption and fraud that is taking place there. With the disclosure from the president of the Jamaican Bar Association, Jacqueline Cummings, that people from all over the world can now easily file divorces in the Supreme Court, and that this contributes to the workload, the inordinately long time, and the unbearable frustration that obtains, then this is an opportunity to breed corruption.

That this scandalous discovery has been made, and the relevant investigations initiated with the view to apprehending the culprits, it is incumbent on the chief justice and Chuck to fix the problems. There must be a streamlined process with more stringent mechanisms in place to detect fraud and corruption at the initial stage.

Once the problems of the delays and the frustration are addressed, then it is highly unlikely that persons desirous of obtaining decrees absolute would solicit or otherwise engage in corruption.

I note and appreciate Minister Chuck's apology directed at the innocent employees. This could have been avoided had he meticulously chosen his words.

Having stated the foregoing, it should not be lost on us that Chuck's statements are not unfounded, considering that he possessed and exhibited some of the fraudulent documents which were handed over to the Fraud Squad. There must be a thorough investigation into this matter and those found to have corrupted the divorce unit of the Supreme Court should be imprisoned.

Dujon Russell





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